Way too often the terms customize and configure are used interchangeably, especially when it comes to IT service management solutions. The sales pitch might be you can “easily” customize this, or that can “simply” be configured. But, the difference between these two words is going to determine the value you get out of an ITSM solution. Let’s start with the basics:
- Configure: design or adapt to form a specific configuration or for some specific purpose
- Customize: modify or build according to individual or personal specifications or preference
Each potential ITSM customer runs their business differently, with unique processes, people, priorities, and urgencies. There is a “many-to-one ratio” that exists in evaluating cloud-based IT service management solutions. And, continuously improving an application that can handle this many to one concept is something we think about often here at Samanage. How do we, as a service and tool provider, help make work life better by allowing configuration within our tool that can handle the requirements of many businesses?
Evaluating all of the options in the ITSM market is an arduous task. Trust us, we’ve talked to selection committees of up 10 people, with each committee member evaluating 20 products (nuts, right?). Approaching the selection with a few things in mind ahead of time can help you narrow it down more quickly. This is where configuration versus customization comes in…
A product like ServiceNow is highly customizable. It’s impressive the extent of customization that you can do. But, all that freedom has its downsides. While the expense to purchase is high in itself, there are many other costs to consider. Not only do you need to know exactly how you want to customize, but why you want to customize. This means you now have a full fledged internal project on your hands. You’ll need to gather requirements, identify stakeholders, and interview them. You’ll need to understand how they work and what their needs are (and possibly wants). Will one tool work across the entire organization? Enter the business analyst (this really is turning into a project). Once you understand everyone’s needs, and your business analyst is up and running, then you can start getting user stories in front of your developers and begin having daily scrum meetings for this growing project. Easy and customization are really two words that don’t go together in this case. Now you are looking at implementation through a new lens, and it will require a full agile project.
Let’s hope your ServiceNow admin doesn’t go on vacation!
Enter Samanage. Samanage was born and raised in the cloud. With setup located right in the UI, there is no coding required to implement Samanage in a way that fits your needs, plus it can be scaled and configured to grow with you. You should still seek out and understand who your stakeholders are and how they work — you never know how the solution could help them (wouldn’t it be nice to all live under one roof?!). All of the adjustments made in Samanage are to checkboxes and drop downs that alter the behavior of your Samanage account. Custom fields are added in a matter of seconds in the UI, and a simple checkbox makes it mandatory or optional. With Samanage, the many-to-one ratio is addressed with well thought out configuration to allow you to do your work. That implementation project? It will only last a few weeks…maybe even just a few days.
Summer time has arrived. With Samanage, your admin can enjoy a little R&R.
About Matt Cox
Matt leads the sales engineers and support team for SolarWInds ITSM. His team works with customers to create tailored technical solutions for specific business needs. He once went hang gliding off a cliff in Ecuador.
Read more articles by Matt