Enable your mobile workforce to access services, wherever and whenever it’s convenient to them!
I was at home and I was reading my Google Cards (“Google Now”) to pass some time when I started to look at all the apps on my tablet. I noticed how many services were pushing relevant information to my device based on who I was and where I was. I thought, “Why can’t I get this same type of service from my place of work or the suppliers I do business with?” The technology is available. Solutions are available for external customers and continue to grow day by day.
Why is the Next Generation of Service Management so Important?
The “Next Generation of Service Management” is becoming a very real thing. The need to allow your mobile workforce to access services wherever and whenever it’s convenient to them grows day to day. Pressure from the business to do more with the same level of resources is a common theme. With the economy looking up, companies that have stabilized are starting to act on growth plans. Providing active push service has become a necessary part of the overall company strategy as it increases productivity while maintaining operational costs.
Pushing services to users rather than users finding services is becoming more and more of an expectation. The key is bringing information/knowledge stores within your organization together to better serve your users. Don’t think of the knowledge as traditional knowledge; think of it as tapping into sources that were unthought-of before but already exist within your organization.
Be Proactive in Serving Customer Needs
By understanding these key components to the customer:
• Who am I?
• What am I responsible for?
• What am I interested in?
• Where am I located?
You can push relative information and services to your users giving them what they need before they know they need it, giving your company the ability to service its customers quicker. Next time you are on your mobile device and you get an advertisement to a place you frequently go, think about how helpful it would be if you could do the same type of thing for the people you support. The value it would have in allowing your business users to be more productive.
Don’t get caught behind the curve, start planning today. If you would like to discuss how to make this strategy become a reality, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518.689.3198.
There are many excellent, integrated features of the ServiceNow Project Management modules available to help with all facets of the project lifecycle, from proposal through go-live.
A Single System of Record
As an integral part of the ServiceNow platform, the Project Management module can automatically take advantage of all the information available across that platform. Examples include people data, free/busy time for resource assignments, direct access to Tasks and Changes, workflow and automation, etc.
The first part of the project lifecycle is demand capture. The ServiceNow catalog is a great place to allow users to describe the projects they are proposing and provide any required level of detail, justification, business impact, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) or Return on Investment (ROI) analysis, etc. Reporting and homepage metrics allow you to determine which projects get priority and which will wait. Approval workflow is a standard part of ServiceNow - users can approve projects in the same way they approve requests or changes.
Tracking actual project execution is another strength of the platform - because project execution can come from any part of the ServiceNow Single System of Record - Changes, Change Tasks, Request, Workflow, Automation, or any other facet of the platform.
Planned versus Actuals
Another important point is that true appreciation of planned versus actual effort requires a detailed knowledge of those actuals - how much of an FTE's day is spent on non-project activities such as solving crises, planning and executing changes, doing root cause analysis? Only your IT Service Management (ITSM) tool can give you this data, and ServiceNow puts all of that information in your hands.
For more information on this topic, please contact me at email@example.com or 518.689.3198.
"Are you aware that ServiceNow has a fully-functional capability to help you manage projects and project requests?"
I often get a mixed reaction to this question. Answers tend to be one of two kinds:
- "We are not ready for that", or
- "Our PMO already uses a tool"
Both good objections, and not something I can fully answer for you in a blog postl; however, the inclusion of Project Management in your ServiceNow implementation can bring a lot of benefits - in my next post I'll detail a bunch of them. In the meantime, below are couple of things to consider.
Things to Consider
When people tell me they are not ready for a Project Management tool, a little digging often reveals an interesting fact - they are already using a tool (or usually a set of tools) to deal with projects! MS Project or Excel is used to track project progress, ServiceNow Tasks are used to make work assignments, Incident Management might be used to capture new project demand, etc. While great for their primary use, none of these tools are well-suited for managing a PMO.
Are You Getting the Value You Deserve?
Customers who tell me they already have a tool are generally referring to one of the large Project & Portfolio Management tools on the market, such as Oracle Primavera, CA Clarity, or Planview.
In this case, the appropriate question is, are you getting value for that large investment?
- If so, great! I'd strongly suggest we investigate integrating that solution to your ServiceNow Catalog, Change Management, and Time Card features.
- If not, let's consider the potential savings and right-sized functionality that the ServiceNow Project Module, fully integrated with the ServiceNow single system of record, can provide for your business.
For more information on this topic, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518.689.3198.
Check out my next blog "What does ServiceNow Project Management Bring to the Table?"
In my previous blog entry, we talked about how CIOs are blindsided by the use of “Distributed IT”. Due to years past, IT has received some stereotypes of being slow, lethargic, and a roadblock, just to name a few. The world is changing and IT needs to be innovative, dynamic, and strategic. No longer is the goal to focus solely on operations but aligning with business strategies and initiatives. If you are in an IT leadership position, you need to rebrand IT within your organization. Here are 4 key concepts that you need to focus on:
4 Key Concepts to Focus on:
- Thought Leadership – Go do some research. Understand what are the new trends and cutting edge solutions in your company’s marketplace. Think about how to improve services you already have, what new business services are needed, and embrace internal and external resources to get the job done.
- Don’t Hold the Purse Strings – Traditionally IT is seen as a roadblock and usually has to bear the bad news of cost. Once you define a solution and identify the costs, submit it through the business and let the CFO be the decision maker on costs and budget. Reposition IT as part of the team to execute the business plan and not just provide operational support. Let the CFO and CEO make the decision of what is a priority for the organization.
