ServiceNow Utah is the latest version of the ServiceNow platform. It focuses on improving processes, hence the addition of process mining. Looking at other updates, we see a focus on workplace design, health and safety within organizations and more opportunities to get the most out of your workforce.
Prior to the release of Utah, we spoke briefly with Dave Wright, Chief Innovation Officer at ServiceNow, to hear from him directly what he believes are the most important updates in this Utah release. He states that there are over 100 new features in Utah, but that the addition of process mining is a significant feature. Process mining helps organisations tremendously with their demand to optimize business processes.
For many organizations, the focus right now is still on further digitizing and optimizing processes. At enterprise organizations, ServiceNow plays a massive role in this with its Now platform. At large organizations, you increasingly see vastly expanded processes where one step prevents the next from being executed. Or the process needs input from an employee again.
A good example of this is onboarding, where everything has to be gone through step-by-step. Over the years, all sorts of steps have been added. As a result, onboarding can become enormously complex. If you apply process mining to it, it can often be set up more efficiently. Now you see, for example, that an employee returns to the process at several steps to provide data. A simple efficiency improvement could be to have the new employee immediately fill out and submit everything so that processes can be completed faster.
What does ServiceNow do?
For those who don’t know ServiceNow very well, the company once started with ITSM, but the platform is now much more than that. It is most commonly used to develop workflows and applications on top of the Now platform that connects to all the different applications and tools within an organisation. What sets ServiceNow apart from standard automation tools is that you can also develop applications on it, so everything happens within the ServiceNow platform. It’s more or less the lubricant within an enterprise organization to build and manage processes efficiently. We explained it in detail a few years ago.
ServiceNow’s process mining can analyze and visualize the entire process within the Now Platform. So that, as an organization, you get a good view of which steps are completed in a process, where the dependencies are and where possible optimizations can be realized.
At ServiceNow, they have already applied this to their own organization and achieved enormous time savings and efficiency. The organization uses nearly 1,000 automated processes in the Now Platform, with inefficiencies creeping in quickly. Sometimes it is the simple things that can significantly improve business processes. For example, an approval process, where 3 or 4 different managers have to give their approval within a business process. When you evaluate that internally, only one or maybe two approvals are often needed to complete the process.
Process mining in ServiceNow Utah
What is good to point out is that with process mining, ServiceNow can only analyze the Now Platform. Often connections are made within processes to third-party solutions. What happens to data and the process at third-party solutions is not visible to ServiceNow and, therefore, cannot be analyzed with process mining. However, ServiceNow can provide insight into how long a process has to wait on that third party before it can continue.
ServiceNow Workforce Optimization has also received enhancements so that organizations can better manage and deploy their workforce. This gives management and HR a better overview of the overall workforce, internal teams, employees’ skills, and what kind of work lies ahead. Managers can also better match work to employees with the right skills. ServiceNow owes this functionality mainly to its acquisition of Hitch; its technology is now integrated into the Now Platform.
ServiceNow Utah Health and Safety
In extension to that, Wright states that staff has had much greater awareness about health and safety. That awareness has been created in part by COVID-19. It also ensures that incidents at work are reported much earlier. There has always been a greater focus on safety in specific industries, such as the oil and gas or other industries where safety plays an important role. ServiceNow is now seeing an increase in reports in office environments. Ultimately, this is important because reports of minor incidents can prevent a potentially large incident.
It allows organizations to get a better picture of incidents with specific equipment or offices. Based on the reports, action can be taken to prevent incidents. Organisations are also taking steps in the area of health. The mental health of workers has gotten much more attention since COVID-19. How do people feel? Is the current way of working the right one for the employee? Some employees perform better and are happier working from home, while others need more contact in the office with colleagues.
This brings us straight to workplace management. ServiceNow mentioned two solutions in the Utah launch that directly affect the workplace. Namely Workplace Lease Administration, which stores and analyzes office space leases. There is also Workplace Space Management, which allows organizations to redesign their office spaces and workplaces. This is certainly important today, as hybrid working has increased demand for meeting spaces and reduced demand for workstations.
These two solutions provide organizations the insight needed to make informed decisions about leases and office layouts.
Better insight into IT outages and security incidents
As Wright points out, there are over 100 new features, and we can’t mention them all. Some of them are worth mentioning. There are some optimizations in Security Incident Response Workspace and Operational Resilience Workspace. In both solutions, the focus has been on improving the visibility of incidents. In Security Incident Response, security analysts can better investigate incidents from a central portal. This allows them to work more efficiently and make faster decisions when it matters. Especially with the increase in data, creating reports and automating processes quickly is very important to get to a solution.
With Operational Resilience Workspace, there is now a 360-degree view of all outages, vulnerabilities and other failures. So that IT can also identify the cause of a problem faster and roll out the solution.
Finally, ServiceNow has introduced a Theme Builder that allows organizations to easily replace the ServiceNow logo with their own logo on the Now platform. You can also make the colors more consistent with your organization’s corporate identity.