Work life should be like real life

  • 2019
  • About ServiceNow
  • CJ Desai
  • Now Platform
May 06, 2019

C.J. Desai: Work life should be like real life

As chief product officer, my job is not just to lead great innovations but to ask philosophical questions, such as: “What actually is work?” Is it a thing you show up for and measure in hours, or is it a passion you pursue and measure in the outcomes you deliver for your customers?

We rarely say, “work was GREAT today.” That’s because great moments at work are pretty rare. Why is it so easy to update a shopping list linked to a grocery delivery service in your personal life, while at work you might find yourself standing outside a conference room arguing over who reserved the room? 

ServiceNow exists to make work, work better for people so that our customers can eliminate manual tasks and do more strategic and satisfying work. This week at our Knowledge® 2019 conference in Las Vegas, we will be sharing our product roadmap, demonstrating future innovations, and showing how ServiceNow is redefining the future of work with digital workflows.

Bring consumer experiences to work
We’ve grown used to great mobile experiences for shopping, socializing, banking and much more. Work is different. A simple, easy, intuitive mobile experience for the enterprise doesn’t yet exist. At ServiceNow, we’re developing high-quality, more human mobile experiences for work. We’re tackling some of the most common work processes, and making them simple, easy and intuitive to do from anywhere. This is all new.

We designed Now Mobile to help employees get work done, solve problems and search for information on-the-go. Now Mobile is designed to allow employees to complete day-to-day work tasks like requesting a new laptop, opening an HR ticket or searching for the holiday calendar, all from the palm of their hand. Employees will be able to get work done with the most-used features on their phones, such as the camera, GPS, microphone, QR code scanner and more. Employees will finally be able work in the same way they use consumer apps to shop, hail rides, and stay in touch with distant friends.

Now Mobile is designed to include any workflow running on the Now Platform®, helping our customers to manage and update the app without writing a single line of code. The Now Platform puts the power of app development in the hands of the business, so that IT, HR and other departments will be able to manage Now Mobile more efficiently and spend their time on projects that make work better for their colleagues.

Create a great onboarding experience
Starting a new job is never easy. Getting your laptop from IT, your benefits from HR, your desk from facilities is complex, time consuming and frustrating. For the first time, we will be showing Mobile Onboarding, which is designed to give employees a consumer-grade mobile experience before they even step through the door at a new job. The app is designed to allow employees  to set up payroll, select the type of computer they will use, and more--all from an intelligent and intuitive app. Simple on the surface, Mobile Onboarding is designed to connect separate HR, Finance, and IT systems and hide the complexity from the user. This is the future of work.

Say “hello” to Siri Shortcuts
In your personal life, how often does Siri help you search for information or contact a friend? Most of us never think about asking Siri to help at work. Now, you can have a quick chat with Siri wherever you are to take care of a complex work task. Let’s say you just received an urgent request from your boss. She needs a summary of all first-tier support tickets from the past week, but you are out of the office, only have your phone with you and are about to step into a meeting. No problem: “Hey Siri, open ServiceNow. Create a report of tier 1 support incidents since Monday and email it to Yvonne Jones at Acme Corporation.” Your boss gets what she needs within minutes. Simple, easy, game-changing.

Work just got better, didn’t it?
This simple experience actually runs on a complex set of digital workflows. Our new Natural Language Understanding technology paired with our new Siri Shortcuts and Google Assistant integrations are designed to translate the voice input to text and determine intent. New Natural Language Query capabilities are designed to use that intent to generate the SQL code necessary to create and send the report, all managed by our Virtual Agent enterprise chatbot solution. The client gets what she needs in minutes and work continues to get better, right?

The best service is no service
Companies increasingly rely on IT to update and maintain digital services for everything from email to payroll to software testing. We are introducing new workspaces and capabilities designed to help IT serve employees, customers and partners.

We are enhancing Agent Workspace with more intelligence to handle tedious, repetitive processes, so IT agents can focus on more strategic, value-added work. We are building the voice, Virtual Agent and NLU capabilities I mentioned earlier to work within Agent Workspace, enabling employees to self-serve with request creation from within Virtual Agent and automatic subscription to services based on specific requests.

With Service Owner Workspace, service owners gain a single interface for complete visibility into the real-time performance of all of the IT services and offerings they provide. Knowledge workers are empowered to act quickly, correctly and confidently – even under stressful situations – to take action on near-term solutions. Service Owner Workspace aims to inform service owners with all the information they need to make smart long-term service investment decisions.

