Major Energy Sector Organization Increases Visibility into IT Operations with ServiceNow

Audit Requirements Propel Digital Transformation

As a major player in the midstream energy sector, this organization is responsible for the safe, efficient, and responsible transportation, storage, and distribution of refined petroleum products and crude oil.

The energy sector supplies fuel and transportation to households, businesses, and other critical infrastructure sectors. Efforts are being made sector-wide to increase planning and preparedness, including cybersecurity and IT service management (ITSM) investments to boost efficiency and resiliency.

As the energy sector faces increased competitive and regulatory pressures, supply chain challenges, and changing consumer expectations around sustainability, the company turned to Acorio to help implement a digital-first strategy to support the organization into the future.

Lack of Visibility Creates Audit Challenges

Operating across half of the United States and supporting over 1,700 employees, this organization lacked a structure for administering the end-to-end management of IT services – including handling the challenges and risks associated with IT assets. Without visibility over assets, this organization had no clear reporting of the number of deployed devices, where those devices were, or if they were up to date. This lack of visibility in a highly regulated industry resulted in failed audits.

Like many organizations, this company struggled with manual processes such as spreadsheets to track hardware and software assets. For this organization, tracking is made more complicated by its size and highly mobile workforce. Beyond compliance requirements, the lack of visibility made managing risk, security, and cost efficiencies difficult.

Internal stakeholders turned to Acorio to help future-proof IT processes to Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) best practices supported by ServiceNow. The organization hoped to implement new digital workflows to:

  • Create an accurate, up-to-date picture of IT infrastructure
  • Improve visibility into hardware and software assets
  • Improve IT productivity
  • Manage and optimize IT services
  • Identify, track, and resolve incidents fast

Acorio came to the table with extensive experience in the Energy sector and trusted strength in Advisory Services to help kick-start a digital transformation on the ServiceNow platform. In addition to meeting future reporting requirements, our project uncovered and measured opportunities with ServiceNow to help plan for a digital-first operating model that extends well into the future.

A Single Source of Truth

The organization replaced disparate, manual business processes with a ServiceNow platform that accurately connects people, systems, and assets across the organization. To get started, Acorio worked with the organization on its ServiceNow Discovery implementation, a process designed to document the entire IT infrastructure and applications (on-premise and cloud) to create a real-time source of information in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

As this was the first Discovery process to replace manual information silos, it was lengthy and required a coordinated effort to carefully turn off and on firewalls to extract siloed information. Once completed, the organization finally had a single system of record to meet compliance requirements, understand health and usage trends, and help support data-driven decision-making.

Improve Service Response

As a trusted ServiceNow partner, Acorio helped the organization align to best practices and create a short and long-term plan to roll out additional ServiceNow modules to support the asset environment, boost IT productivity, and help keep employees productive and happy. The organization rolled out a Service Catalog, Incident Management, and Major Incident Management modules.

The Service Catalog provides employees with a portal for easy access to request service and product offerings on their own. Self-provisioning or self-service IT has been proven to reduce the number of requests and provide the “on-demand” availability of IT services that employees have come to expect.

Incident management tools help support the employee experience with additional self-service and two-way communication with service agents. Embedded, proven workflows help better identify, track, and resolve incidents with artificial intelligence (AI) supported insight and recommendations to help eliminate bottlenecks.

Minimizing Risk

Unpatched vulnerabilities are the most prominent attack vector exploited by ransomware groups. One of the top reasons organizations do not keep devices patched to the latest vulnerabilities is simply because they lose track of them.

The attack on Colonial Pipeline in 2021 put the spotlight on cyber risk in Energy, triggering new Security Directives from the Transportation Security Authority (TSA), 2021-01 and 2021-02. These new Directives require pipeline owners and operators to protect against cyber threats to IT and OT systems, develop and implement a cybersecurity contingency and recovery plan, and review cybersecurity architecture.

This organization, like many others, relied heavily on manual processes. Not only was the lack of real-time data a challenge for audit reporting, but the organization also lacked transparency over hardware and software to manage risk. The Now Platform helps connect people and systems across the organization, providing tools to unite IT, risk management, and security operations on a single platform.

The organization now leverages Hardware Asset Management to provide visibility over the entire lifecycle, helping monitor hardware to mitigate risk, optimize costs, keep an eye on aging resources, and eliminate known exposures with outdated software. The organization also leverages Change Management to assist DevOps with fast deployments with baked-in risk management to ensure continued compliance and performance safeguards are met.

A Partner in Digital Transformation

The project at this organization was a significant digital transformation, introducing ServiceNow and rolling out several out-of-the-box and custom implementations. Acorio stood apart in the RFP process for not only our Energy experience but our hands-on training, history of solid implementations, and the ability of our team to flex as the project changes.

“They were able to deliver the project because Acorio’s implementation method is solid, regardless of who on the team is doing the work.” – Acorio Engagement Manager.

The client product owner engaged with Acorio’s team at every stage of the project, from planning to Discovery to implementation. The product owner took it upon themselves to learn everything and pass on this knowledge to the internal team to get them up to speed quickly and patiently. This knowledge transfer and leadership was all managed during a period of remote work but completed on budget and on time.

This organization now passes more audits and has created a backbone for continued digital transformation to increase productivity, deliver scalable services, manage risk and resilience, and optimize costs.

Are you looking to start or improve your digital-first strategy? Get started today with your copy of our Advisory workbook!