Each year, I look forward to Now at Work. When you’ve been doing this as long as I have, though, you look forward to some years more than others. Fortunately, this is one of those years, and the reason why is right there in its name.
Has there ever been a more exciting time to explore what’s happening now at work?
That’s what we are doing today, and it starts with our keynote where we discuss two sides of the same coin: how digital workflows, specifically those included in the Paris release of the Now Platform, enable a dispersed workforce while simultaneously guiding us back to the workplace safely.
I’ll leave the latter story to ServiceNow’s Head of Workplace Services, Robert Teed. To set the stage for Now at Work 2020, it’s interesting to consider the history of modern work.
Decoupling “how” we work from “where”
For more than 150 years, work patterns changed very little. Even as technology advanced, we maintained organizational designs—employees working the same hours from the same places—that first arose when the advent of steam power brought workers to centralized factories.
Then, in the blink of an eye, that shifted. In this new world of work, “how” we work is decoupled from “where” we work. Today, we are simply working—wherever and whenever we choose. In my Now at Work keynote, I explore what that means and what’s required for it to continue.
One thing has become clear during this global experiment: whether your employees remain remote or return to the workplace, digital workflows and technology are the key to success in the COVID economy and beyond.
Together, they enable the agility and visibility organizations need to emerge from this pandemic bigger and better than before. And they play an important part in the new organizational structures replacing our old, often inflexible ways of working.
Digital workflows deliver a 21st century organization
The pandemic has opened everyone’s eyes to the value of digital transformation and the cost of manual, rigid processes.
COVID-19 has forced companies to accelerate these transformations and become 21st century tech-enabled organizations. Most are more resilient as a result, with happier, more productive employees. We have the opportunity to fundamentally reimagine how work, works for every single person. There is no going back.
That’s our role at ServiceNow. The Now Platform digitizes manual processes and connects enterprise siloes so that work flows smoothly across your organization. In doing so, we deliver great experiences for employees and customers alike.
The Paris release continues that story, but it’s also our furthest step yet towards becoming the workflow engine of the entire enterprise. With it, organizations can improve business continuity, enhance productivity, and pursue new growth opportunities.
Automating business continuity
According to an IDC survey of over 900 global IT leaders, business continuity is the number one priority for most IT leaders. The Paris release automates business continuity programs so employees can focus on closing gaps, addressing organizational changes, and working with stakeholders to increase resiliency.
I’m particularly interested in our new Process Optimization feature, which looks beyond data in a system to the data around processes executed within that system. That helps identify bottlenecks and fix processes that aren’t obviously broken but could be significantly strengthened. It’s all automated so organizations can continuously improve their processes.
Automation also defines our Advanced Risk Assessment and Business Continuity Management features. By continuously assessing risk, these tools help organizations anticipate and minimize disruptions.
Improved business continuity tends to support business productivity, but the Paris release also introduces features that boost productivity directly. Here I’ll highlight three innovations that deliver smarter experiences through intelligent, cross-enterprise workflows.
Process Automation Designer, for example, allows employees to easily create and manage cross-enterprise workflows, which makes it easy to handle processes like onboarding and customer complaints.
Predictive Intelligence Workbench helps organizations add artificial intelligence to these workflows. IT can deploy machine learning models with zero coding skills that then guide employees and automate workflows.
Lastly, Vulnerability and Assignment Recommendations uses AI to route software vulnerabilities to the right owners.
The Paris release also includes features to help companies optimize their spending.
Software Asset Management helps organizations do so by monitoring SaaS usage across applications accessed via Microsoft Azure. Our Hardware Asset Management tool performs a similar task for hardware assets. The new Cloud Insights solution generates advice on how to optimize Azure spend.
These products are valuable in and of themselves, but the real message is not product specific. It’s the way smart organizations are using workflows to surface information, automate mundane tasks, and prepare for a world forever reshaped by COVID-19.
In this world, it doesn’t matter where work is done as long it is, in fact, done. Our workflows ensure that’s the case.
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