How ServiceNow IT drives innovation and results

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  • 2020
April 16, 2020

Digital transformation

Innovation is an overused word, but it drives passionate responses from ServiceNow IT. While they may disagree on many issues, our IT practitioners are united in their belief that innovation is an essential part of their daily work. They are constantly seeking new ways to make work, work better for our employees and customers. 

There are many flavors of innovation in IT today. Some will have significant impact, others less. But even small ideas can build on each other to produce significant results.

Automating analytics
ServiceNow’s Analytics team is always looking for new ways to provide insights to users. And our users are always pushing us to think bigger. They aren’t content to just understand situations. They also want to automate next steps and close the loop with actions or course corrections, an elusive goal in the analytics world.

Our product team decided to try process mining. Using the alerting and workflow capabilities of the Now Platform® they figured out how to proactively send periodic updates to account teams. 

“We began by capturing alerts and actions on the platform across all customers and account managers,” said Satish Mallavolu, director of data informatics management at ServiceNow. “Then we used process mining to identify potential bottlenecks so account managers can take action to achieve desired business outcomes. Now our account teams can be proactive in remediating issues to ensure our customers are getting real value out of their ServiceNow investment.”

We are also using the mined data to spot bottlenecks in our own processes. Are there service delivery gaps or a slowdown in handoffs? By remediating internal process issues, we are able to drive continuous improvement in our own workflows. 

Coaching loops for IT support
With more than 10,000 ServiceNow employees and an average of one incident per employee per month, it’s become challenging for managers to evaluate the quality of IT support service delivery. Listening to taped calls using a checklist required lots of time and patience. Surveys were helpful, but the feedback wasn’t necessarily actionable. 

IT leaders turned to coaching loops that automate data collection about the quality of IT support’s activities. “We plan to use ITSM reporting to automatically generate reports with relevant data such as introduction quality, percentage of calls closed, and percentage needing follow up,” said Mirza Baig, senior director of IT service management at ServiceNow. “At a glance, we will be able to see how an IT support tech is performing against industry benchmarks and coach and train techs so they continue to improve and deliver a consistent, quality experience.”

Reinventing customer support

For years, our customer support teams used ServiceNow’s IT Service Management tools to manage customer service, then recently transitioned to ServiceNow's Customer Service Management. Now comes the fun and challenging part--innovating. “We are pushing the boundaries of technologies such as AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and user-centered design to rethink our customer interactions, said Luke Morris, director of customer service management at ServiceNow.

That means thinking big. “We want our customers to be able to resolve every situation they can via self-service while increasing customer satisfaction,” Morris added. “We want them to say wow at the end of every interaction. That requires mature adoption of emerging tech, digitizing our processes, and innovating on full-stack Customer Service Management as quickly as possible. We would be one of the first companies to do this.

AIOps adoption shifts 10% of budget

AI everywhere
In IT operations, innovation is about pushing the limits of AI to make work, work better for employees.

“If we can proactively predict issues within operations, we can take steps to minimize their impact on employees,” said Thangavel Viswam, director of IT operations at ServiceNow.

To identify operational anomalies, Viswam’s team correlates data from advanced monitoring tools running on our back-end infrastructure with employee behavioral data collected using AI. By correlating the two, the team can predict and prevent operational issues before they arise. So far, AIOps adoption has helped IT shift 10% of ServiceNow’s IT budget from operations to growth initiatives.

Operational excellence

Innovation in IT operations management requires discipline and patience. “It’s about executing well on a bunch of small areas that, when built on each other, turn into something powerful, said Joe Corpion, director of technology operations governance at ServiceNow. “You can’t innovate unless the foundation is in place.”

Data is the key to driving smarter decisions in three areas of IT operations management: technology, process, and people.

  •  A common services data model (CSDM) gives IT a holistic view of the service health of key applications in which ServiceNow has significant investments. That helps them make better decisions based on an accurate view of costs, service availability, and value realization.
  • An IT ops dashboard displays overall IT operational health and helps our IT staff to more quickly identify and fix weaknesses in areas such as problem management, vulnerability, SLAs, and SOX compliance.
  • A persona-based learning matrix empowers managers to ensure each employee has the training and certifications they need to grow in their jobs. The matrix also helps improve the quality and consistency of service delivery.

What do you get when you add all these changes together? Progress on our journey toward operational excellence.

Want to learn more about innovation at ServiceNow? Check out The Innovation Issue of Workflow Quarterly, our research publication.

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