Part of my role, in ITSM Product Management, is delivering roadmap sessions to our customers and partners. I really enjoy this part of the job; showcasing some of the latest features that will be coming out in the next few releases (a glimpse of the future). More importantly, I love the feedback I receive and hearing how our customers are implementing their own new features and migrating applications and business services onto the ServiceNow platform. As I start to hear common themes (for example what’s ServiceNow’s position on SIAM and multi-vendor management?), I have a great opportunity to help influence our product roadmap and define priorities for our core product development teams.
In order to help drive further adoption, as a vendor, we have a responsibility to clearly define and execute a realistic and achievable ‘living’ product roadmap. One of the key pieces of feedback I get is that our customers and partners are frustrated at spending a huge amount of time and resource in developing custom business services, only for ServiceNow to deliver it Out Of Box in the next release. By sharing our vision and being more transparent, we’re able to not only address this frustration but closer partner with organisations to deliver real value with enhancements and new features.
Our Chief Product Officer, CJ, has targeted us to look beyond 6 month cycles and set clear expectations on what we expect to deliver Out Of Box in the next 3 releases. Today, that’s London, Madrid and the ‘N’ release. My roadmap sessions initially focus on defining short-term objectives and highlighting the features we plan to deliver in our London release (scheduled to launch in the 2nd half of 2018) and then paint a picture (high-level) of what you can expect over the next 18 months.
Centered around some core themes, we’re focused on delivering great User Experiences, making it easy for customers to request services. With an integrated knowledgebase providing answers, and communities and self-service portals + service-catalogs making it easy for customers to get the things that they need. Additionally, we’re delivering great Service Experiences too. For example the fulfiller (think Service Agent), they can easily prioritize tasks, and see the context of those tasks because of the richness of the CMDB. They can also assign work across the organization with simple workflows and powerful orchestration. Finally, we’re leveraging Service Intelligence to route work effectively, categorize it, and predict and get ahead of anomalies.
We’re delivering all of those great experiences across five cloud services. IT, Security, HR, Customer Service, and more generally, anyone can build custom intelligent applications to digitize their business. (Obviously), as part of our ITSM Business Unit, my focus is around IT and how organisations can modernise their IT Service Management, eliminate service outages and run IT like a business to drive digital transformation across the enterprise. After all, this is one of the top 3 priorities of any CIO.
To expand on that a little further, what does ‘Digital Transformation’ actually mean? Well, I believe for ITSM it falls into 3 main categories:
- Deliver great experiences (both user and service)
- Simplify and automate work
- Innovate and stay ahead
At ServiceNow, across the whole platform, but particularly in ITSM, we are really driving hard on the innovation angle and delivering new capabilities that our competitors simply can’t touch. We are re-establishing ITSM as the foundation for effective digital transformation. With Kingston, we delivered Machine Learning for every day work, the first launch of Agent Intelligence. We also delivered No Code Process Automation with the launch of our Integration Hub and Flow Designer. What this effectively does is allow anyone in the business to author codeless flows using natural language to automate business processes across and within ServiceNow cloud apps.
With London, we will deliver enhanced fulfiller experience. Kingston saw improvements to Service Portal and Service Catalog, enhancing the experience for users. But, for a while, fulfillers have been crying out for more than just an improved user interface design. They want us to make the overall experience better – simpler, faster, smarter. Additionally, based on our acquisition of Qlue, we’re going to improve the conversational experience with the launch of our Virtual Agent. If you haven’t yet seen our video on Artificial Intelligence, you can see a sneak preview of our vision for chat support, powered by our Virtual Agent. And finally, we’re going to deliver a real multi-channel experience. When we think of Uber, Amazon, Netflix and how easy those apps are to use… How great would it be if everything at work was as simple? You can expect to see a truly native mobile experience; swipe, scroll, tap etc (not just a reskin of the browser environment) coming real soon.