You are here

May 24, 2017

Enhanced user experience, performance speed, expanded capabilities for customer service and human resource applications, predictive analysis, and comprehensive cloud management were showcased at the recent ServiceNow #Knowledge17 conference in Orlando.  

As ServiceNow readies to unfurl its latest Jakarta release, they’re focused on demonstrating how new features can help enterprises “Work at Lightspeed.”  Here are some highlights.

A Leg Up on Data Analytics and Cloud Management

ServiceNow’s acquisitions of DXContinuum (data analytics) and ITapp (cloud management) have given them a distinct advantage in a few major areas:

  • Predictive analysis based on machine learning of historical incidents and events in the areas of categorization, prioritization, assignment yielding to speed of deriving Root Cause Analysis, recognizing anomalies and preventing incidents from occurring.
  • Anomaly detection based off peer benchmarks customized by client-specific data.
  • Hybrid cloud management with multiple abstract capabilities, such as the ability to blueprint tiered applications and financial reports with visibility into chargeback via an intuitive customer portal.

Case Management Services Heighten User Experience

ServiceNow has made some huge investments in developing their customer service and HR case management services to bring user experience to the forefront.  In one of the more powerful demonstrations at the conference, ServiceNow shared how their self-service portal, which features a robust catalog for employees, can be used during onboarding for request and fulfillment via process automation.  Another main thrust of development is their “Platform” which offers scripts, APIs and pre-canned workflows to offer PaaS capabilities, lending itself to intuitive application development—especially for HR and business applications.  

Providing an Enterprise-Centric View with Business Service Mapping

Business Service Mapping seemed to be the hottest topic at #Knowledge17, as just about everyone I spoke with had either attended sessions or labs on the subject. Service Mapping enables a way to figure out business impacts based on a number of events and incidents related to Configuration Management Database (CMDB) specific items providing contextual situational awareness.

There were a number of other release features announced during the conference, but my personal favorite was ServiceNow’s software asset and license management. This is a huge problem in the eyes of just about every government representative I have spoken with; in fact, it’s one of the main inhibitors to cloud migration for certain agencies today.

It Takes an Ecosystem

The expo hall at #Knowledge17 showcased various partners from ServiceNow’s ecosystem, from service providers, to message bus providers, to asset management products and security vendors. There were the typical major systems integrator partners who have adopted solutions around ServiceNow for their clients, but the highlight was the “CreatorCon” challenge participants who demonstrated the versatility and creative potential of the ServiceNow “Platform” with imaginative demos including an Alexa integration, a Lego train, and a Brian wave.

Hearing the many user stories and lessons learned I was particularly interested to see the myriad of ways that ServiceNow is being used to solve real-life business issues—like multiple CMDBs with no authoritative system of truth and transformation from a disparate and disconnected service management structure to a single smart service management system. The single theme across the user stories was the partnering between the user and a service provider—giving credence to ServiceNow’s large ecosystem.

Partnering to Power Through Transitions

In a session on government adoption of ServiceNow, panelists from Oak Ridge National Lab, FCC, DoD, and USPS spoke about how they are managing the turmoil of transition with ServiceNow.  Each agency was at a different stage of adoption and had different use cases using ServiceNow, ranging from traditional IT service management to building enterprise business applications.

Listening to this panel, I’m even more convinced that federal agencies need a trusted adviser and service provider to build solutions that realize agencies’ business goals. ServiceNow is much bigger than just an IT service management product, and CSRA is pleased to have them as a Strategic Alliance Partner to help serve our government customers’ critical missions.

As Ashley Haynes-Gaspar from GE alluded to at #Knowledge17, ServiceNow is on its way to bringing “tranquility and agility” to the service experience  through customized personas and by providing access to the right data at the right time—giving substance to ServiceNow’s new “Work at Lightspeed” mantra.


Lakshmi Narayan-Ashok is a CSRA thought leader and domain expert in the areas of cloud, data center optimization, hybrid IT Life Cycle Management, high Performance Computing (HPC) and the Internet of Things (IoT). She leads the digital consultancy group and defines CSRA’s strategy for next generation offerings and engages technology practitioners through a strong community of interest within CSRA to help ensure our employees develop the technology skillsets our customers require. Lakshmi has worked in IT for more than twenty-five years supporting federal clients.