• David Tessaro

HR vs. IT – How to Use ServiceNow® to End the Feud

Updated: Oct 22

Democrats vs. Republicans Packers vs. Bears Cats vs. Dogs …

IT vs. HR?

Some rivalries run deep, caused by a long-standing sense of pride and belonging. The rivalries that live within your ServiceNow instance are born out of conflicting features and security requirements. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Let’s take a quick look at how things used to be, and how they could be handled going forward.


Good Scoping Makes Good Neighbors

With the way the technology is structured, many companies are unable to keep the IT department from having administrative access to their entire system. That means IT could have access to sensitive materials, such as disciplinary records or payroll information.

HR sharing a platform with IT can cause serious compliance problems. That’s why it’s important to understand how things can be set up properly, and why ServiceNow’s latest version (at the time of this writing) is so beneficial in this area.

Istanbul, and soon Jakarta, provide HR a brand new “Scoped Application.” This is a fancy term for saying it’s locked down tighter than Fort Knox. Whereas before, it was more like the Death Star… an IT person that knew what they were doing and had Admin access could find their way in. This presented a problem for HR due to the sensitive nature of the material in their control (salaries, SSNs, etc.). Individuals need a certain level of clearance to view such confidential information, so only a select few are allowed access.

ServiceNow’s Scoped HR Application – The New Frontier

ServiceNow’s new HR application, in addition to having a lot of added features, is built entirely within a walled sandbox. IT can’t see or access any HR information unless HR specifically allows it. ServiceNow Administrators can’t even see HR tables or links, let alone the data within them. Instead, a role called “HR Admin” has the sole permission to develop and modify within the HR table. But have no fear IT! The HR Admin cannot modify or develop items outside of the HR application. They’re trapped in their garden, just as you’re kept out of it.


Alright, so we’ve established we can all live within the same system without pouncing on each other — but what good does sharing a system do for us then? The biggest example is Onboarding. With HR and IT living on the same platform, the entire recruitment and hiring process can be done in the HR Application. When it’s time for April to be on-boarded, Leslie can kick off the HR workflow, and have the IT focused workflow for equipment and access setup triggered automatically at the proper time so that Ron gets notified of the necessary tasks.


In this example, HR is able to modify their workflow, changing what tasks regarding payroll and first-day paperwork get triggered; while IT is able to modify their workflow, handling asset configuration and account provisioning. Both teams are locked down to their own areas, but both workflows can be triggered by the same action at the proper time.

What a glorious world it is!

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