Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

There are silos today in most organizations between customer service desks and internal IT operations that conspire to hamper digital business transformation initiatives. ServiceNow, during its Knowledge ‘22 conference, launched a Service Operations Workspace that promises to close that divide.

This offering provides service desk personnel with more insight into the IT issues that might be impeding the resolution of a service desk ticket, says Jeff Hausman, senior vice president and general manager for the operations management portfolio at ServiceNow.

The ultimate goal is to provide service desk agents and operations teams with a single place to view issues, manage work, collaborate, and increase overall visibility, he adds.

As organizations have become more dependent on applications to engage customers, there is an opportunity to provide a better customer experience, notes Hausman. Too often today, a service representative is left in the dark as to when an IT issue disrupting a customer experience might be resolved. ServiceNow is making a case for a single software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that can be employed by both service desk personnel and IT operations teams.

Of course, that’s not necessarily a new idea, but it is easier to achieve via a SaaS platform. Today many organizations are still relying on IT service management (ITSM) software that has been extended to also address customer support requirements. That approach, however, doesn’t typically scale well enough to provide the visibility required to support a digital business process, mainly because the signal-to-noise ratio emanating out of IT environments is too high, says Hausman.

Unfortunately, customer support is still often an afterthought when the expectation today is that customer support issues will be instantly resolved. Telling a customer that a customer service representative will need to get back to them just to tell them when an issue might be resolved is no longer acceptable. Worse yet, is for that issue to be resolved hours before a customer service representative is actually informed about it.

Customer service has historically been viewed as a cost than needs to be contained. In some quarters, customer service is now viewed as a means to upsell additional products and services, but for the most part, there is still not enough appreciation for the role customer service plays in retaining customers. A bad service experience is usually the catalyst that leads to many customers starting to review their options.

Arguably, when it comes to digital business transformation, organizations would be well-advised to work backward from the customer. There’s a tendency to define a process in a way that is optimized for the organization that provides it, rather than the customers that consume it. Before too long, organizations find themselves trying to stitch together a bunch of applications spanning multiple processes in a way that makes it difficult to deliver a set of consistent digital experiences. More troubling still, it becomes extremely difficult to extend those processes in ways that might drive new experiences upon which organizations will desperately need to remain relevant to customers that, with each passing day, have greater digital expectations.