Steps to a successful ServiceNow implementation

July 29, 2022

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Manoj Verma

Senior Technical Lead

Introduction

ServiceNow enables business organizations to define and deliver services, ensure availability, and analyze critical service metrics through its robust platform. It offers cloud service and SaaS for enterprises and organizations through a single cloud platform and is one of the most sought-after workflow solutions for enabling digital transformations in government, insurance, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and telecommunication.

ServiceNow’s powerful digital workflows enable clients to manage and deliver IT services to their customers using a single cloud-based platform. It also helps organizations achieve their digital transformation objectives, innovate processes, and respond to market challenges.

How to ensure a successful ServiceNow implementation

ServiceNow helps organizations transition from legacy systems to increase productivity, cut costs, and enable smooth operation, resulting in customer and employee satisfaction and an increased ROI. By applying the digital transformation principle, ServiceNow can optimize digital workflows that automate, digitize, optimize, and improve a business organization’s processes, providing it with the ability to respond to industry shifts.

Businesses need to devise a step-by-step roadmap for ServiceNow implementation to transform their IT experience, put IT operations in high gear, make self-service feasible and effortless, accelerate security operations, and automate HR service.

Following are the steps companies need to take to implement ServiceNow successfully:

  1. Build plans to expand in future
  2. ServiceNow helps organizations automate, streamline and standardize their business processes. Using ServiceNow, businesses can meet their service needs and the needs of their employees and customers. What's more, ServiceNow is scalable and can be applied to both internal and external customers to support one single operation for administration.

    The focus of ServiceNow implementation must be on achieving desired business outcomes and KPIs. An important factor to consider while planning is whether ServiceNow implementation is to be executed at once across an organization or in stages in IT, customer support, security, and HR departments. Besides ITSM and ITBM, ServiceNow provides various services to customers under enterprise CX, automated service ops, employee productivity, global business services, and low-code app development.

  3. Leverage best practices
  4. Organizations must conduct ServiceNow implementation using best practices, depending on their implementation needs. ServiceNow implementation must be executed following a standardized approach to ensure zero mistakes and minimal disruptions in smoothly running a business. For effective implementation of the ServiceNow platform, it's crucial to do proper research and document the best practices. These best practices can be effectively modified to leverage the platform as established business processes.

    The best way to apply best practices for effective implementation of the ServiceNow platform is to either go through the case studies of implementation by other established businesses or take tips from the 'Success Playbook' available for free download on the ServiceNow website.

  5. Consider hiring or reallocating employees
  6. For effectively implementing the ServiceNow platform, it is best to hire new employees or relocate existing employees solely for this purpose. Third-party service providers can help implement new ServiceNow modules and functionalities over time, generally two or three new modules per year to improve IT functionalities. ServiceNow implementation can be run smoothly and maintained well via tie-ups with service providers such as Nous Infosystems.

    It is best to deploy dedicated internal employees across all departments, be it HR, analytics, legal, web services, or others, to manage ITSM or ServiceNow modules as part of a long-term initiative towards self-reliance.

  7. Train employees to manage ITSM or ServiceNow
  8. Adopting and implementing the ServiceNow platform across the business organization requires all employees responsible for managing the ServiceNow suite to be trained to operate it. This is important since the implementation is likely to change how businesses execute their day-to-day operations. Employees need to be educated and trained in popular ITSM frameworks like ITIL 4. The framework's training helps employees acclimatize to working with the new ServiceNow suite.

    Training ensures that employees are well versed with its use once it is rolled out across the organization. This also ensures that employees don't need to train in the entire suite when the new modules are added. It is essential to get all employees, especially those involved in the IT setup, whether existing or new, to take the ITIL Foundation certification course.

  9. Focused automation
  10. By deploying ServiceNow suites, businesses can automate all their manual processes, enabling employees to skip seemingly repetitive, mundane tasks and concentrate on working on other, more complex projects. This helps boost employee output and improve process consistency by cutting down on human error. Automating the setup can help improve other process inefficiencies, so it's essential to figure out which processes are expected to benefit the most thanks to this automation.

