Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group has finished a three month pilot using ServiceNow within its ITSM function and is planning for a full rollout this March, with the aim of it underpinning a number of growth and digital change initiatives.
ServiceNow will reach up to 10,000 end users and the banking group is spending a significant amount of time focusing on restructuring the underlying data, so that new platforms and processes can be added and integrated going forward.
The project has been led by ServiceNow partner TeamUltra, and diginomica got the chance to speak to head of ITSM at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group, Scott McGarvey, about his plans for the platform.
On why the organisation selected ServiceNow, McGarvey said that there was a drive to adopt technologies that used more out of the box functionality and could take advantage of regular updates, as a result of being hosted in the cloud. The group had been using BMC’s Remedy platform for ITSM, but this was coming out of support, resulting in a need to explore new alternatives. McGarvey said: He explained:
Remedy didn’t meet the needs of the business, which was a problem that was going to be compounded in the future – it had a lack of flexibility, a poor user interface, a lack of integration between system components. All of those drove us to exploring what is out there in the market.
ServiceNow ticked all the boxes in terms of the requirements. We wanted an integrated toolset. We wanted something cloud-hosted and evergreen. We wanted something that would give users a nice experience. And something that could really support our journey. The continuous development of ServiceNow, the way that they bring features out, and the way that they work with customers to understand what they need, that was something that was appealing – we have growth ambitions and we’ve got ambitions to drive a great amount of change.
In order to do that we cannot afford to be coding custom integrations, none of these things would support that journey, we need a platform that supports that agility.
We’ve had issues in the past with large upgrades turning into costly projects. I think that was definitely something we wanted to get away from.
As noted above, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group has conducted a three month pilot and will continue with the full rollout by March this year. The Group is taking an agile and iterative approach, by adding features as the project gains traction, rather than taking a big bang approach. It will be used by approximately 1,000 people within the IT function and up to 10,000 people across the business. McGarvey explained:
So it’s been built and it’s progressing really well. We are rolling out requirements in much more of a phased manner, to allow people to absorb change, to build momentum, to manage that internal capacity. Part of strategy is not have huge investments followed by periods of low spend – we are looking for a much more balanced approach to investment.
Whilst ServiceNow has historically focused on its ITSM roots, in recent years it has expanded its capabilities across the business, becoming a “system of action” for other functions that include customer service, HR and security, to name a few. It doesn’t claim to be a system of record, rather a platform that taps into complementary systems of record, enabling a better service experience for users across an organisation.
With this in mind, I asked whether Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank Group were considering expanding the ServiceNow footprint beyond ITSM. And according to McGarvey, this could well be the case, and a strong focus has been put on the underlying data to ensure this is a possibility. He said:
We are building the platform with that in mind. So a lot of the effort has gone into making sure our base data, our employee data and our business and service architecture, is mapped in the tool. One of the things we have put a lot of effort in over the last six months is getting that right. We are also using single sign on with Okta.
We are building the foundations to enable that and what we envisage is that if we have a requirement in HR, procurement, facilities, project management, what we have now is a way forward. At least a very strong option that says to the business that this is approved by IS, is already integrated, already has your base data, the users are already trained in the basic functionality. So when we go to compare products, I think ServiceNow will give us a strong option.
Pros and Cons
In terms of measuring the impact of the ServiceNow platform, McGarvey pointed to a number of benefits that the organisation is likely to achieve as a result of the implementation. He said:
Internally, from an ITSM process, efficiency will be our first measure. We plan to deliver really big process efficiency gains on day one. That will be a success measure and that will then enable us to empower staff, to reinvest that time and continue service improvement and other things.
The second measure is the delivery team capability. So by providing a better change management process and having our data online and a stakeholder approval process, our delivery teams will be able to deliver faster, with less paperwork. That time to market, we are looking to bring that down.
And whilst he claims that there were no notable challenges with the pilot, which McGarvey states is a result of going with 80% of the out of the box functionality from ServiceNow, he does anticipate needing to manage the behaviour of users going forward to achieve the full benefits cited above. He said:
Culturally, we’ve got two people looking at the business change and the cultural aspects. We know from speaking to other people that have gone through the journey that that’s something you’ve got to pay attention to and you won’t get the full benefits unless you drive the culture change.
The second challenge is a good one, is actually managing demand and setting expectations. A number of people are already lining up to use the service catalogue and service portal – so where people are using legacy tools like Lotus Notes or SharePoint workflows, they really want to bring that on to ServiceNow.
They want to use the orchestration tool. Actually prioritising and managing that demand will be a balance of keeping people interested and making sure that they don’t use another tool, but at the same time realising that not everything can happen at once. Being a victim of your own success, is certainly one of the main challenges.
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Disclosure - ServiceNow is a diginomica premier partner at time of writing.