Operator Workspace is designed to help IT optimize digital services and prioritize where to focus operations efforts with a holistic view of application and service health. Operators can manage a large number of services, resources and distributed operations and scale processes to keep up with demand to add services at a rapid pace.

These innovations will make work better for IT agents, service owners and operators.

Meet ServiceNow Finance Operations Management
The month-end close process is one of the most tedious, time-consuming processes in a company. Today, most finance teams rely on manual methods when they are closing their books. They use legacy tools that don’t speak with or connect to each other.

Onstage today at Knowledge 2019, we will show the ServiceNow® Finance Operations Management product and its first application - Finance Close Automation – which is built for the office of the CFO. The Finance Close Automation app is a natural extension of our workflows and platform capabilities. As a complement to enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, Finance Close Automation is designed to help finance and accounting teams digitize their workflows to reduce finance close risk, improve team satisfaction, and accelerate the financial close process.

The idea for Finance Close Automation was conceived by our former Corporate Controller, Amir Jafari, when he envisioned harnessing the power of the Now Platform to improve our manual finance close process. Amir led a team that began innovating the Finance Close Automation app; this team paved the way for NowX, our internal group focused on developing new concepts for products. We invested in his idea and Finance Close Automation is the inaugural product coming to market from NowX. Today, we use the application for our own quarter- and year-end close processes, and Amir now leads the new business unit responsible for Finance Operations Management.

PayPal, a global technology platform and digital payments leader, is an early adopter of the Finance Close Automation application and has already seen positive results. “The ServiceNow Finance Close Automation app is an innovative new solution that brings together all aspects of the finance close process, enabling simplification, transparency, better controls and greater efficiency,” said Aaron Anderson, PayPal’s Chief Accounting Officer and Vice President. “With its entry into the finance arena, we believe ServiceNow will make a meaningful impact on finance departments across industries.”

Deloitte, the lead launch partner for ServiceNow’s Finance Operations Management, shares a passion for infusing innovation and accelerating operational efficiencies. “Working with ServiceNow, we’re helping clients drive digital transformation across their organizations. We are particularly excited to help mutual clients like PayPal realize the potential of enterprise service transformation by extending workflow capabilities to the finance close process,” said April Slovensky, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP

This is the power of digital workflows.

Great moments at work don’t have to be so rare. The Now Platform is the not-so-secret sauce that allows us to deliver experiences that make getting stuff done at work more like our personal lives.

The innovations mentioned above, and more, are expected to be rolled out over the next year in our upcoming New York and Orlando platform releases. By addressing head-on the friction we feel at work, the Now Platform takes care of the work you have to do so you can focus on the work you want to do. That’s delivering onour purpose of making the world of work, work better for people.  

The future of work just might be great and it starts now.

© 2019 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, Now Platform, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Use of Forward‑Looking Statements
This blog post contains “forward‑looking statements” regarding our product roadmap and future innovations and product releases, including but not limited to statements that include words such as expects, intends, aims or similar words conveying that the information is not historical fact. Forward‑looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward‑looking statements. If any such risks or uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions prove incorrect, our results could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward‑looking statements we make. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward‑looking statements include, without limitation, delays or unexpected difficulties related to future product releases, our ability to realize benefits from partnerships, and the ability to develop and gain customer acceptance of new products and services. We undertake no obligation, and do not intend, to update these forward‑looking statements. The information in this blog post on new offerings, features, or functionality is intended to outline our general product direction and should not be relied upon in making a purchasing decision.


  • Digital transformation in healthcare for nurse retention: smiling nurses walking
    Boosting nurse retention through digital transformation in healthcare
    Digital transformation in healthcare is the key to nurse retention. Find out how it can free nurses to focus on their passion: caring for patients.
  • Knowledge 2023 takeaways: a group of women raising their hands
    4 takeaways from Knowledge 2023
    Knowledge 2023 united thousands of ServiceNow customers and colleagues at the first single global user conference in three years. Here are four key takeaways.
  • Artifacts of pride: 3 ServiceNow employees
    Showcasing artifacts of pride
    In honor of Pride Month, three ServiceNow employees share personal artifacts that have shaped their lives. Watch a video and get inspired.

Trends & Research

  • ESG technology: green surrounding a river, woman smiling, 2 government employees in conversation
    Cybersecurity and Risk
    Survey says ESG technology drives results
  • RPA: group of workers gathered around a conference table looking at a laptop
    AI and Automation
    Forrester report: ServiceNow debuts as a Strong Performer in RPA
  • Digital innovation: three workers looking at a computer monitor
    AI and Automation
    Survey says digital innovation is the way to navigate macro uncertainty