ServiceNow: Fairytale of New York

17 September 2019

Ring the bells, ServiceNow’s New York release has arrived! ServiceNow issues two new releases every year and this one, just like its predecessors, looks to be a crowd pleaser. The New York version has some 650 updates and improvements from the previous Madrid release and speaking from experience of having already implemented it, there are a number of factors which make it a worthwhile investment…

Mobile first
Users of New York can expect consumer-like mobile experiences to;

  • Manage complex enterprise workflows across departments and functions.
  • Issue and monitor support tickets.
  • Book a conference room.
  • Order hardware.
  • Request support from HR.
  • Approve purchase orders, travel requests and legal documents.

Onboarding App
This standalone application is a one stop shop for new joiners. It combines all the functions required to get a new team member up and running.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)
The ServiceNow Virtual Agent (a newcomer in the previous Madrid release) now sees NLP added to its capabilities. This enables team members to quickly find answers to problems without having to contact the service desk.

Moving from Madrid to New York is a small step but most firms just don’t have the bandwidth to be able to upgrade this integral platform every six months. A lot of organisations have highly customised instances and therefore it can be extremely complex to switch to a newer version. And we all know what it’s like – if it’s not business critical then the chances are, it’s put on the back burner.

In my view, the true value of ServiceNow is engrained at the planning stage (read my blog Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor should any smart ServiceNow configuration). Those firms who have strategically implemented the NOW platform at the outset are the ones who can be agile and responsive to market trends and in turn benefit from ServiceNow’s six monthly innovation cycle.

Today’s modern workplace is changing on almost a daily basis and user demands must be front and centre of everything we do. This focus on creating a mobile first solution is a no brainer. People need to be as productive on the move and on any device as they are when in the office. Users expect the same standards, if not better, than the digital experiences they get from say an iPhone or Amazon.

Sounds like a dream… But it’s not that straight forward… New technology brings it’s own challenges, in this instance, mobile phones are a potential risk and compliance minefield. Interestingly I heard someone (from a well-known bank) state that if mobile phones were invented today they would be deemed too risky for anything work related. And in fact, the number of people being issued company handsets is reducing and so the risks associated with a personally owned smartphone needs careful consideration. And let’s say you have all of the security issues sewn up, you have a modern cloud technology estate and the resources to be able to invest in value-add technology (as opposed to business critical) then still the hardest thing about transforming anything in a large firm is changing the culture. Money can’t buy this, it’s not about ticking a box or following a procedure. To realise investment in the New York release you need buy-in from your team who must be willing to change the way they operate and that takes a different set of skills to what your ITSM function typically brings.

As an agnostic ITSM professional it is impossible to ignore the market dominance of ServiceNow, and it’s showing no signs of letting up. Just one day after the release, unsurprisingly, ServiceNow was recognised as a leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for IT Service Management Tools for the sixth consecutive year.

It’s not Christmas Eve yet, but maybe this year Christmas can come early? If you’re interested in upgrading your NOW platform or learning more about KA2s capabilities, then please get in touch. I can see a better time, where all your ServiceNow dreams come true!

Lewis Martin, Head of ITSM and ServiceNow,


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