EXPAND: Josh Scott on ServiceNow’s Evolving Industry Strategy

Today, we’re back with one of Acorio’s most popular content series: EXPAND Executive Insights, a regular monthly series in which we interview top ServiceNow and digital transformation experts about the most pressing questions, concerns, and successes that we’re hearing from clients.

For our September interview, I sat down with Acorio’s Vice President of Industry Strategy and Operations, Josh Scott. Based in Pittsburgh, Josh boasts 15+ years of management consulting and delivery experience to Acorio and currently oversees Acorio’s overall industry strategy. For our EXPAND interview, we focus on ServiceNow’s evolving industry strategy, the platform’s top industry solutions, and why verticalized strategies are more important now than ever before.

Ready to learn what industry insights Josh has to share? Keep reading to find out, then check out this 7-slide summary on LinkedIn.

ServiceNow’s Industry Pivot

ServiceNow has used the last two or three years to completely pivot their business strategy. Whereas the cloud platform’s previous customer talking points focused on individual software modules, the company now centralizes its messaging around certain issues within their specific industries with the overarching emphasis on how ServiceNow as a platform can help client organizations achieve enterprise-wide business goals.

That said, proof of this change extends far beyond the company’s messaging. ServiceNow’s internal investments also demonstrate the platform’s industry pivot. The organization has worked diligently to build out full industry teams organized to develop industry-specific products that address use cases on an industry-by-industry basis. From my personal point of view, Financial Services and Manufacturing are leading the way in this area.

More Important Than Ever Before

Although these industry-focused efforts began prior to the pandemic, they have been a steady resource for platform clients amidst a business landscape rife with uncertainty for the greater part of 2020. They’ve also enabled ServiceNow and partners to dive deep into overarching trends that span across multiple industries or are specific to a certain vertical.

For example, our ServiceNow customers shared many of the same initial reactions to COVID-19, regardless of their industry, jumping to leverage ServiceNow to support a remote workforce; seek opportunities to increase efficiency; and experiment with unique ways to maintain culture and stay connected. Although that initial period challenged companies with unprecedented circumstances, many businesses used the situation to re-examine their business model and make changes for the better.

To put some data against these findings, a recent ServiceNow survey stated that 92% of executives report that the pandemic made their company rethink how they work, with 87% of their employees saying that it’s an improvement.

Josh’s Advice for All Verticals

Even though each industry has its own unique use cases, terminology, and processes, my foundational advice remains consistent across all verticals.

First, continue to invest in digital transformation in order to operationalize shared services across your organization. It’s a long-haul and a big investment to get there, but your customers and employees will thank you.

Second, whatever you do, prioritize employee and customer experience with equal importance to everything else. With those two mantras at the core of your initiatives, you can then add your industry-specific and culture-specific flavor to anything and everything you do with ServiceNow to make it sing for your organization.

Industry-Specific Trends for 2021

Now that we’ve covered overarching trends across verticals, along with advice for how firms within any industry can make the most of the ServiceNow platform, it’s time to share key digital transformation trends for some of our most popular industries:

  • For Manufacturing – We’ve seen far more customers using ServiceNow to automate activities like monitoring shop floor assets and conducting preventative maintenance. These activities were previously done manually but now with today’s modern tools, firms are turning away from outdated processes to increase efficiency and optimization.
  • For Financial Services – Ever since COVID hit, Financial Services institutions have had to double down on digital transformation, especially focusing on best-in-class customer experience to retain their customer base. This is key for an industry rife with disruption, even without throwing COVID into the mix, as firms move away from the traditional “big bank” way of working to deliver best-in-class experiences for their customers.
  • For Healthcare – ServiceNow has played a key role behind the scenes in converting vaccines into vaccinations. Most trends and positive stories over the last year in this vertical center around how ServiceNow is helping the healthcare industry tackle COVID.

ServiceNow’s Top Industry Solutions Today

ServiceNow has an ever-growing list of 1st party industry solution offerings, but here are my current top two picks:

To start, ServiceNow Financial Services Operations focuses on automating back-office operations within financial services organizations. Think things like payments, loan approvals, and any other card operations that aim to resolve customer issues existing in and around those processes.

Second, Operational Technology Management for Manufacturing is a new ServiceNow industry solution offering. It’s exciting because the product focuses on connecting workers to digital operations and ensuring the availability of factory technology.

There are many more industry solutions offered by ServiceNow, in fact, the platform’s biggest differentiator against competitors is its combination of industry-focused products with the sweeping power of the platform’s broad reach as an underlying software foundation. There isn’t another cloud software solution in the market that can solve industry-specific issues like these while connecting operations into enterprise-wide shared services and more.

All Eyes on Industry for 2022

The biggest industry news right now for ServiceNow is the platform’s recent announcement and release of the OTM product in Manufacturing. That said, we’re seeing a continuous evolution of industry solutions across the board (including Financials Services, Healthcare with the EMR product, Telecommunications with Order Management, and more).  ServiceNow’s speed and focus on industry is accelerating and it isn’t going to stop any time soon.

Acorio’s Industry Strategy

As the largest, pure-play ServiceNow partner, Acorio’s strategy continuously aims to augment and enhance what ServiceNow is doing. In that regard, this year we’ve doubled down on our industry strategy by focusing on ServiceNow’s new industry-specific products and pushing our services to the next level.

We’re building tight integration with our team at NTT DATA and investing in industry-specific solutions that will benefit both existing and new customers, and our team is also hard at work developing, productizing, and packaging 3rd party solutions for Financials Services and Manufacturing. We’re also collaborating closely with ServiceNow’s industry teams to release additional industry solutions on ServiceNow’s Industry Partner Showcase page.

Lastly, we’re continuing to produce best-in-class thought leadership and to share our industry expertise with partners and customers alike.

Finding Inspiration

To conclude our discussion, I asked Josh where he finds his inspiration. His answer strikes me as a warm way to enter this year’s fall season. He said;

“I get my inspiration from building relationships, helping customers, working with smart, talented, fun people, building empathy into everything we do as a services company, and seeing the fruits of those efforts come alive. I couldn’t be blessed with a better group of colleagues to work with and watching them delight customers brings inspiration to me on a daily basis.

Looking for more executive insights from our team? Head over to our July EXPAND segment for a quick recap of all our EXPAND interviews from 2021, covering everything from platform strategy to ServiceNow’s projected growth and this year’s top digital transformation trends amongst clients. Otherwise, click the image below to see the slideshare of Josh’s insights on LinkedIn.