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

4 minute read

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

Here’s a story we can all relate to: Casey is an experienced CIO who has poured his heart and soul into a successful rollout of ServiceNow that has transformed his company’s ITSM processes and workflows. The initial implementation was based on the near-flawless execution of a ServiceNow business case that had been agreed to by diverse stakeholders several months ago. Although Casey worked tirelessly to perfect his implementation vision and get all of the required buy-in, the project has now become a victim of its own success: Other company divisions, ranging from HR to sales to accounting, that were not part of the initial rollout are now able to see firsthand the power and elegance of ServiceNow—and they want in on the action. Does Casey relinquish control of his carefully laid plans so he can rapidly meet the demands of all of these unexpected new internal clients?

As a ServiceNow Gold Partner, Crossfuze has seen this scenario play out hundreds of times. In fact, a recent survey by KPMG found that 87% of organizations using ServiceNow are relying on the system for non-ITSM applications. The reality is that the overall destination of ServiceNow is going to change every year as it serves the evolving strategies of your enterprise. And that’s a good thing: No stakeholder (or shareholder for that matter) will be satisfied with an “okay” return on their ServiceNow investment. Every enterprise services winner will be—and should be—looking to optimize the platform.

The good news is that it is possible to plan for and anticipate rapidly evolving demands on the ServiceNow system. In fact, optimization is in ServiceNow’s DNA. The dynamics of ServiceNow optimization work in your favor to help you create a leadership narrative that drives company performance and, ultimately, company valuation. Here are five essential elements to keep in mind to optimize your story of ServiceNow transformation:


  1. Be flexible about your ServiceNow roadmap: The first thing you do when launching your ServiceNow implementation journey is to develop a well-articulated vision and roadmap. Because you build your roadmap early on, before you actually start your journey, you cannot possibly anticipate exactly how your business needs will evolve and change in response to ServiceNow. Thus, you want to treat your roadmap as a flexible, nimble living document that you don’t become beholden to. In fact, if you don’t see a demand to modify your roadmap in response to evolving business needs, then ServiceNow is not having the transformative effect on your business that it should.
  2. Turn your leadership tier into ServiceNow insiders: To ensure business leaders across your enterprise start coming to you with requests to expand ServiceNow to encompass their business needs, you want to start by going to them. In other words, you want to proactively help them shift away from viewing ServiceNow as an IT solution, and toward viewing ServiceNow as a business solution. Relationship-building and repeated evangelizing are critical to turning the leadership tier into ServiceNow insiders; see our blog post about driving organizational change through focused, strategic communications. Once your leadership tier realizes ServiceNow’s potential, they will start bringing ideas to you that improve and enhance their area of responsibility.
  3. Be iterative and focused when working with others: When someone comes to you with an idea for expanding ServiceNow’s capabilities to meet their business needs, you want to stay iterative and focused. That means you don’t want to boil the ocean for each business leader; instead, pick a focused project that teaches them how to effectively and rapidly achieve the ServiceNow win they crave. You want to stick to about a 90-day timeline for the first project, and use an agile development methodology to create multiple iterations, which maximizes the chances you’ll be able to keep their mind and heart in the project. Finally, you want to avoid letting perfection get in the way of momentum.
  4. Plan for sustained organizational change management: The true value of ServiceNow is only realized when it is adopted by end users. Thus, your hard work to get ServiceNow up and running for an initial group of users is only the beginning of your implementation journey. You want to view your journey as—and, indeed, plan for this journey to be—a multi-year adventure that involves evangelizing, developing ServiceNow ambassadors, getting executive buy-in and sponsorship, and fostering knowledge management and training. More than other enterprise solutions, ServiceNow requires a kind of corporate stoicism and big thinking that can be in short supply; thus, organizations must draw strength and determination from everyone as they work to manage organizational change.
  5. Ensure your support team prioritizes optimization: As you assemble an implementation support team, you want to keep in mind that you’ll be asking this team to do a lot—and thus you want to choose your team carefully. One of the most important priorities you want to instill in your team is the importance of promoting continued optimization of ServiceNow over the long term. To do that, you want to nurture the growth of team members as ServiceNow experts, and increase their business understanding and sense of collective purpose as they work toward achieving your ServiceNow vision. Without the right development and ongoing support team, your ServiceNow implementation will struggle to get traction and cannot be optimized.  

As you look to the future of ServiceNow and the services ecosystem you intend to build, remember the importance of focusing on long-term optimization goals for the platform: You will be asking ServiceNow to be adaptive, better integrated, and in direct alignment with your changing business landscape and service demands. In a short span of time, perhaps just three years, you can almost count on being called upon to evolve and grow ServiceNow into something very different from what it is today.

History serves those who collaborate well and innovate forward. It is unkind to those who look backward for answers and ignore the possible. Will your ServiceNow story be one of sustained optimization, or a rough mix of wins and disappointments?

The key to sustained optimization is to think big enough to achieve a full return on the investment, not just a portion. Indeed, it’s no coincidence that ServiceNow is growing at such a brisk pace: Enterprises are rapidly realizing the power of ServiceNow to remove many of the inefficiencies that have built up over the past five, 10, even 20 years from siloed decision-making, distributed computing, and exposure to the exciting potential of cloud technologies. ServiceNow gives modern operators the opportunity to take a step back and comprehensively tilt the workflow operations game in their favor. Grab that chance, gain an advantage, and get to what’s possible.


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 optimizing ServiceNow to drive enterprise-wide transformation, send us an email at letstalk@crossfuze.com.

Enjoyed this Pillar? Request your FREE copy of the 10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success book to read them all!


Related Pillar Content:

Pillar 1: Building a ServiceNow Vision

Pillar 2: Charting a roadmap to Service Management transformation

Pillar 4: Assembling a winning implementation team

Pillar 6: Building a solid support system to promote widespread adoption


Additional References:

ServiceNow: The growing use of ITSM and ITIL outside of the IT organization and other statistics

CIO: What problems are digital solutions solving?

CIO: Making the case for agile in the enterprise


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

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

10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success for CIOs – Pillar 10: Creating a Fully Integrated ServiceNow Ecosystem

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

10 Pillars of ServiceNow Success for CIOs – Pillar 6: Building a Solid Support System to Promote Widespread Adoption

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

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