Highlights from the ServiceNow Federal Forum

  • Jonathan Alboum
  • Government
  • About ServiceNow
  • 2020
March 04, 2020

Last week, ServiceNow hosted its annual Federal Forum, where federal leaders and industry partners convened for one day in Washington, D.C. to discuss how they are digitizing services for federal employees and citizens. Having joined the ServiceNow team less than a year ago and having previously worked in the federal government, I was fortunate to hear our federal customers share their dynamic stories and learn more about the steps they are taking to accelerate their modernization journey. Here are some of the key highlights from the day:

Embracing Digital Evolution: The federal government has reached an inflection point when it comes to addressing the needs of the evolving workforce and meeting the modern day demands of citizens, who expect services to be delivered at the same rate and quality as those in their everyday lives. In his opening remarks, ServiceNow’s Brian Marvin, Vice President of Federal Sales focused on the federal government’s need to move away from a finite “digital transformation” to a “digital evolution.” In my keynote, I noted that this shift in the landscape has made it more critical than ever for federal agencies to demonstrate value for citizens – their most valuable customers. Federal agencies can demonstrate value through a four-step approach: envisioning value; creating value; validating value; and championing success.

Retaining Top Talent How-To’s: To ensure the federal government is successful in its digital evolution, Sherry Van Sloun, Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Human Capital, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, highlighted the critical investment agencies should make in diverse and highly skilled talent. Van Sloun explained that for years, federal agencies prioritized mission systems over their most valuable assets: employees. However, in order to avoid unwanted skills gaps and retention challenges, federal agencies must foster strategic partnerships with private industry to create public-private talent exchanges, which enable their mobile workforce to move between jobs in both industry sectors.


Optimizing Change Management Begins at the Infrastructure Level: José Arrieta, Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) held an interesting conversation with his colleague, Perryn Ashmore, Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer and Acting Customer Experience Executive, HHS, to break down the ways they scale their relationships with industry partners to optimize change management across HHS. Arrieta said, “any level of change creates tension – a leader in a federal agency needs to accept and embrace this.” In addition, he explained that in a highly federated environment, the best way to drive change is by focusing a couple of layers below the managerial layer and instead placing a greater emphasis on infrastructure, specifically the human layer and design sessions. Arrieta emphasized that this approach – and I wholeheartedly agree – will ensure federal agencies maximize their budgets and ultimately enable them to show their mission results, such as creating programs to help citizens struggling with opioid addiction.

Transforming the Employee Experience at Every Step of the Service Delivery Value Chain: One of the best ways to bolster employee experience is through greater collaboration between agency CIOs and employee experience transformation managers, according to Blair Duncan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Chief Human Capital Officer of HHS. However, current employees weren’t the only focus for the panel, which was led by Greg Horvath, Managing Director of the CIO Advisory at KPMG . Duncan told the crowd that HHS is increasingly looking at ways to strengthen the experiences for prospective candidates in addition to their current workforce.

Managing Robotics Process Automation Enterprise Capabilities: Federal civilian, defense and intelligence communities continue to integrate emerging technology to automate everyday tasks in the workplace. With this in mind, the afternoon sessions were used to showcase best practices for integrating robotics process automation (RPA), AI and machine learning to accelerate the pace of work.


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