IT automation led to innovation in Howard County Government

ServiceNow has helped thousands of businesses automate IT workflows. Today, a growing number of organizations are also using ServiceNow to automate business workflows. Howard County, Md. is one of them. The county adopted ServiceNow to improve IT support and delivery, and quickly recognized it could be extended to automate and streamline many work processes, including citizen requests.

With roughly 3,500 employees, Howard County is a big operation by local government standards. An IT team of 85 manages 200 separate applications and systems. In 2016, the county chose cloud-based ServiceNow software to replace a mix of on-premises applications, spreadsheets and documents used to manage IT projects and support cases. The initial efforts focused on mapping infrastructure to services and automating internal IT processes.

But the deployment team quickly realized they could also use ServiceNow to automate the county’s business processes. “At its core, there are things that ServiceNow does extremely well, and you can take those building blocks and create all of these other systems,” says Tom Yeatts, Howard County’s deputy CIO. “Automated workflows aren’t just for IT “The same thing can be applied to human resources or customer relationship management. Once we show a department the benefits of using a single automation platform, we can help it streamline workflows — the return can be almost exponential. It’s really exciting to see what the possibilities are.”

As of late 2017, the IT department has automated more than a dozen business processes and expects to automate more than 200 in the coming years. The county is currently developing a self-service website that will allow citizens to make requests and track their status. Process automation will fundamentally change how public services in the county are delivered, and make it easier for citizens to interact with the county government.

Want to know more about Howard County’s ambitious plans? Read the full-length case study.

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Sheila Pickett
Sheila Pickett is the Industry Marketing Director for State & Local Government and Education at ServiceNow. She is passionate about understanding the complex needs of state and local government and education customers, and raising awareness of the innovative use of platform technology to deliver better outcomes in government and education. Prior to ServiceNow, Sheila held a variety of technical and marketing roles. Once upon a time she was a geophysicist and a SCUBA instructor.

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