May 05 2020

Knowledge 2020: ServiceNow’s Event Opens with 'Thank You' to IT

Through quick transformation, some organizations have found simplifying their IT platforms to be invaluable.

The working world has gone digital, and IT departments are to thank for it.

That was the message during the opening session of ServiceNow’s Knowledge 2020, as Senior Vice President of IT Workflows Pablo Stern gave a keynote address.

“We’re in unprecedented times, and IT is absolutely the hero,” said Stern.

The event — a six-week extravaganza of workshops, breakout sessions and keynote addresses — began by looking back at what organizations have been going through over the past several weeks. Organizations have had to make quick, effective pivots while maintaining employee workflows. 

“It really started with teams having to work remotely overnight,” said Stern. “But then they moved on, and dev teams had to adapt.” 

ServiceNow Chief Innovation Officer David Wright said that this change wouldn’t have been possible during any other time.

“If it weren’t for the technological advances in the past 10 to 15 years, we wouldn’t be able to do this,” said Wright. 

3 Steps to a Simplified IT Platform

Organizations big and small have been forced to go digital amid the health crisis. Modernization processes that once took organizations months or even years were boiled down to weeks or days as a matter of survival. 

“Digital is the new normal,” said Stern. “It’s to deliver an experience not only for their employees, so that they can be more productive, but for their customers so they can get the service they’ve come to count on.”

What has still been an ongoing process, according to Stern, is getting different parts of the business connected.

“HR has a system of record, finance has a system of record, sales has a system of record. But IT’s a rat’s nest being held together with bailing wire,” said Stern. “ServiceNow is really about unifying that world of work”

MORE FROM BIZTECH: How banks can prepare for long-term remote work.

He says that journey toward unification has been happening in three steps:

  • Modernization: When IT departments are being overloaded with queries and tickets, it can be difficult for them to take a broader view of improving the organization. Empowering employees to become more self-sufficient can go a long way to freeing up IT’s time. In addition to training and bots, adopting cloud services that are easy to navigate can help keep employees on the right track. “We’re focusing on making tickets a thing of the past,” said Stern.
  • Increasing operational resilience: Driving up efficiencies in the business is a key component to any IT strategy, said Stern. This begins with getting everyone working on the same platform and within the same system. This is also where tools that utilize artificial intelligence and machine learning can help. “Use AI and ML for what they can really do, which is drive insight to help you take actions,” said Stern. This includes identifying any potential points of friction, as well as automating more mundane tasks.
  • Driving fast innovation: Many companies are transitioning right now to a more agile framework, but Stern said they’re still coming from legacy systems, forcing many of them to have a foot in both worlds. “At ServiceNow, we think about a hybrid world, and how do we unify those two for our customers?” said Stern. As they move more toward DevOps, dev teams will be able to easily collaborate with the operational side.

Also part of the opening address: a glimpse into what’s to come, including stories from the state of Washington’s health department. Two health department officials joined the opening session briefly, describing how they were able to coordinate their response to the health crisis with schedules and applications derived from ServiceNow. 

As the ServiceNow event unfolds, each week will focus on a different aspect of digital transformation to help organizations move to more modern operations. This week’s theme will be “Accelerate,” with a focus on taking work to the next level. 

Keep this page bookmarked for articles from Knowledge 2020 and join the conversation on Twitter @BizTechMagazine.

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