ServiceNow Challenges chart on phone

Data Talks: What You Need to Know about ServiceNow Challenges in 2020 and Beyond

Welcome back to Data Talks.

Thank you for joining us again as Juliet Acuff, VP of Strategic Initiatives, and I spend 5 minutes diving into all things ServiceNow. On this week’s agenda- the 2019 ServiceNow Insight and Vision Executive Summary data on the challenge areas ServiceNow users are experiencing.

Taking the number one spot for ServiceNow platform challenges, at nearly 43 percent, was the response “Our roadmap just keeps growing – once one module is implemented, even more departments want us to support them.”

Let’s jump in to see what we can make of this year’s trends.

Roadmap Growth: From Top Challenge to Successful Expansion

Meghan Lockwood: I want to start out by saying that when we’re talking about Challenges, for the first time we have year-over-year data, which is vital to informing us not only about the current challenges, but trends in user maturity and platform use. We recently presented this data at the New York and Chicago Now at Work Events, and the story we focused on was that of platform expansion, which is certainly reflected in these challenges.

ServiceNow Challenges chart screenshot

Two of the top three challenges are about expansion and as we talk about ServiceNow as a default Enterprise Operating System (EOS) for modern businesses this isn’t that surprising. 40% of companies see growing roadmaps as the number one challenge.

Juliet Acuff: I think it’s important to clarify what roadmap growth means here, and why it’s a challenge. It really means expanding and adopting the platform throughout the business after one department or module has been successfully implemented. It is certainly not a bad thing, but for companies without a clear plan or the right advisory behind them, a growing roadmap to accommodate all the folks that want to jump onto the platform can be a tall order.

It’s a double-edged sword. The adoption is fantastic, but that doesn’t mean the challenge should be downplayed.

And, when compared to something like lack of resources as a challenge it is uplifting because roadmap growth as a challenge is all about excitement and optimism towards the platform.

Lockwood: Agreed. Which brings us to some of the other top challenges, as you mentioned, lack of resources. We see it in our own business, there is a constrained talent market when it comes to ServiceNow expertise. It went down slightly between this year and last year, but I am predicting that this challenge stays around for a long time.

It’s also one of the reasons that implementation and technical challenges is on the list. When it comes to expansion, it’s not just about understanding the technical work, but the business need behind it. So if you’re having someone from IT trying to redefine HR processes and implement the ServiceNow HR product, well, they don’t necessarily know what those HR processes look like or how to map to them technically.

So, when it comes to expansion and technical challenges, it’s all about connecting to the right people across the business and having plenty of executive sponsors.

Organization Change: Your Path to Success (With Some Help from Executive Buy-In)

Acuff: Can we talk for a second about resistance to change? It is so interesting to me that this is the fourth top challenge. Especially when growing roadmaps is the first thing. So at the same time that we are seeing more people who want to adopt, the actual day-to-day communication about change is, well, hard.

Lockwood: We know that Organizational Change Management is something that is one of the biggest determining factors of success in all technology and process implementations, and ServiceNow is no exception.

But, in the same way that lack of resources dropped as a challenge, we should take great encouragement in the fact that this year, resistance to change dropped nearly 10 percent. It is a sign of ServiceNow’s growing popularity, growing brand recognition, and even of businesses’ dedication to digital transformation.

Acuff: And let’s not forget about the impact of executive buy-in with organization change. Which just so happens to be another top challenge, no surprise. If nearly one in four businesses have an issue with executive buy-in for their ServiceNow implementation, then there is no top-down support throughout the organization for the process changes that come with it.

It’s a big investment to bring ServiceNow into your business. There is no way around that. Except for having executive support to get the initial investment, gain small wins, and keep spreading the platform throughout.

Lockwood: The cost of the technology as a challenge can’t be ignored. But, in my opinion, the reason this is such a high “challenge” is a lack of data in businesses. It’s often hard to quantify the results of the platform unless you have full visibility into hours reduced, headcount, incidents solved, etc.

Acuff: Plus, if you ask people about the price, they will always say money and cost is a challenge. When it comes to the cost of the technology and your return on investment (ROI), you have to really make sure you set out from the beginning to capture the results. You have to have the metrics and benchmarks in place, whether it’s how many hours you saved or employee satisfaction.

Looking for more? Check out our trends executive summary for what we think about the challenges of custom apps and the upgrade cycle.ServiceNow Challenges executive report preview