ServiceNow’s Dave Wright, chief innovation officer, and Jacqui Canney, chief people officer, present at Knowledge 2022.

May 13 2022

Knowledge 2022: How Is Digital Transformation Changing the User Experience?

Conversations at ServiceNow’s annual conference centered on optimizing employee and customer experiences for efficient business operations.

The largest cities in America and around the world — New York, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Tokyo — were founded near major bodies of water because the transportation technology at the time required waterways for trade and travel. Even as technology progressed and developed, people still gravitated to these settlements.

In the same way, many workflows and businesses are built on the principals of outdated technologies. “When we made all the technology, we never bothered changing how we worked,” Dave Wright, ServiceNow’s chief innovation officer, said in a Knowledge 2022 session in New York City Wednesday.

In a conversational session titled “The Future of Work Is Already Here: Rethinking the Employee Experience” with Jacqui Canney, ServiceNow’s chief people officer, Wright said business leaders now have the opportunity to rethink the way people work.

The changes people can make, and have made, since the onset of the pandemic affect not just where and when but also how they work. As enterprises continue to undergo digital transformation, technology can solve both new problems and problems that have long troubled professional teams.

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Remote and Hybrid Work Requires a New Management Mindset

At the start of remote work, teams of employees that had previously worked from an office found themselves overwhelmed with meetings.

Companies didn’t have a system of trust, so when there was no in-person visibility into the work, managers instead scheduled “a million Zoom calls,” Wright said.

Managers needed a tool that provided insight into their team members’ tasks, deadlines and status. Digitally transformed workflows supply these insights, giving employees the freedom to work when and where they want without management oversight bordering on interference.

MORE FROM KNOWLEDGE: ServiceNow leaders speak on digital transformation in event keynote.

The switch to remote work also meant that managers needed to be trained in different skills.

Investment in managers, necessary to reduce employee stress, meant training to develop empathy and problem-solving skills, Canney said.

Working remotely, especially during the Great Resignation, also required breaking down the silo between the HR department and other teams. Digitizing the process of recruitment, development and onboarding allows for more cross-collaboration and communication between teams, something that’s needed not only in HR.

Internal Process Improvements Lead to a Better Customer Experience

At “Keeping the Customer as the Focus in Digital Transformation,” a roundtable session hosted by Hannah Datz, vice president of customer workflow at ServiceNow, IT leaders agreed that customer experience is the responsibility of every employee within the company. The participants, who represented roles in various industries, also agreed that customer experience is rarely a goal for all employees.

The communication breakdown between IT and marketing negatively impacts the company’s ability to serve the customer, said Ben Brooks, technology product owner at the Federal Reserve System. Instead of working in silos, teams need visibility into colleagues’ workflows and priorities.

KEEP READING: IT leaders face greater challenges in a work-from-anywhere world.

Jonathan Warren, Central Hudson team lead for cloud and enterprise services, pointed out that even updating and adopting processes becomes a sticking point when teams don’t communicate. Adopting new technologies, or even user interfaces, can create problems internally and for customers.

“You push an update out, and the UI is a different color or a button moves, and suddenly they need six hours of training to use it,” Warren said.

In improving processes and communication internally, the participants agreed that customer feedback should be shared across departments to allow organizations to incorporate it.

Companies need to look at whether they’re using feedback to change and improve processes for the customer or just meet KPIs, said Teagan Poole, an HR process analyst at Kwik Trip.

Digitally transforming and automating data sharing, process visibility and employee workflows can ensure enterprises continue to evolve with the technology of the times.

Bookmark this page to follow all of BizTech’s Knowledge 2022 coverage, and follow along on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine.

Photo by Rebecca Torchia

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