Best Practices for ServiceNow Customization

ServiceNow is a powerful cloud platform with a range of modules from ITSMITAM, SAM, ITOM, to GRC. Whichever modules your organization uses, there are certain universal values that ServiceNow brings to the table like completely streamlining workflows, bridging interdepartmental divides, and brings great visibility, and control to facilitate greater collaboration. However, to get maximum value for your organization, you must follow some best practices.

Here are some tips from our ServiceNow experts to help you get the greatest value from the platform.

Top points to consider when deciding on customization:

The need to determine whether to customize

ServiceNow Customization

It is important for any organization that is looking to strengthen their workflows to primarily understand the need for customization and what level of customization is required. Too much customization can prove to be very expensive both in terms of time and money. It can also delay your upgrade cycle affecting your business and increase your inability to take advantage if new features.

So, its an absolute necessity to go for customization only when there is a clear business value and no other way of satisfying the demand.

Step 1: Identify the business values of the customization requests. You can categorize them into:

This approach will help avoid customization pitfalls.

Step 2: Determine the complexity for the proposed customization. Validate the type of customization proposed based on the potential risk it could have on performance and your time taken to upgrade.

Step 3: Determine the ROI for proposed customization. Once you have determined the business value and its complexity, it would be easy to understand if it’s meaningful to go ahead.

Best Practices for custom integration requirements

Step 1: Check to see if there is already an out-of-the-box (OOTB) plug-in is available for the required integration.

Step 2: Check if an integration is available through the IntegrationHub.

Step 3: Determine if a ServiceNow integration or at least certified integration is available on the ServiceNow Store.

Step 4: Check to see if an integration is available from the Developer Portal. Build your own only if there are no other options available.

We at Kanini, can help you with these steps and the rest of the processes involved.

Dealing with customization when you upgrade

ServiceNow upgrades will mark the customization you have made as skipped records in the Upgrade Monitor and do not overwrite customizations you have made. You can manually process the skipped changes to make sure they’re successfully ported to the upgraded instance.

As you’re documenting all your customizations and business justification, you can compare your inventory with the skipped records in the Upgrade Monitor. Once you filter out low-risk changes that resulted in skipped records like form layouts, you’ll need to decide whether to Retain each customization, Revert to out-of-the-box or Merge your customization with the base system to resolve conflicts

ServiceNow Customization

For more information and any clarification to help you with your customization needs, mail us at or call us at (615) 465-8287.


Joshua Smith

Joshua is a process improvement thought leader and digital transformation expert at KANINI. Over the past 15 years, his focus has always been on achieving organizational maturity and enhancing business processes through implementing tools and workflows to drive transformation initiatives. With experience in multiple verticals from – manufacturing to healthcare, Joshua brings a practitioner’s perspective when working on business solutions and goals to allow him to advise and guide on industry and process best practices.

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