Over the past few years, ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) has become the industry standard in cloud-based IT service management. Looking back to early 2000, most organizations were using legacy tools from IBM, BMC, HP and so on to manage their IT service operations. Over the years, these tools were often customized to the extent that doing something as routine as a release upgrade had become a very costly proposition often times requiring hundreds of man hours. With their on-premise architecture, legacy IT service request applications required the same level of investment - including hardware, software and systems support - as any other mission critical business application.
ServiceNow ITSM Professional: The Industy Leader
Enter ServiceNow ITSM. The biggest selling points for ITSM were its cloud-based architecture and its software-as-a-service pricing model. For many organizations, this was a game changer allowing them to move away from their old legacy systems to a fixed budget model that took them out of the applications support business.
Fast forward to today. Like its predecessors, ITSM has now evolved from what was once a simple IT ticketing system to a fully functional, enterprise business process management platform - even expanding into areas outside of its core market such as HR and customer service. If you look at the latest release of ITSM, some of the key components include:
- Incident, problem & change management
- Hardware/software configuration & asset management
- Request/knowledge management
- Service level management
- AI capabilities
- Virtual agent support
- Analytics to manage the environment
So, what makes the latest release of ITSM so significant? If you look at the last three components listed above, these were added - or included from separate offerings – to round out key functionality that organizations are now asking for. Let’s take a brief look at each and why they are important for organizations as they continue to grow and expand their IT service management footprint.
Service Management is Now AI Enabled
One of the most common issues users face when creating an incident, problem or change ticket is how to categorize a ticket to ensure it gets routed correctly. If, for example, I have a problem with my retail billing application, categorizing it properly can make the difference between a quick resolution and a long wait while the ticket gets routed throughout the IT organization to the proper support team.
The new AI feature - called Agent Intelligence - uses machine learning algorithms to automatically categorize and route issues to increase agent efficiency and lower time to resolution. By automatically categorizing incidents based on the requester’s description, Agent Intelligence is able to “learn” from historical request patterns. This allows it to become increasingly accurate over time in its predictive recommendations.
AI benefits the user by ensuring requests are routed correctly, resulting in faster response. This also benefits the IT support team by correctly categorizing requests for faster resolution. The end result in improvement in operational efficiencies and increased user satisfaction.
Virtual Agent Support
In a recent survey, over 90% of content management professionals say they are planning to adopt chatbot technology by the end of 2019. The reason for this move towards chatbots is simple. Ease of use for customers means happy customers which results in better business outcomes.
IT Service Management is an ideal application for chatbot technology - now available with ITSM Professional. The ServiceNow Virtual Agent allows you to resolve repetitive IT service tasks and requests with self-service responses delivered via an automated, conversational chatbot.
The key benefits of Virtual Agent technology are customers receive consistent service 24/7 resulting in faster turnaround times. This frees up IT staff to work on more meaningful tasks, allowing for greater scalability and smarter resource spend for organizations.
Have a look at VERA our latest chatbot application, and how it seamlessly works with ServiceNow.
ITSM Pro Includes Performance Analytics
Until recently, business analytics for most organizations was its own separate and costly entity - mostly limited to business intelligence experts and data scientists. If you look at a typical BI environment, it resides on its own platform, requires specialized software and is supported by a team of experts and support personnel. The problem with this approach is these environments tend to take on a life of their own over time requiring the same level of support and funding as any other mission critical business application.
Performance Analytics (PA) represents a new generation of analytics focused on the applications themselves. PA was built to reside on the ServiceNow platform and is targeted mainly at service management modules including ITSM, CSM and HR. Like most BI products, PA provides historical context which allows organizations to understand not only what is happening within the environment today, but how this compares to the past and even what the future will look like.
Unlike most BI tools, PA puts the power of data in the hands of the stakeholders and subject matter experts—workers, owners, and executives—who are responsible for successful service delivery. With PA, organizations can use data visualizations to anticipate trends, prioritize resources, and drive alignment with business goals.
The fact that PA resides in the ServiceNow platform, means data is always up to date, there’s no separate BI environment to maintain and virtually anyone in the organization can use the product.
Prior to the London release, PA was licensed separately. However, PA now comes as part of the ITSM Pro, CSM Pro and HR Pro application suite.
Wrapping it Up
ServiceNow ITSM has evolved from a simple ticketing application to a robust collection of fully functional business process management solutions. Originally designed for IT, the ServiceNow application suite now includes modules for IT, HR and Customer Service management.
Like its predecessors, customers are now expanding the application of the ServiceNow platform to include features well beyond the initial scope of these products. History has shown that this is common with all enterprise systems. However, with this expansion additional features and functionality are required to keep pace with customer innovation.
Now with embedded AI, chatbot support and a built-in analytics engine, ServiceNow has positioned their industry-leading service management solutions to provide continued value not only for today but well into the future.
For more information on how to leverage these ServiceNow technologies and others or to schedule a free consultation, click here.
Greg Loftin is a former ServiceNow Manager with over 20 years of experience in the Enterprise Software consulting space.
Based out of Denver, Colorado, Greg continues his work in helping businesses in the U.S. unlock the power of analytics to improve their overall business and build stronger ROI for their investments.