Knowledge 2020: "Dream" keynote recap

Week 4 highlights from Knowledge 2020

Between now and 2024, businesses are expected to spend more than $7 trillion on digital transformation. There’s a lot at stake with those investments, said ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott, in this week’s “Dream” keynote at Knowledge 2020.  

“The [companies] today that are more digitally transformed will have a real advantage over their peer groups,” he said. “If you look at results, they’re already gaining market share.”

What’s creating those gains? Across the enterprise, McDermott said, “value chains are splitting apart and being reassembled by customers to take advantage of new technological options. If you think about new mobile and conversation tools and the idea of a consumer-grade experience, all of this is pointing to a workflow revolution.”

Yet we’re still at the beginning of this shift. Nine out of 10 Fortune 500 CEOs already have a digital-first strategy, according to McDermott. “But just 4 in 10 are ready for a digital challenge from a competitor. Companies are saying, revamp my business model, help me innovate. Behind every great work experience is a great workflow.”


Dusan Vignjevic

Creating smart experiences

Great work experiences enabled by digital tools and apps don’t just need to be intuitive and easy to use, increasingly, they need to become more intelligent in order to diagnose problems and resolve them quickly and accurately. 

“It’s all about delivering smart experiences,” said ServiceNow chief product officer CJ Desai. That’s one reason why ServiceNow has “spent the past year innovating specifically on user experience technology.” he said. These innovations include investments in machine learning and natural language processing (NLU), which help ensure that new mobile apps and chatbots get smarter and smarter. Ultimately this allows “frictionless interactions between employees and the organization.”

Watch the full keynote (free registration required): The smarter way to workflow



Amy Lokey, ServiceNow head of design and UX,  explained that intelligent mobile apps “can help employees save time and headaches by understanding and responding to their needs in real time without human intervention so people can adjust what they do best—their jobs. 



Concierge-level digital service

Lokey showed a live example of an employee working at home who gets “video-bombed” in a Zoom session,  raising security concerns and causing her to cancel the meeting. Using a mobile app, she quickly reports the issue to an intelligent virtual agent, which solves the issue by upgrading her laptop software, and even orders her a better monitor and keyboard to help her be more productive while working at home. Predictive intelligence helps orchestrate next-day delivery of the new equipment.

“This is personalized, next level help,” said Lokey. “Like a concierge at a five-star hotel. And we all want to be treated this way.”

However, there’s a lot more digital intelligence working behind the scenes. Behind the virtual agent’s slick interface, Desai explained, is an array of orchestrated workflows that connects cybersecurity functions to IT help desk and logistics support. 

Reporting the video-bombing incident triggers machine-learning applications on the back end to analyze and compare it with other similar incidents across the global network. After these apps identify the proper security fix, they “create a quick virtual conversation [with the bot] that will make it easy for the employee to upgrade their software.”

The end result: “You have many IT products and solutions working together so that IT can create a great experience for employees,” said Desai.

That mission continues.  “As I see it, the workflow revolution has only just begun,” McDermott said.  “ServiceNow will be the catalyst to redefine the enterprise—not as it is today, but as it must be tomorrow.”

Head over to the Knowledge 2020 site to view the full keynote


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