The workflow revolution is the future of work

  • Paul Hardy
  • Solutions
  • Crisis Management
  • Jordi Ferrer
  • 2021
07 May 2021

The workflow revolution is the future of work


By Jordi Ferrer and Paul Hardy 

Summary

The world of work is changing – but how should business leaders react?

To answer those questions, ServiceNow’s Vice President and General Manager UKI, Jordi Ferrer, and Innovation Evangelist, Paul Hardy, spoke with Derek Du Preez, influencer and editor at Diginomica to provide insight on what they’re hearing from businesses on the ground, and offer advice on how organisations can seize this change, rather than be swept over by it.

Intro                                                                                                   

Paul Hardy and Jordi Ferrer speak to customers and partners daily, and the message they’re hearing from business leaders is clear: right now is a defining moment for business.

Despite the many challenges businesses have faced as a result of the pandemic and its fallout, it’s important to recognise that there are many opportunities and successes to be had too. The key concern however is, how do we make the positives of the past years permanent? And how do we continue to improve?

Getting that right will require us to develop a clear focus on what business leaders need right now. According to Paul, the overarching priorities are identical across the board: businesses are looking to protect and grow their businesses, reduce costs, and move from managing risk to prioritising risk.

In our three-part podcast series, we delve into why – and how – business leaders can harness workflows to make those priorities a reality.

Episode 1: The workflow revolution

Our first episode delves into why workflows are critical to changing and adapting to new ways of working.

Paul Hardy summarises: Functionally orientated organisations create functional silos. But work is cross-functional, and having data stuck in one place is a real stumbling block. Clearing the logjam requires us to switch focus from “How have we done it in the past, and how do we make old systems work?” to, “What is the right way to do it now?”

A key part of shifting that focus will be changing business leaders’ mindsets. Humans are naturally change-averse, but, with so much responsibility on their shoulders, business leaders can be even more so. For the companies powering digital transformation, Paul explains why it’s important to show, rather than tell the benefits of digital transformation in order to truly convince businesses that change is necessary.

Jordi Ferrer then offers some tips for businesses looking to start the journey towards digital transformation. While it’s important to focus on ground up transformation – not just digital – Jordi is clear that there’s no need to discard all your old tools and processes. Working with what you have, and making it more efficient, is the best, least disruptive, and most cost-effective way to succeed.

Listen to Episode 1 here

Episode 2: The future of work

Episode 2 delves into the state of work right now: how we can banish misconceptions that plague our conversations about work, and what the path forward looks like?

Paul leads with a striking observation: many of us have become disillusioned with AI and work automation. These topics have been around for some time now, and people have yet to see the huge transformations they expected.

To be blunt, it’s time for a reality check – businesses need to focus on what the true purpose of AI and machine learning is. It’s not about flying cars, or robots taking over our jobs – it’s about helping us get our jobs done and reducing the mundane tasks that make them a chore.

Why? Because experience matters – we have all, no doubt, endured the frustrations of bad service. If the past year has taught us anything it’s just how flexible supply chains need to be in order to meet our expectations.

Businesses that want to succeed in the future need to get experience right – and that includes employee experience as well as customer experience. But the good news is it doesn’t need to be complex. It’s a case of having the right tools, in the right environment. If you get that right, the rest will come naturally.

Listen to Episode 2 here

Episode 3: Implementing workflows

In the final episode, the panel looks into how workflows materialise, and the ways in which they’re bringing great results to businesses right now.

Paul and Jordi delve into ServiceNow’s partnership with the NHS, which continues to underpin the national vaccine delivery programme, and explain how it serves as a great example of a successful workflow.

The two then explore the single data model and architecture that underpins great workflows. According to Paul and Jordi, it’s a question of integration: we all want tools to integrate well, and getting one clear view of data ensures we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. That single view also allows us to move forward based on what truth is, rather than different opinions on what the truth might be.

Paul and Jordi then round up the series with their recommendations on workflow strategy in the future, prioritising speed, experience, people, and working out of the box.

Listen to Episode 3 here

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