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Blog Post|4 minutes

Paul Hardy (ServiceNow): The Changing Role of IT

October 21, 2020

Our customers often stress the phenomenal power that comes from the integration of Nexthink and ServiceNow. Bernardo Ramos, for example, former Director of IT for Arkema, saw their integration as a way of getting real-time information on all their workstations automatically and without effort.

“With ServiceNow I had the feeling of having something the best of its class,” he told us, shortly before his retirement earlier this year. “With Nexthink I have the feeling of something that is unique in its class. Working with these two tools has been a passion.”  

The unprecedented subsequent events of 2020 have made the enhancements that Nexthink and ServiceNow (respectively and together) deliver to users more important than ever. Following a special co-presented BrightTalk presentation, ‘Reimagined Service Management: Revolutionizing Digital Employee Experience,’ Nexthink caught up with Paul Hardy (Evangelist, Chief Innovation Office at ServiceNow) to discuss the significance of these changes. 

Nexthink: What service desk trends have been brought to the forefront through the 2020 crisis? 

Paul Hardy: I think we’ve seen the greater narrowing of the gap between treating users like employees and treating them like customers. And with that, we’ve seen the service desk essentially become a customer service desk and the customer desk an experience desk. Talking to customers about some of the challenges they’ve faced with having thousands of staff working from home, we’ve consistently heard that the calls that traditionally came into the service desk weren’t always just IT related.  

Often in organizations the only service desk they had for employees was the IT service desk, so naturally a lot of the work that the service desk started doing or had to do was actually cross functional or cross departmental. Which means of course that they’ve got to be much more diverse with the knowledge they’ve got, and to really learn to treat their customers – the employees – with the white glove service when required.  

How were you able to support service desks through this period? 

Central to this was our ability to automate all of those mundane administrative tasks that the service desk was previously consumed withThat enabled service desks to concentrate on the work that only humans can do – the empathy part. Ultimately, we want to know that employees are happy all the time because happy staff are more productive and greater productivity leads to greater profitability.  

Expectations have grown and I think it’s no longer those traditional KPIs that we’re looking at. It’s really looking at how we expect the services to run. And if we look at the consumer world, with the likes of Netflix, Disney PlusAmazonwe start to see how expectations are being molded for the workplace. And now more recently we’ve seen it change again with people working from home, working from anywhere, on any device at any time.  

Ultimately, companies want to avoid embedding so many policies or processes that they effectively stifle business innovation. What you actually want to do is allow people to be creative, allow people to be innovative, to protect the perimeter and allow people to drive forward. So, service management priorities and capabilities are hugely important – but they’re there to guide innovation, they’re there to guide the way forward, rather than create hurdles that get in the way 

How does IT need to structurally adapt to and anticipate its changing role? 

I think fundamentally this requires a cultural shift, and we’ve got to also think about constantly measuring satisfaction and outcomes. All the SLAs we had in the past should have been agreed upon with the business. But nine times out of ten they couldn’t agree with an SLA because they couldn’t understand the thousands of acronyms that IT used.  

Then there’s the assumption at organizations with conventional SLAs: that we’ve hit our SLAs so we’re all good. It’s like that watermelon example: green on the outside but red on the inside – and that’s the customers that aren’t happy. We’re moving more towards this agile approach which is constant and in real time. Why should we only ask people when they’ve resolved a ticket if they’re happy or not? Why don’t we ask them all the time, to have a constant dialogue? 

You can watch Paul Hardy and David D’Agostino (ITSM Practice Lead, Nexthink) on a special BrightTalk presentation, Reimagined Service Management: Revolutionizing Digital Employee Experience

If your IT department is eager to improve their remote work or work-from-anywhere setup, and they seek tangible, proactive solutions, then contact a Nexthink representative today.

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