IHS Markit: Centralizing Incident Management With PagerDuty & ServiceNow

by Lisa Duckrow August 17, 2022 | 5 min read

In today’s digital world, organizations are constantly undergoing change. They’re moving to the cloud and rolling out DevOps at scale—all in the name of driving innovation. But moving from a monolith to microservices can lead to applications becoming increasingly distributed. When problems arise, customers don’t care how many teams and services you have, or how complex your architecture is. They only care that your services work when they need them to.

To this end, bringing everything—teams, services, data—under centralized management is key. Urgent work cannot be held up by centralized ticketing tools.

This is where combining IT service management tools with a digital operations platform can bridge the gap between central IT and decentralized teams. Enter PagerDuty and ServiceNow—by combining the two, responders gain access to automation to drive action without delay, enabling a real-time response in seconds while maintaining a complete history of all activities. This combination also streamlines the business response to incidents, keeping stakeholders updated.

This better together approach is representative of incident response processes leveraged today in the modern enterprise stack. One such PagerDuty customer benefitting is IHS Markit.

The Culture Clash

IHS Markit provides analytics and intelligence to financial service providers, governments, and other major industries. Headquartered in London, UK, it employs 16,000 people globally.

IHS Markit needed to bring together a rapidly growing number of hybrid operations to gain full visibility across the business and manage incidents from a centralized command center. The company had grown through acquisition and now offered around 700 customer-facing services and 300 internal services. Tracking for incidents at this scale was incredibly challenging, and was made harder by the conflicting requirements held by different areas of the business.

  • The DevOps team wanted to remain “agile, autonomous, and awesome,” with full control over all its monitoring needs. A core requirement from DevOps was that the team did not want to raise tickets or have to log on to ServiceNow.
  • The operations command center (OCC) team was rooted in a more traditional IT infrastructure library (ITIL) structure and based its system on ServiceNow. The team wanted better scheduling and escalation policies, but with “zero impact to the existing, mature incident management processes.”
  • Compliance wanted to track controls and records in a common system of record in ServiceNow, particularly as IHS Markit has many products under various regulatory regimes.
  • Management requested global oversight across all teams, whether the team was more aligned with DevOps or sat within the more traditional ITIL side. Management wanted ServiceNow to provide this visibility.

IHS Markit already had PagerDuty in place, but wanted to expand its use. John Kennedy, Director of Observability at IHS Markit, explained, “We wanted to bring incident management together into one enterprise offering that was horizontal across the company and properly managed.”

A Solution for Everyone

To achieve this, IHS Markit integrated ServiceNow incidents with PagerDuty. IHS Markit worked with PagerDuty’s customer success team to customize the PagerDuty platform to accommodate all requirements and improve operations. 

This enabled the DevOps team to maintain ownership of their services within PagerDuty. For these teams, the ServiceNow integration was introduced “by stealth”—everything was tracked and recorded in ServiceNow, without them ever having to log into the platform. 

For the OCC team, PagerDuty’s integration with ServiceNow ensured the existing incident management process remained intact. Everyone could monitor major incidents via PagerDuty dashboards, even if they were not yet onboarded in PagerDuty. With one click, incident managers could quickly bring in specialized teams with diverse skills, including senior executives or product experts.

This also fulfilled compliance and management’s visibility requirements, as PagerDuty gave them a single pane of glass through which they could view the entirety of the system.

“All of our major incident management was now being done in PagerDuty, and if the incident occurred outside of it, then our major incident managers would sync it up with PagerDuty,” John explained. “On top of this, they’re using response plays to bring in executives to help us make quick decisions. As a result, we’re getting major benefits, especially on MTTR.”

This better together approach means that central IT has visibility and access across distributed teams. This will be essential as IHS Markit continues its growth journey.

What’s next for IHS Markit?

Looking ahead, IHS Markit will continue to centralize visibility. “There is a huge expansion of agile and DevOps methodology across the company, which means we need to think about the next evolution of our converged model for incident management,” John said.

Maintaining DevOps’ ability to be “agile and autonomous” will also be a major focus. “We need them to be able to create their own technical services, so that means thinking about the technical services in ServiceNow and whether they need to be hooked into our hierarchy there,” John explained. “Governance is important too—how we maintain the quality of the system and how that’s governed centrally.”

As digital transformation continues and teams are more distributed than ever, it’s key that business processes for managing urgent work can operate in real-time. To find out more about how PagerDuty can enhance ServiceNow and other ITSM tools for faster resolution times and enhanced coordination, check out these resources:

How Your ITSM Tool & PagerDuty Make a Dynamic Duo for Real-Time Work

Enhance your ITSM

Solutions brief: Extend ITSM Workflows with PagerDuty

And, if you’re ready to see PagerDuty in action, try us out for free for 14 days.