Acorio’s Insight and Vision Report: Understanding Top Barriers to ServiceNow Success

The following is an excerpt from our 2021 Insight and Vision Report. The full report is available for download here

Cost and Lack of Experience Are Top Challenges Impacting ServiceNow Success

Before this year, organizational resistance was a top ServiceNow Platform challenge for firms – but this year we saw it drop to 19 percent from 34 percent the previous year. But in a year when the entire world was required to adapt, we experienced extreme external forces that actually enabled leaders to align their change management programs with very little hand wringing and push back – of course, due to the significant rate of external change we all faced at the time.

The second challenge of the Platform remains a lack of experienced resources, with 29 percent of organizations listing it as a challenge in their ServiceNow organization. Leaders must position their employees to meet changing needs in order to bridge the gap between business needs and the technology available to help drive those outcomes.

In the past year, the number of organizations that have a roadmap is at nearly 74 percent, a record high. This shift has resulted in the drop of firms that list roadmap growth as a challenge to only 23 percent (almost the same percentage of organizations that do not have a roadmap). By building flexibility into their roadmap plan, firms can adjust to any new challenges or changes.

To achieve ServiceNow success, an organization needs to both recognize the importance of strategic roadmaps while also making them flexible enough to handle new market realities, and build in a culture of organizational change management to handle organizational resistance.

“As an HR professional, I am very excited about the solution you offer and I know it will change how HR will work in the future for the better. The challenge is implementing it well so we get good user adoption from the onset” – HR Manager, Global Retail Enterprise

To ensure enterprises maintain that momentum of transformation and empower a smoother technological transition, company leadership must capitalize on lessons learned this year about their team’s adaptability and work to understand the key roadblocks to acceptance.

Next, IT leaders must work to understand where technology is trending, be able to communicate that vision within their own organizations, and identify where education within their company is needed to implement new technologies.

“Digital Transformation is fundamentally a business change program. This is very difficult in an environment where staff are working remotely.” – IT Director, Non-Profit

True transformation requires employees to embrace change and adopt an all-inclusive shift in mindset. This encompasses many changes, but especially around ways of working that leverage technologies like cloud, data analytics, and AI. The cultural and behavioral changes required to be successful cannot be overlooked.

This is especially true when you consider that ServiceNow challenges do not appear as a one-off phenomenon. Instead, we saw in the survey results that respondents cited as many as seven challenges and included write-in comments about how challenges compounded each other. For example, one respondent wrote that the cost was a barrier to true executive sponsorship and therefore organizational resistance was high.

The success of today’s digital leaders is marked by their ability to establish new ways of working, deploying training and development programs focused on nurturing new behaviors, and perhaps most importantly, building a culture where tools and technology adoption is mandatory and welcomed.

Among our own ServiceNow clients, we see firms embracing this mindset to include people into their technology and process strategies by:

  • Offering training and development programs focused on new behaviors and mindsets and including those new behaviors in performance management systems.
  • Focusing on retaining, engaging, and developing existing employees instead of simply recruiting new employees.
  • Quantifying the gap between current and needed skills to deliver digital products and services.
  • Training employees with digital skills across the organization, not just in IT.