• Justin Shinault

The Common Service Data Model on ServiceNow and Its Benefits

Updated: Nov 7

It is common to come across ServiceNow customers that missed the late discussions of the Common Service Data Model (CSDM) and why it matters but, what is CSDM in ServiceNow and what are the benefits? In late 2019, ServiceNow released information regarding this new data model. It can be simplified as a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) framework that enables and supports true service level reporting and multiple configuration strategies. But behind the fancy definition it is a concept that ties business methodology, across ServiceNow products, to the technical side of the CMDB which is the physical tables in your instance. Interestingly enough, there is a few comments or concerns that might strike your mind when reading about CSDM like, “Why is it necessary”, “What are the advantages to CSDM?”, or even “What are the reasons to use it?” and we can answer that in 4 simplified points.

1. ServiceNow's CSDM Revamps Your CMDB

CSDM gives the CMDB a new life. Most ServiceNow customers do not consider the level of effort it takes to start utilizing and maintaining a CMDB, mostly because its functionality does not immediately map to your first few business outcomes you would like to seek out on the platform, but the CSDM provides business acumen to the CMDB that was purely technical. In the below diagram, you see the business models that relate to the core technical tables in ServiceNow. CSDM defines where your business models are located and reworks how those models relate to each other. This means your reporting across channels is politically correct, as per current standards, and standardized in out-of-box tables the are maintained by ServiceNow. In fact, most of these tables have been added between instance versions, since Kingston and all the way through New York. This eliminates the need for creating custom tables that can break between upgrades and standardizes the processes for the contained data.

Reference: ServiceNow CSDM 3.0-to-CMDB Mapping

2. Speak the Same Language Across a Single Data Model

Whether you have multiple ServiceNow products or just Information Technology Service Management (ITSM), you can benefit from having the same model. With the CSDM being simplified into core tables provided with all instances that come with a CMDB, it is easier to manage like-data types. This means that you can operate under one source of truth and make better decisions. Essentially, this operational makes sense because you can reduce costs and have a higher quality output when used correctly.

3. Unlock Maturity and Reduce Costs

To be honest, the comments we hear the most in conversation about the CSDM is, “What is a Service Offering” or something along those lines. Turns out, there is a culture that has not had the opportunity to learn some of the tactical and strategic pieces of the business that lead to Return on Investment with your instance. With the release of the CSDM and all the content ServiceNow has provided the community, it unlocks the capability to learn more about connected services, how they factor in to each other, and drive capability to analyze the costs associated to operating your business. We at MavenNext recommend working closely with your ITIL4 expert or learn more about leveraging ServiceNow partners in this link to our post, "3 Benefits of Using a ServiceNow Partner for Projects and Implementations". The below graphic outlines the stakeholders across the business and how the offerings relating to the CSDM.

Reference: ServiceNow CSDM Conceptual Model

4. Promote Agility and Innovation

In all of the maturity models I build for clients, I always leave space at the end-phase for space to pivot towards innovation. Taking on ITIL and ServiceNow best practices align businesses to capture the return on their investment, find savings, and increase productivity. When you complete all the suggested steps and already achieved your business outcomes from adapting to the CSDM, you need to either be agile and move to what comes next or innovate on top of your proven model. This can help you attack further reduced costs, increased productivity, and a simplified program for your team to navigate.

To learn how MavenNext can help you apply the CSDM framework to your instance, contact us at

©2019 by MavenNext.