EXPAND: Adam Mason on the Past, Present and Future of ServiceNow

It’s the end of October, which means it’s time for two big events: Halloween and our October EXPAND. In preparation for the former, we’re sharing the latter for today’s blog – and unlike neighbors who give out toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters, this segment will not disappoint!  

Earlier this month I met with Adam Mason, Acorio’s VP of Solutions and Innovation, to discuss ServiceNow’s impressive evolution since its founding in 2003. Originally a ServiceNow Customer Hero and hackathon champion, Adam has worked in nearly every level of the platform. Having spent nearly a decade at Acorio, he brings 20 years of IT and digital transformation experience to our clients to find innovative solutions and provide great user experiences. 

Below, Adam covers everything from today’s top client challenges to why security and immature data structuring are sure to be key issues for firms in 2022. Keep reading to dive into Adam’s detailed insights or click through this summary slide share on LinkedIn to catch the highlights. 

Reflecting on ServiceNow: IT Ticketing System to Engine Powering All-Star Experience  

Back when I started working on the platform, I thought ServiceNow was going to focus on dominating the IT space and deliver great solutions in that sphere, I really didn’t expect this kind of explosion across every department. They have elegantly stepped into employee and customer experiences, custom applications, and security.  The once-IT-ticketing-system has expanded across the entire enterprise to revolutionize the world of work.  

ServiceNow’s rock solid build is another important point to note. Fred Luddy’s foundational work to the platform has weathered the test of time, and now nearly two decades after its founding, ServiceNow shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the platform continues to support expanding innovations. This not only speaks to the strength and value of the solution, but the strategy of its backend architecture that goes unnoticed by most customers.  Sometimes the best things the ones you never see but depend on every day. 

 Defining Digital Transformation Today 

Without a doubt, digital transformation is today’s buzzword, and for good reason: it’s everywhere. This umbrella term is a popular priority amongst executives who are trying to make work easier, improve experiences, and increase opportunities automation.   

While digital transformation is a common priority, its manifestation varies widely across organizations. For example, reimagining the employee experience has been one of the most important priorities this year as firms unify the internal siloes between IT, HR, Security and Facilities.  Delivering a strong employee experience is only possible when these areas are connecting, communicating, and forming a cohesive approach for the employee.  

Security: Top of Mind for Executives  

Another key challenge today is security.  Organizations must prioritize areas that have historically been taken for granted, namely understanding the security of their data and license spend impact. These data security issues are nothing new, but they’re publicized more often today because there’s more data available now than ever before.  As ubiquity across the Internet continues to grow day-by-day, there are heightened risks for security breaches.  

It’s no longer about preventing security breaches but rather focusing on coordinating a streamlined, organized response when they do occur. The security software industry is an essential force in today’s business toolkit. ServiceNow takes coordinating responses a step further by enabling companies to quickly get the right people involved to resolve breaches when they occur or automate responses to prevent exposure. 

Industry-Focused Automation 

Amidst these digital security concerns, firms are working harder than ever to make their employees’ jobs easier and more efficient. One crucial component to this is taking data and making it more automated and accessible. Currently we see a big industry push for this as clients bend the platform to fit within their industry. Whether they’re in manufacturing, telecom, healthcare, or higher education, organizations around the world are using ServiceNow to address industry challenges in way that other platforms cannot.  

ServiceNow’s Moves on Machine Learning and AI 

With its acquisitions of Element AI and Intellibot in the last 12 months, it’s no surprise that ServiceNow has doubled down on its acquisitions around machine learning and AI. Going into 2022, expect the software giant to continue its pattern of acquiring smaller players that fit well as additives, so that they can homogenize them into the greater platform.  

If you’re wondering what’s driving ServiceNow’s focus on Machine Learning and AI, the answer is data. Customer-generated data from these tools is incredibly valuable. Using these types of technologies to examine data differently, ServiceNow is enabling the creation of new automation through the identification of repeatable patterns. With a solid automation base established, we can then move onto more complex automation like automated responses or getting things to the right people or other systems at the right time. 

Understanding Data Through Interactions  

Automation also means taking a deep dive to understand the data. Companies are always going to need to monitor interactions users take on their ServiceNow platform to get a clear perspective of the experience they’re providing. For example, analyzing incoming Service Center calls and customers’ mobile interactions with Customer Service teams can better inform organizations on how to create relevant solutions that optimize experiences for customers and employees alike. By investing in this technology, ServiceNow is committing itself to further developing their understanding of these interactions, which in turn will better guide the company’s technical solution and overall strategy.  

Without a doubt, ServiceNow will continue this trend of investing in AI and Machine Learning into next year. For 2022, look for even more extended and expanded partnerships, like Microsoft. The more they interact with these other large platforms, the more powerful their automations are going to be in the enterprise. 

Adam on His Role Models and Finding Inspiration  

Our customers are my #1 inspiration.  I work hard to support them as they’re in the trenches dealing with front-line business challenges day in and day out. This gives them a unique and valuable perspective on today’s business challenges, and it’s our job to work with them, listen, and then create unique solutions to help. All in all, they’re the real innovators, we’re here simply to help them connect the dots.  

I also find inspiration in disruption. I’m constantly looking for news articles and interviews that deal with disruption of industry norms, like Uber disrupting the taxi industry or Amazon disrupting retail. While these are two popular examples, I also like to look to smaller leaders that are challenging traditional models and decades-old processes. Many of today’s businesses have been run a certain way for decades.  Immersing myself in disruption helps me re-imagine the rigid world of enterprise services so we can go beyond challenging the status quo and re-envision the standard entirely.  

 Lastly, my internal role models keep me inspired.  That starts here at Acorio with Ellen Daley and Sven Ingard who really helped launch this company and gave me a crucial opportunity to grow. Beyond Acorio, my role models include good friends like Ken Gonzalez, innovators like Fred Luddy, and leaders like Bill McDermott who are rapidly expanding what’s possible for ServiceNow. I’m always keeping an eye on innovators and tech industry leaders because we can always learn from other leaders in our space. 

 Did you enjoy Adam’s interview? Click the image below to see the slide share summary of Adam’s insights on LinkedIn.