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Expert Guide: How to Prepare for a ServiceNow Upgrade

Upgrading your ServiceNow instance is a crucial part of platform maintenance. The upgrade process moves your instance to a new ServiceNow release version. In this blog, we will share some tips on how to prepare for a successful upgrade. Plus, get more expert tips on how to guide your team down the path to a successful upgrade in our ServiceNow Upgrade Guide!


But first, why is it important to upgrade? 

  • ServiceNow supports the most recent release, as well as the immediate previous release.
  • ServiceNow only provides patches and hotfixes for supported releases.
  • Upgrading to the most current version of ServiceNow allows customers to take full advantage of the newest functionality of the platform, as it enables customers to utilize new products made available by ServiceNow.
  • Your instances will be more secure, have higher availability, and their performance will be better.

When to upgrade

  • Wait until at least one or two major patches have been released before upgrading to the newest release (approximately  1 month).  This allows ServiceNow time to patch any major issues with the release.
  • Leverage feedback from the ServiceNow Community about outstanding issues.
  • If possible, do not get behind any more than one major release. The more releases you wait the larger the process will be and the more issues you will be likely to encounter.


3 Steps to Prepare for ServiceNow Upgrade

  1. Before you begin the upgrade process, it is essential to read the release notes for your target version, so you understand the required upgrade and migration tasks. This information helps you plan a safe and effective upgrade. These can be found in the ServiceNow docs.
    ServiceNow docs offer valuable information about new functionality, notable changes, and fixes available in the new release. They can help you determine whether items you previously customized are being upgraded and understand if there are any enhancements implemented previously that are now made available
  2. Read through the ServiceNow community for any notes related to the upgrade that may benefit you.
  3. Complete the Upgrade Planning Checklist on ServiceNow’s Website. 

Why upgrades can be challenging 

  • Difficult to predict breaking points
  • Just because you modified an object doesn’t mean it will break
  •  Just because you didn’t modify an object doesn’t mean it won’t break
  • There are no shortcuts to testing (besides automation)
  • New bug discovery

How to protect yourself

  • Get firm requirements for the largest processes
  • Test integrations in sub-production environments
  • Clone, test, repeat
  • Clone the day before of Upgrade to have a backup instance


Ready to upgrade?

Get expert tips on how to guide your team down the path to a successful upgrade in our ServiceNow Upgrade Guide!


Get the Help You Need

Upgrading your ServiceNow instance can seem daunting, but the new features in the upcoming San Diego release make the upgrade more than worth it. And you don’t have to do it alone! If you’ve been putting off upgrading to Rome release because of time or resource constraints, Thirdera can help. As the largest and most experienced pure-play ServiceNow partner, we are here to show you how to get more out of your ServiceNow investment.

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Anna Alferova

Anna is the Digital Marketing Director at Thirdera. She is a marketing professional with experience in leading B2B multi-channel marketing campaigns and with an eye for strategy in digital and content marketing, passionate about innovative data-driven ways to deliver digital transformation.
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