ServiceNowⓇ announces two releases per year, providing companies with the latest features and technologies to help run their businesses. Last year, with the release of London, ServiceNow revealed the move from an n-2 support model to an n-1 model. This requires companies to upgrade to either the newest version of the platform or the previous release.
ServiceNow’s clever titling of upgrades uses names of cities in alphabetical order. Predecessors to the latest release, New York, were Madrid (March 2019), London (September 2018), Kingston (January 2018), and so on. Just last month, the New York upgrade was announced, meaning ServiceNow users must now migrate off of the London release to either Madrid or New York.
How’s n-1 Different than n-2?
Prior to n-1, ServiceNow operated on an n-2 support model. ServiceNow provided support to all users on the current version (known as “n”) and up to two previous releases (“-2”). Meaning, at the time, your company could run on the London version (n), or on the previous two being Jakarta or Istanbul.
On n-2, customers could also opt-out of upgrading altogether and stay on old versions indefinitely (without ServiceNow technical support); however, this has changed due to security and stability concerns.
Now, organizations must run on the n-1 model, giving your company access to the benefits of ServiceNow’s latest updates and newest technologies. Because ServiceNow generally announces two releases per year, you’ll need to upgrade at least once per year on the n-1 model. From now until the Orlando release, your organization must be operating on either Madrid or New York.
Although New York is the most current ServiceNow platform version, you can certainly upgrade to or stay on Madrid until Orlando. This version is expected to come out in Q1 of 2020. Your organization can skip Madrid altogether to move to New York. If you choose to do this, following n-1 regulations, you can wait to upgrade until approximately Q3 of 2020 when Paris is released.
Why Stay Current?
Staying on the most current release enables you to take advantage of ServiceNow’s innovations, deploy new products and receive the highest levels of security, availability, and performance.
It’s recommended by ServiceNow experts to upgrade at least one month after the release of new versions. This allows for the delivery of any post-deployment patches and hot fixes. Because New York dropped in September, now’s the time to upgrade to the most current release to benefit from the newest features and products like:
- Dynamic Translation
- Finance Close Automation
- Guided App Creator
- ITOM Visibility
- ITOM Health
- Investment Funding
- Instance Data Replication
- Mobile Onboarding App
- Now Mobile App
- Vendor Manager Workspace
Tips for Simplifying Your Upgrade
Don’t use Excess Custom Code
If you build too much custom code into your platform, you may be creating more work for your team. Custom code will not be touched by ServiceNow during your upgrade because any changes would break it. The platform labels all custom code as a “skip” requiring members of your team to manually review each one during every upgrade.
Configure Rather than Customize
Configure rather than customize since configurations are resilient to upgrades. Although custom code is needed in many instances, be sure to exhaust all of the out-of-the-box configurations first. No-code workflows can simplify this process. Access the no-code (Citizen Developer) guide created by ServiceNow’s top developers here.
Accelerate your Upgrades with Automated Test Framework (ATF)
To stay up to date with upgrades, you should consider using ServiceNow Automated Test Framework. ATF is included in the ServiceNow platform for all applications and can reduce the time and resources dedicated to upgrades by running automated tests to confirm your instance works after upgrading. ATF makes developing automated tests easy for no-code or low-code users and simplifies upgrades by dwindling needs for manual tests, reducing business impact and expediting development efficiency. For more information on the advantages of ATF, check this out:
Need Help Upgrading?
Annual updates can be time-consuming and require tedious planning and extra resources to operate smoothly. The planning, developing, training, and implementing can take months to roll out. This is where finding the right ServiceNow Partner can help your team succeed.
As a Certified ServiceNow Premier Partner, Infocenter can upgrade your platform to the latest ServiceNow release keeping you within the n-1 regulations. We’ve done it countless times across all industries and have partnered with some of the top companies in the nation. Check out a few of our success stories.
Our team not only has domain expertise across the enterprise, but are also Certified ServiceNow experts that can perform the entire upgrade for you. Through DEVSHOP™, our highly flexible, cost-effective services agreement, we can save you the hiring of a part or full-time ServiceNow admin by providing you with on-demand resources that will be available for planning, upgrade and post-upgrade support. Speak with an expert today to get started on planning (RADIUS™) and implementing a successful upgrade.