10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success for CIOs – Pillar 1: Building a ServiceNow Vision

4 minute read

Welcome to Crossfuze’s Pillars of ServiceNow Success blog series!

John is an experienced CIO who is adept at making sure IT processes are running smoothly. He has always been well received and accepted by the CEO and CFO. Lately, however, the CEO has been pushing John to build a vision of how their technology investments will align with the company’s growth goals. John knows that the technology innovations he wants to implement will be valuable to the company over the long run. However, he doesn’t know exactly how to build and articulate that vision to instil the necessary C-Suite confidence he needs to prove out his IT strategy.

As a ServiceNow Gold Partner, we have worked with hundreds of CIOs, like John, who need to build a viable and sustainable vision for their IT investments. Although each CIO’s issues are a little different, there are key similarities across the technology landscape that define ServiceNow’s success. We call these our, “Ten Pillars of ServiceNow Success.”

The first pillar, Vision, sets the stage for success. Considering that over half of businesses had IT projects fail last year, it has never been more important to create a transformational vision to successfully navigate your ServiceNow journey. The question now becomes, how do you build a transformational ServiceNow vision? This is a detailed process; however, to begin, here are four essential “must haves”:


1. Begin with the end in mind: Defining a vision for your ServiceNow platform starts even before you purchase your ServiceNow licenses. The first question you should ask yourself is, “How can we transform the organization and help it become more efficient and profitable using workflows, automation, standardization, and processes?” The answers to this question will become your big-picture outcomes, which are the core elements of your vision. Gartner recommends that you focus on articulating the platform's ROI potential and what sort of process improvements you realistically hope to achieve. Inventory your current resources, technology acumen, access to resources, current state of the business, and goals for business growth. These vision building blocks will not only define your vision, but they will also be your roadmap for implementation, the second pillar in our series.


2. Tie business outcomes to platform possibilities: You want to create a vision in order to feel challenged and satisfied; Once you have defined your desired outcomes based on your transformational goals, it’s time to dive into the possibilities embedded in the ServiceNow platform. ServiceNow is malleable; it can do whatever you want it to, which is why you need to define what you want it to do for your organization. Consider creating a matrix to help you articulate your desired ServiceNow outcomes. A matrix will show your desired outcomes alongside specific ServiceNow features and functionalities. Your desired outcomes drive what bells and whistles you will ultimately deploy and how best to deploy them. During this visioning process, your team will also want to think through how various processes will be impacted and, most importantly, made more efficient. With efficiency being a number one priority for ServiceNow, interviewed customers, on average, have had a 342% return on investment in 3 years. Remember, ServiceNow is built with service delivery best practices in mind, which means that if you think through this process properly, you will be several steps closer to achieving your vision.


3. Ensure leadership and individual users will notice the difference: Delivering meaningful wins that have direct impact on corporate goals is a great way to justify an investment and gain confidence and support from leadership. However, don’t forget about the individual user. If the average user can’t articulate what the vision means in relation to their day-to-day tasks, their desire to tap the full potential of any technology will waver. Hence, as you formulate your vision, keep in mind that the only ServiceNow achievement the average employee will notice is the one that makes a difference to them personally, in their line of work. Your vision should encompass how you’ll improve the end user’s experience, how you’ll make their job easier, and how you’ll continuously extend new features and capabilities to increase their productivity, speed, and agility–and thus their personal performance. By rewarding users’ personal performances, they will find value in approval of their success. If they find value, they will be quick to embrace all it offers and demand more functionality. And when that happens, you just achieved a necessary level of success.


4. Get buy-in: Stakeholder and user buy-in is key to any technology investment success. Therefore, your vision must receive buy-in at every stage of vision development and execution. Bringing together diverse teams and stakeholders to vet your vision and gain input will build buy-in from the outset. It will also help to rally the troops around the same objectives and goals, and it needs to happen for the entire organization to achieve them. However, in the end, it’s you who will make or break the vision. You need to be its biggest advocate and lobbyist to ensure its success. Put it on your wall, in your email signature, weave it into your conversations whenever possible, communicate your wins every chance you get, and define success by the impact your wins and outcomes have to corporate goals.

All in all, without a clear and concise vision out of the gate and constant “check-ins” to ensure you’re on track per the defined success metrics, you risk going down paths that lead to poorly implemented outcomes. The last thing you want is an abundance of internal disagreements and conflicts that bog down your ability to prove out your investment and show transformative results. Therefore, it’s important to recognize that strategically aligned vision will keep you focused on the end game and ensure each step taken is in accordance to the defined outcomes you and others in your organization are expecting.

To summarize, stay focused on what’s important: articulate big-picture outcomes, solicit feedback to get buy-in early on, keep operational efficiencies and increased profits on top of your list of outcomes, communicate (often) to leadership and employees the wins along the journey,  and ensure the average user will appreciate the difference ServiceNow has made to their personal job performance.


Thank you for reading. If you found this post informative, please consider sharing it with others. Also, if you’re interested in finding out more about how you can build a transformative ServiceNow vision, send us an email at letstalk@crossfuze.com.

Enjoyed this Pillar? Download the entire eBook here

Additional References:

CIO: Why Are So Many IT Projects Failing

ServiceNow CIO Whitepaper

Gartner: ITIL and Process Improvement Key Initiative Overview

Comcast Business: Building a Real-World Technology Vision

2016 State of the CIO Survey

CIO: 5 Steps to Successful ITIL Adoption

Forrester Consulting ServiceNow ROI Reports

4 User Adoption Strategies to Help Employees Embrace New Tech



10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success for CIOs – Pillar 2: Charting a roadmap to Service Management Transformation

Welcome to Part II of Crossfuze’s Pillars of ServiceNow Success blog series!

10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success for CIOs – Pillar 7: Using Analytics to Drive Strong ROI

Welcome to Part VII of Crossfuze’s Pillars of ServiceNow Success blog series!

10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success for CIOs – Pillar 8: Optimizing ServiceNow to Drive Enterprise-Wide Transformation

Welcome to Part VIII of Crossfuze’s 10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success for CIOs blog series!

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