- Relationship King – Go out and build relationships with as many business unit leads, sales and HR managers, etc. that you can. These relationships will be key in the rebranding the message of IT internally and be helpful when you need to work with these groups in the future. One of the keys to success is communication. If you don’t have open dialog with key team members, you won’t get the job done.
- Re-Tool the Shed – To support the business and solutions, IT should shift its paradigm as technical resources to solution architects and business analysts.
Start Building Your Plan
The 4 key concepts above are key in starting to build a plan. Now go and broker some lunch meetings with key business unit leaders to start brainstorming ideas about generating new solutions and services.
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, please contact me at email@example.com or 5186893198.
Also, look for my next blog, “The Role of IT In The Future”, as we will discuss the initial steps in building a strategy on the transformation of IT.
How many of you have been in a meeting or a conversation to only find out that one of your supported business units has gone off and utilized an outside firm or hired their own resources to provide IT support for a new or existing business service without coordinating with IT? Hopefully it was not at a board meeting! The business leader usually uses these reasons: they had to move quickly, pricing fit what they needed, and all the cards fell into place. Sound familiar?
Make Distributed IT Part of Your Business Plan
The use of resources outside of traditional IT is going to happen more and more. You should not take offense to this but understand how to incorporate it into your business plan. Shadow IT or as we like to say “Distributed IT”, can be strategically used to prototype solutions and services. It can be the long-term answer for providing and sustaining services, as well as quickening the pace of time-to-market. In fact, spending on cloud software, platform, and infrastructure services will grow from approximately $28 billion today to $258 billion in 2020 - reaching 45% of total IT services spend, according to Forrester Research, Inc.
A key component is to provide the right level of governance in a Distributed IT environment to ensure business alignment, security and regulatory compliance, and risk minimization or elimination while allowing the corporation to be innovative and agile.
Too often I see IT leaders worried about centralizing and owning all things IT. The focus should be on how is this going to impact, innovate, and grow the business. The goal being, “How does this make the company stronger?” By working with business unit leaders, your focus should be building plans to support critical services and objectives and be a quintessential part of strategic planning. Be an innovative thinker from a technology standpoint on how to accomplish the company’s objectives. This type of thinking needs to be driven from the top down. Executive management and/or Boards need to be in full support of this strategy and change.
If you would like to discuss this topic in more detail, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, look for my next blog, “Become a Solution Catalyst”.
I'm noticing a trend with our customers these days. More and more, customers are letting large enterprise software agreements lapse, and just buying what they need, when they need it. This has the benefit of directly matching need to purchase, while eliminating painful annual true-ups; however, there can be a downside. Among the firms most likely to audit compliance (Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, HP, SAP) the cancellation of an enterprise agreement is a near certain guarantee of a future audit. The audit is usually performed 12-15 months after the agreement expires - just enough time for installed configurations to drift into non-compliance.
We are explicitly not saying that a business decision to let an Enterprise Agreement lapse is a bad one. There are many factors that should be considered in deciding to renew or not renew. But what we are explicitly saying is if you choose this path - you must have your software estate in order, and expect to have to prove that to an auditor's satisfaction.
Check back to my previous blog to learn how Linium can help customers automate continuous compliance and avoid a potentially huge effort and cost for every compliance letter received.
Many of our customers have fully implemented Incident, Problem and Change, and many use the Service Catalog; however, most are just starting to investigate Asset Management and Software Asset Management (SAM). Nothing focuses attention on these modules like a software audit.
In my previous blog I noted that the key to avoiding a potentially high cost to respond to an audit is achieving continuous compliance. How can Linium help customers automate continuous compliance? ServiceNow.
Certainly the ServiceNow SAM module can help a firm respond to an audit - but the real power of the solution is to move beyond ad hoc response and into continuous compliance. ServiceNow has all the required capabilities to manage compliance continuously for the business.
In my previous post, I wrote about a customer who had successfully passed an audit - but at a seven-figure internal cost to respond to the audit request. This is bad enough - but the real kicker is that they are open to that kind of cost for each and every audit letter they receive.
So how do we avoid this potentially huge cost? The answer is to be continuously compliant. Continuous compliance involves integrating information from your deployed software - usually from sources of discovery - and procurement information from your ERP tool to understand your software position. Automation is key here. Automated systems enable accurate data.
So how do we at Linium help customers automate continuous compliance? Stay tuned...
We are often called into customers to talk with them about software audits. These conversations usually take place after the bad news has been delivered - "You are out of compliance, and owe (pick one - or more: Microsoft, Oracle, Adobe, etc.) an amount of money greater than $2 million." However, the cost to regain compliance is only a part of the story.
Recently, I was working with a customer and the topic of a Microsoft audit came up. The CIO was quite proud of this audit - "We were found in compliance - and with a minimal amount of overspend (shelfware) on our biggest titles!", he beamed. "We have done an excellent job of managing our Microsoft estate."
I asked the question, "How much work was it for you to reply to the audit request?"
The smiles disappeared. "Actually," he replied, "it was a huge effort. We needed to gather procurement data from three different systems, and our discovery data needed a lot of massaging to show what we had installed."
We spent a few hours going over their process, and a back-of-the-envelope calculation showed that they probably had spent in excess of $1 million just to respond to the audit. Their audit was a "success" - but the budget impact to respond was a disaster!
And the biggest issue here is that this company (like many companies I visit) were continuously exposed to this type of effort - if Microsoft or one of the other vendors returned the following year, the compliance effort would be another $1 million - $1 million for every compliance letter they received.
So how do you Beat the Audit Game? Coming up next …
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