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Raleigh North Carolina logo

Raleigh, NC builds world-class services to match world-class quality of life


FTEs reassigned to focus on citizen services


City departments consolidated on 1 platform


Less time spent processing records requests

Raleigh, North Carolina is a thriving city focused on providing a high quality of life to citizens alongside an innovative infrastructure. Using the Now Platform, Raleigh has a single service management platform to streamline city‑wide workflows and connect departments throughout the city.

Operational excellence helps make Raleigh one of the best places to live
Raleigh, North Carolina is consistently recognized as one of the best places to live in the United States. Part of that is because its city government focuses on organizational excellence: retaining staff, working effectively, creating transparency, and ensuring staff can provide the services residents need to keep the city great.

Ensuring that all staff efficiently provide services can be a challenge for a city the size of Raleigh, which has nearly 500,000 residents. The city has 20 different departments that acted as 20 different business lines—many with their own IT service management systems, processes, and people.

The city realized an opportunity to better serve its employees with centralized and consolidated IT services
The IT Department’s Customer Support Center (CSC) had deployed a service-desk solution for use throughout Raleigh, but it lacked a customer portal for status tracking. The solution needed heavy customization to fit the needs of non-CSC users, but that customization was difficult to do, leaving a system that was hard to use. Some staff didn’t want to use the system because it wasn’t designed with their needs or processes in mind. Instead, many employees simply emailed or called an IT support representative directly for help. Those support reps often handled requests on their own, outside of the CSC solution and without any tracking and reporting.

Some departments built their own IT service management solutions, so there were five different systems in use throughout the city, and some departments used email or tracked status in spreadsheets.

The overall result was a lack of transparency or accountability, and end users had no visibility into the status of their service requests.

“We were not working efficiently,” says Beth Stagner, Raleigh’s Director of Enterprise Applications and Data. “Something would be started with CSC, and they could be turning their wheels in the service-desk solution, but the requestor didn’t know that, so they would reach out to someone else, and that other person would start working on the same problem, duplicating work.”

With ServiceNow, Raleigh found the perfect system to unify all its IT groups and drive work productivity
“The city wanted a single enterprise platform for all users that would revolve around IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes,” Beth says. They wanted out-of-the-box usage rather than a solution that had to be customized or required an onerous process to upgrade.

They found that platform with ServiceNow. “It was love at first sight,” Beth says, emphatically. “This is the right fit. This is what we need.”

Raleigh replaces six point solutions with one service management platform—and gains nine FTEs
Raleigh IT deployed the Now Platform for change management, incident reporting, and request fulfillment, and then expanded it into other areas, including asset management, password resets, and employee onboarding.

The team also used the Now Platform to deliver an enterprise service portal to manage requests and allow employees to self-service answers to their questions. Assignments and rules were automated so that service requests requiring more than level-one support automatically get routed to the right group.

The IT Service Request Portal is so user-friendly that other departments were eager to move their service request system to the Now Platform. To date, seven departments use it. City employees at these departments have one place to go for IT service requests. Based on user criteria defined by IT, each employee has access to personally relevant service catalog items.

Eliminating five separate IT service management solutions plus their previous project management solution saved the equivalent of three full-time employees (FTEs) who managed them. Additionally, the call center staff has reduced from a peak of eight to just two FTEs. Those nine employees have been deployed to other areas where they can more directly impact the services provided to Raleigh constituents.

ServiceNow solved every challenge we had with the old system. We really focused on making it easy to meet users’ needs so that they can focus on meeting residents’ needs.

Spencer Smith

Enterprise Applications Manager

Raleigh was determined to take advantage of ServiceNow’s vast capabilities to solve workflow problems citywide
“Starting out, we were looking for an IT service management tool, but we realized this platform can be the base for so many things,” Spencer says. “We’re starting to reap those benefits across the board by using ServiceNow as the single platform for many services.”

In addition to managing IT services, departments leverage the platform to streamline other work processes. After the IT team used ServiceNow® Discovery and ServiceNow® Configuration Management Database to create a single source of truth into the city’s IT infrastructure, the Police Department implemented the CMDB to manage its devices, including mobile phones.

The Parks, Recreation, and Culture Resources Department (Parks & Rec) used the employee service portal to add a catalog for marketing requests, social media, and campaigns. For all Parks & Rec events, employees request marketing support in the service portal, and the marketing team tracks progress within ServiceNow.

Like the IT team, the marketing team reports that partnerships with its customers have strengthened as a result of the new transparency and responsiveness enabled by the Now Platform.

Beyond organizational-level uses, ServiceNow has become a personal productivity tool throughout the city. Beth says, “People are using it to track their tasks and manage their individual and their team work, which says a lot about how they want to be in the platform.”

Departments across the city increase collaboration and build stronger connections
“Sometimes information and requests would fall into the deep chasms that existed between departments and never make their way out,” Beth says. “With ServiceNow, we’ve gotten rid of that. There’s a lot more communication, and it’s easier to see what actions people have taken on a service request or project.”

Spencer agrees: “With ServiceNow, we’ve broken down silos, not only within the IT Department, but across all the other groups we work with. Now we’re really collaborating more.”

After its internal successes, Raleigh is now focusing on using the Now Platform for citizen services
Using ServiceNow, the Communications Department created a new automated and streamlined workflow for managing public record requests.

The city typically gets 800 public records requests per year. Previously, the process produced a lot of frustration for citizens and Communications staff responsible for fulfilling those requests. There was limited visibility into whether multiple citizens were making similar requests, or whether a request went to multiple departments. This resulted in duplicative work and inconsistent responses to citizens.

The team estimates this new workflow, which includes an online form to submit requests rather than having to email, phone, or fax in the request, will save 200 hours per year and reduce the amount of time staff spends processing public records requests by 50%—freeing up extra employee time to focus on more impactful service delivery for citizens.

“ServiceNow provided the ability for reporting and analytics on requests to better manage the process,” Spencer says.

Raleigh will leverage ServiceNow reporting and analytics capabilities to get further insight to streamline the process, including self-service for requested data.

Raleigh will continue to depend on ServiceNow to address business needs
Spencer estimates the transition to ServiceNow is saving the city an estimated $315,000 a year from eliminating IT service management platforms and extra licensing agreements and time saved dealing with the previous service-desk solution. Getting rid of the previous project-management tool and moving to the ServiceNow® Project Management module saved another $50,000.

As the city continues its growth, ServiceNow will grow with it, says Raleigh’s Chief Information Officer, Darnell Smith.

“ServiceNow is a foundational product for the city of Raleigh,” he says. “As new business needs arise, it is one of the first products we assess for developing a solution. Its feature-rich offerings allowed us to rapidly deploy solutions on a single enterprise platform. We will continue to deploy additional functionality over the coming years to provide even more efficiency gains for the city.”

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