EXPAND Executive Insights: Vice President, Juliet Acuff on Maximizing Your ServiceNow Platform Value

We’re nearing the end of April, which means the time has come for this month’s EXPAND Executive Insight. This month, I met with Acorio’s Vice President of Managed Services, Juliet Acuff to discuss how clients can maximize the value of their ServiceNow platform this year. Her client experience, coupled with our 2021 Insight & Vision Survey data, makes for a great segment full of tips and trends for making the most of your ServiceNow platform. Keep reading to get Juliet’s advice on realizing your platform’s full potential.

To read Juliet’s full bio, please see her profile at the bottom of this article.

See the SlideShare on LinkedIn. 

Stretching Across the Enterprise: ServiceNow in 2021 & Beyond 

Between our first-hand experiences with clients and responses to our 2021 Insight & Vision Survey, the biggest ServiceNow trend we’re seeing this year is increased platform use across the entire enterprise.  

We all know that the ServiceNow platform has expanded well beyond its IT services and operations roots. Recognizing the high impact opportunity in HR and Customer Service Management, ServiceNow has created tools that positioned itself as a serious player in and around these strategic categories. By doing so, more clients than ever before are now expanding ServiceNow across their enterprise.  

In fact, when you compare the numbers from our Insight & Vision Survey just two years ago to the numbers from this year’s report, the percent of companies that have implemented two or more ServiceNow products jumped from 54% to 86%. But even more staggering, the companies that have implemented three or more products is now at 63%, up from 27%; and the companies that have implemented four or more products has more than tripled in 2 years, currently at 41% up from 12% in 2019. These significant jumps demonstrate ServiceNow’s success in the company’s expansion strategies, but most importantly the product’s value.  

Maximizing the Value of an Expanding Roadmap 

As ServiceNow clients expand their roadmaps into new service areas across the enterprise, it’s also important for them to ensure they continue taking full advantage of the platform’s potential. People often assume that once a project has its GoLive, the platform work in that area is done for a time, but on the contrary, teams should continue checking in with their provided solution after a rollout to maximize the tool’s usage and delivered value.   

Another way to get the most out of ServiceNow tools is to track suggestions for future expansion opportunities as new platform functionalities are added. Companies should aim to position themselves where they can say “yes, we can help automate that functionality,” “we can help streamline that work,” or “we can help provide employees with the experience we need them to have.” In order to make that happen, teams first have to have a framework in place to track and manage those requests.  

Unfortunately, that is always easier said than done. In practice, doing this in a way that reduces technical debt while leveraging best practice requires a depth of platform knowledge that many ServiceNow clients lack internally. While the ServiceNow platform doesn’t necessarily require the same level of admin maintenance as legacy tools, having quality ongoing support is one of the best approaches in order for firms to continue expanding the value from their ServiceNow platform.  

Leveraging Partners 

Partnerships are crucial, but if they don’t extend beyond individual projects, your ServiceNow partner may be losing crucial business context. In other words, as a ServiceNow partner, we only know so much about clients when we’re doing a project, and the reality is that circumstances are continually evolving: clients are evolving, their industries are evolving, even ServiceNow’s capabilities are evolving twice a year to add new functionality.  

Thus, if firms want to continue deriving value from their investment, they must anticipate those evolutions and understand their effects from an ongoing support perspective. This can be less about administration and maintenance, and more about what specific configurations you can continue to make, along with process changes and advice that you can get to drive that value. Working with a partner can provide the necessary resources to gain net new functionality and expand your platform’s power.  