  11. Identify processes
  12. Standardization is one of the key objectives due to which businesses opt for an organization-wide ServiceNow implementation. ServiceNow suite implementation can be adapted as per the need of the company and its employees and how it impacts the customers. So, business organizations need to figure out the processes where ServiceNow can be implemented without glitches. The change from legacy systems to ServiceNow requires a project management plan that addresses questions like:

    • Which process requires reduced manual work?
    • Where is the process failing?
    • What aspect of user experience needs to be improved?
    • How can ServiceNow help boost efficiency and cut costs?

    Once these questions are answered, it becomes much easier to implement ServiceNow.

  13. Ensure inclusiveness and collaboration
  14. ServiceNow helps businesses monitor the 360-degree spectrum of project management. Its adoption by employees ensures the successful implementation of ServiceNow.

    About 70% of successful ServiceNow implementation happens when the organization clearly explains the reasons behind the implementation, thereby boosting inclusiveness. Organizations must ensure that employees feel empowered with ServiceNow.

    The key is to have an awareness program about the ServiceNow suite before training the employees to use it. As the focus is on digital transformation, avoid time-consuming plans to create a lengthy lesson to educate employees on using it. Instead, the strategic focus should be on explaining the need for the ServiceNow implementation for boosting collaboration between employees, both inter-department and intra-department.

    The organization needs to schedule internal workshops to increase adoption by employees and collaboration between various departments. To boost employees’ comfort level regarding the change from the legacy system, the organization must hear what the employees expect from the new ITSM suite and grievances over the legacy system.

    Employees can know its value for implementation, workflows, change management, project management, and service management using ServiceNow. The organization can communicate to its employees:

    • The changes that will happen
    • Why are they happening?
    • How will it affect their work?

    Answering these questions will ensure that ServiceNow's implementation changes the day-to-day operations of the organization.

  15. Stay agile
  16. The USP of ServiceNow is that it is highly customizable and can be integrated into an organization’s business process to any extent, though too much customization can complicate matters. However, configuring ServiceNow as per end-to-end lifecycle project management requirements and matching existing workflows and ITSM market standards are possible.

    The ServiceNow partner needs to encourage agile platform implementation to meet essential business requirements and ensure faster user adoption of Agile, which is far more effective. Once a plan is ready, the business organization needs to use agile methodology to configure it, keeping in mind future requirements.

    The agile implementation ensures real-time data mapping on tools, capturing correct data to develop the right metrics for validation. It helps business organizations to identify problems early and take remedial measures to ensure complete success.

  17. Choose a partner
  18. ServiceNow implementation is not a project that unacquainted internal teams can carry out smoothly. Organizations must treat it as a business KPI and join hands with a couple of ServiceNow partners, such as Nous Infosystems, to seamlessly implement it.

    ServiceNow partners need to have all the relevant expertise in handling various projects to implement ServiceNow across different business sectors, thereby helping organizations improve their availability, agility, and visibility. The ServiceNow partner has requisite experts who identify unique business workflows and develop a strategic plan to migrate legacy systems to the ServiceNow platform.

    Apart from helping in seamless implementation, the partners help business organizations make informed decisions. As a partner, it is their job to make the user aware of the cost of implementation and help prepare a budget accordingly. Ideally, a partner must be selected based on long-haul engagement requirements. They should be contracted to provide the required services for a single module upgrade/implementation but multiple such assignments.

    This will allow the partners to familiarize themselves with the organization’s requirements, prepare plans in anticipation of implementation requirements, and be ready for contingencies if something goes wrong. The long-term association also helps a ServiceNow partner prepare customized templates, capability roadmaps, and checklists that help the organization become more efficient.

Final Words

Shifting from legacy systems to ServiceNow requires business organizations to ensure continual support from internal staff for ServiceNow implementation. It is also imperative that the ServiceNow partner chosen has the relevant expertise to meet the demands of automation using the ServiceNow platform.

For an effective ServiceNow implementation, the IT and senior leadership of the business organization must prepare a highly customizable capabilities roadmap in consultation with the ServiceNow partner. It will help them figure out the pain points and prepare remedial measures to ensure that an organization can maximize its successful ServiceNow implementation, derive value from money, and stay ahead of the competition.

As a ServiceNow Premier Partner, Nous Infosystems has enabled many organizations across domains to implement ServiceNow successfully and maximize its potential. Learn how our ServiceNow implementation, integration, and managed services enable organizations to achieve accelerated digital transformation.

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