Understanding the Evolution of ServiceNow’s IT Service Automation Suite

By Gregg Spivack

Director of Client Services, NPI

August 18, 2017

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Let’s cut to the chase. ServiceNow’s evolution over the years has been impressive, but keeping up with its changing product portfolio can be confusing to customers. One reason is that the vendor’s target audience has changed from IT to an Enterprise scope as it creates new products and addresses new problems. This has led to numerous product SKU and pricing iterations over the years. One SKU change with perhaps the most implications for the customer community is the transition from the ITSA (IT Service Automation) Unlimited to Service Management Suite (SMS) SKU.

ITSA - The Original ServiceNow Application
The original target market for ServiceNow was the IT buyer as it sought to transform the IT service desk landscape with its IT Service Automation (ITSA) application. This application included core Incident, Problem, Change, Release, Asset, Request and IT Cost functionality and capabilities atopthe robust ServiceNow platform.

ITSA Unlimited – Encouraging Broader Adoption
It didn’t take long for ServiceNow to introduce additional tangential products. These included the IT Business Management Suite (ITBM) that includes Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Vendor Management as well as the Project Portfolio Suite (PPS) that includes SDLC, Project Portfolio, Resource, Demand and Test (along with newer Financial Management capabilities).

Knowing that enterprises needed an easier way to purchase these offerings, ServiceNow decided to bundle these application suites into a few SKUs. One of the most popular SKUs was called “ITSA Unlimited” where customers could have entitlement to use all of these applications for one price. Entitlements included ITSA, ITBM and PPS Suites, with CreateNow available as an add-on.

Service Management Suite – The Enterprise Service Management Vision
In 2014, ServiceNow aggressively began expanding its vision to break out of the ITSA box and market its platform at the functional department level. This change in vision drove ServiceNow to rebrand its core ITSA product under a new name called the “Service Management Suite” that now included ITSA as well as HR, Finance, Legal, Marketing, Facilities and Field Services applications. This move was made to encourage ServiceNow adoption across the enterprise.

ITBM and PPS have been priced and sold as separate individual products, and the older ITSA Unlimited SKU has been discontinued. CreateNow is still available as an add-on.

Older customers (more than 3 years) face some important choices at renewal time – keep the (no longer available) ITSA Unlimited package, or reconstitute their ServiceNow estate to meet current needs and plans?  Consider your renewal carefully and conduct a detailed cost and requirements comparison. Some enterprises may find that their requirements necessitate a need to move to ServiceNow’s SMS Suite, and others may find they have a better deal holding on to the ITSA Unlimited SKU as long as possible.