ServiceNow Upgrade Guide

Why Upgrade?

Upgrading your ServiceNow setup is a daunting task for any company. It can become the entire focus of a ServiceNow team for an extended period of time and it may require outside partners to be brought in to help. So if it is such a drain of resources, why do you need to do a ServiceNow upgrade so regularly?

Firstly, each upgrade brings with it major functionality changes and new additions which your business can take advantage of as well as keeping up to date with the latest performance and security enhancements.

Secondly, ServiceNow’s current policy is to only support their current and previous releases. This means that if you fall behind your platform will no longer have access to continued patches and hotfixes for your instances. In this case, ServiceNow will encourage you to upgrade.


When to Upgrade?

At Quality Clouds we’ve experienced different approaches to upgrading. Some companies consistently upgrade to every new release, others update every two. Both approaches have their advantages: frequent upgrading means faster access to new features, while yearly upgrades are easier for a smaller team to manage. Evaluate your needs and resources and decide which option makes sense for you.


Planning your ServiceNow Upgrade

Planning ahead and understanding the shape of your instances is also very important. Read the new version release notes and then start making a list of questions to answer. A few suggested ones are below:

Which instances do you want to upgrade at this time?

Which integrations are you running?

Which features are you going to enable or disable?

Who will work on the upgrade?

How are your custom elements going to be affected by the upgrade?


This last point is particularly relevant, as heavily customized instances can require extra attention when upgrading. To keep track of what will be affected, make sure to keep thorough documentation or you can alternatively use Quality Clouds’ Upgradeability Dashboard.

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