Putting Strategy into Practice: 3 Client Examples 

Here are a few examples of work that can be achieved outside of specific project timelines to unlock additional ServiceNow functionality:   

  • Over the last few months, we’ve worked with a North American Medical Center to convert paper-based processes for their Legal and InfoSec teams onto ServiceNow. After seeing the digital transformation that ServiceNow provided to their IT and HR organizations, the Medical Center’s Legal and InfoSec teams sought the same automation, reporting, and analysis capabilities. By converting to a digital solution, the teams are saving valuable time and energy instead of working with paper-based solutions. 
  • A Biotechnology company leveraged ServiceNow to support their learning and enablement work. Acorio initially built out catalog items with workflows for their team knowing that we could make them scalable, leveraging an integration. Rather than going straight into the integration, we paused to firmly use the process and ensure everything needed was accounted for. They discovered more information was needed and were then able to leverage our solution to achieve complete automation. We used the first catalog item as a template for five other catalog items, resulting in reduced manual work through automation, increased efficiency and higher customer satisfaction in the process. 
  • Earlier this year, we worked with a client that had completed a Change Management project and was then planning to roll out Standard Change. But they got a tremendous amount of feedback from their end-users, who were not looking forward to going through that entire process for something as simple as patching, for example. We worked with them to develop a solution that increased their employee productivity and improved the efficiency of day-to-day work. This is an example of adding functionality for a practical, day-to-day level. Often times our clients will push these smaller initiatives back, due to budget or staffing restraints, but they can add tremendous value with much less of a budget and timeline than larger rollouts. 

Where to Next:   

The past year has accelerated digital transformation with a distinct focus on both customer and employee experience. Meanwhile, the ServiceNow platform has strategically aligned itself to absorb change and enhance automation, allowing companies to focus on these impacts. In 2021, our clients are looking to drive more value from their digital investments in the face of increasingly complex industry and market challenges. These check-ins between project GoLives are absolutely crucial for driving more value from those technology investments. 

Clients know it is critical to look beyond just IT, as employee experience and shared services have become necessary success factors in today’s business environment. We’ve seen clients with workforces familiar with knowledge articles and portals able to add to this functionality to really support and boost ESAT and streamlined efficiency  

Clients have an additional opportunity to use ServiceNow to deliver a stellar consumer experience. Automating workflows across domains, systems, and silos in ServiceNow creates a unified experience across the entire org.   

2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic have transformed our world – economically, personally, socially. Things around us continue to change, and in turn, so does the digital evolution of our clients. Between specific industry shifts, most notably in Healthcare, and the move to remote-first work, clients continue adjusting to ever-changing circumstances.  

Amidst those changes, clients are seeking sure-fire strategies to drive more value from their ServiceNow investment. The uncertainty of the last 14 months has triggered an increased awareness in driving value. So what are the biggest causes holding firms back from achieving this goal?  

Getting Past Common Roadblocks 

The two most common challenges preventing organizations from taking full advantage of the ServiceNow capabilities available to them are actually two sides of the same coin: demand and staffing. Time and time again, our clients receive overwhelming demand from their end-users to take more advantage of various platform capabilities. Unfortunately, staffing is most commonly lean and the ServiceNow ecosystem makes it difficult to find individuals with specialized areas of expertise, especially as we see the platform expanding the breadth and depth of its offerings. 

One of the benefits of ongoing support is the extended, reliable access to a team of trained professions. It provides much more than administration, offering formal resources for platform insights, advice, and guidance so that client teams can take be sure to take advantage of best practices. Beyond solving the issues of staffing and demand, ongoing support guarantees additional resources to support your platform expansion and optimization initiatives.  

Preparing for the Future of the Platform  

As previously noted, ServiceNow clients continue to implement the platform across their enterprises with increasing agility. But as the platform expands, the ecosystem’s talent pool remains competitive. This need for additional experts can be challenging to clients who already lack the proper resources to maintain, let alone expand, their ServiceNow usage.  

Coming off a year marked by uncertainty, many teams are looking for additional strategic and tactical platform support in 2021. In order to fully realize the value of their existing ServiceNow investment, clients can utilize smaller projects to build upon previous rollouts.  

If you’d like to learn more about maximizing your platform’s potential, this whitepaper is a great place to start. Download to learn about the 5 types of support you will need along your ServiceNow roadmap.

About Juliet

As Vice President of Acorio’s Managed Services, Juliet is responsible for driving key Acorio priorities, including leading our Managed Services offerings, helping our clients maintain healthy instances and ensuring they realize the maximum value. She has 20+ years of experience in Leadership, Customer Service Management and IT strategy leading teams from 3 to 300 in Global ITSM, HR, SAM and more.