Adrian Bridgwater talks to Dave Wright on the ServiceNow roadmap: Dreaming the future into reality

By Adrian Bridgwater, Guest Blogger 

Dave Wright presented the ServiceNow PartnerNow EMEA day two keynote held in Barcelona this March in his capacity as Chief Innovation Officer at ServiceNow.

Although essentially a future roadmap-inspired session looking towards the forthcoming ServiceNow London and Madrid releases, Wright used his time on stage to paint a picture of where technology is going, what users need in terms of their interaction point with technology and what we can expect in the next wave of innovation that we are only just now at the point of conceptualising.

Waves of innovation

Wright explained some of the internal development and innovation processes at ServiceNow and said that when new functionality is prototyped and subsequently developed on the platform, customers and partners can expect to see business units inside ServiceNow start to use those features and help develop and further finesse them.

ServiceNow has been working hard to bring Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) into IT Service Management (ITSM) so that users will be able to target and route data events far more intuitively. Partners will also soon now have the chance to use that AI ability to build their own tools.

Product development necessitates upgrades, clearly. Wright explained that he understands how this can be hard for customers to bring to bear, as they also constantly juggle the need to focus on daily operations.

ServiceNow’s next releases have been engineered to make upgrades easier than at any time previously and the company will continue to align its focus on this challenge.

A multi-channel future

As we look forward to the London and Madrid releases, Wright said that we will see a technology platform that is markedly more multi-channel. By this he means multi-channel in terms of different devices used to connect to the service portal itself – and, also, from the point of view of different customer software used to access the portal. ServiceNow has worked to provide stronger integration channels to make this possible.

“Digital transformation used to just be digitisation. That is, if we had a shoddy process, then we would apply technology to it and make it a really fast shoddy process. What digital transformation should be about is looking at how people interface with their devices and how work needs to change as a result of technology,” said Wright.

So it’s fair to say that there is a good deal of reinvention, innovation and development happening. But during this time of constant change, Wright highlighted that people must be able to reinvent ‘at the core’ when it comes to digital transformation, so that they can really reinvent the future.

He believes that we can take this thought forward and look at how we will change our ITSM systems and the higher-level business models that govern the way we run our enterprises at their core.

“In commercial terms, although it may sound obvious to say, it has become essential to know what your customers want. We need to understand where customers are and where they want to get to in the future,” explained Wright.

If we accept that every company today will very likely have a cloud strategy, we as ServiceNow need to apply our ability to be able to map out applications to clarify and validate the path via which those apps should move to cloud-driven services-centric computing. As such, ServiceNow ServiceWatch can be deployed to graphically map infrastructure for targeted cloud migration.”

On the road to future releases

As we look ahead to the upcoming releases of the ServiceNow platform, we can expect a more ‘fully rounded’ mobile interface that behaves the way people expect intuitive applications to work – an application that works effectively for users of all competency levels without the need for an instruction manual.

Wright concluded with the much-loved truism that not only describes our world, but also explains and validates exactly why everything we do can be defined and managed as a service – every action we take is based on people saying:

  • I want something.
  • I want something fixed or changed.
  • I want to know something.

ServiceNow’s Wright has a special ability to deliver a future product roadmap presentation though a human-interest, future lives perspective. Where other conference sessions of this kind focus on User Interface (UI) updates and assorted fanfares to celebrate a new logo, this was deeper and more thought provoking all round.

Adrían Bridgwater
Technology Journalist tracking 'developer' for Computer Weekly, Forbes, The Register & Internet of Business.

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