What’s new in ServiceNow San Diego release?

The ServiceNow San Diego update

New release of ServiceNow is available now! Named after the city of San Diego, it brings many changes, new and shiny like the California sun, that will fire users’ imagination. The ServiceNow San Diego release includes not only improvements of the previous features but also services, products and events that are completely new.  A metamorphosed user interface, complete data automation, low-code innovations, IT Management Business transformed into Strategic Portfolio Management and Specific Industry Solutions – there are some examples of the new features. As always, we prepared a summary of the most important changes, just as we did with previous updates, to make your work better, faster and easier. We hope reading this article will make you ready for the next step – reading ServiceNow release notes for information about new features and preparing for the upgrade.

ServiceNow San Diego Release

New Experience UI (Polaris)

ServiceNow platform developers listen carefully to user feedback. Previous versions were criticized by users for unattractive design, unchanged since 2016. It was considered to be old-fashioned, distinctly different from other modern services. One of the most important changes in the ServiceNow San Diego is a user interface redesign and introduction of the new Next Experience UI (Polaris). ServiceNow completely changes user experience. The difference is not only about the colors, better typography or rounded edges – the new ServiceNow release UI delivers a modern and intuitive experience. This is the change you are going to love. San Diego upgrade focuses on personalization. Users have access to all the content and are able to create a new task – this function is not reserved for admin only but also for the user. All tasks, current and previous ones, can be easily viewed and added to Favorites. Applications in the platform are built on four tabs: All, Favorites, History and Workspaces. Each of them enables keyword search and viewing search results. San Diego also introduces a dark mode – something that many users have been asking for.

Here you can read about previous ServiceNow release – Rome.

Automation Engine with RPA

Every user of ServiceNow knows Integration Hub that enables integration with any API based system. San Diego introduces Automation Engine – excellent solution for automatization and integration. It connects Integration Hub with brand-new possibilities of RPA. Robotic Process Automation plays a key role in business process automatization, making it much easier and allowing to reduce time and money at the same time. The San Diego Release enables problem-free integration of old systems with ServiceNow and full automatization of manual processes. Human abilities are mimicked by artificial intelligence in the form of bots, also called “virtual workers”. It’s not only a change, it’s a real revolution.

Low-Code Innovations

Low-code platforms and citizen development are very popular terms in IT industry right now, considered to be game-changing features and the future of developing applications. This opinion is shared by ServiceNow – looking at new release, we understand why ServiceNow was named a leader in low-code development platforms. One of the most popular low-code platforms App Engine Studio with App Engine, a development tool for creators to build applications; another, for instance, is Mobile App Builder that helps to create mobile experiences. The new release introduces many features that are based on low-code solutions and require very little or no coding at all in order to make build application or processes. Users are given more freedom – you can use the platform the way you want to and adjust it to your businesses.

Strategic Portfolio Management

Formerly known in ServiceNow as IT Business Management, this feature undergoes a rebranding in ServiceNow San Diego Release. Now it is called as Strategic Portfolio Management. The new name reflects the changes – in comparison to the previous ServiceNow releases, San Diego has a bigger collection of applications, enabling their better integration. Strategic Portfolio Management allows you to see the entire life cycle of a service or an application, from idea to implementation, in one place. The San Diego release focuses also on Goals Management, an application you should pay attention to if you are responsible for strategic planning in your company. Some features, adapted to their needs, were created also for Solution Owners.

ESG management

ServiceNow San Diego release introduces ESG management – a completely new product that shows how the platform effectively responds to the problems of our time. Issues such as climate change or gender inequalities require taking action – this is more and more important for companies and their investors. ESG Management allows you to effectively manage ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) criteria that include relations with the environment, community of employees, suppliers and customers and management style. These criteria can be easily evaluated, improved, monitored and reported. ESG management enables also managing initiatives, processes and data about above-mentioned issues.

Industry Specific Solutions

Last but not least – ServiceNow San Diego Release offers many unique upgrades for specific industries, such as insurance, banking and telecommunications. As a result, functions such as Customer Service Management become easier to use than ever before. San Diego opens a world of new possibilities, primarily for healthcare, life sciences service management and financial services. The new features include new features for transactional data and dedicated data models.

ServiceNow San Diego release – prepare your company for the new!

One of the highest priorities at ServiceNow is platform security when it comes to protecting your information. With the new features and improvements to existing ones (for instance, areas as Field Service Management or IT Service Management were enhanced and updated), the San Diego release allows users to reach a new level of productivity and rise their skill levels. Summarizing new services and events, the biggest change is New Experience UI that meets the highest of expectations and improves user engagement. RPA & artificial intelligence as virtual workers enable full automatization of manual processes; IT Business Management has transformed into Strategic Portfolio Management. Low-code development innovations become increasingly popular and accessible, confirming they are the future of application development. The San Diego Release also introduces new products such as ESG Management or Industry Specific Solutions, dedicated to specific businesses. They improve work and make it faster and better, taking innovation to the next level.

Discover the possibilities of ServiceNow platform with the new services and make your work easier, faster and better thanks to all opportunities that San Diego release is opening for you now. Next experience is around the corner as another release – Tokyo – is coming at the end of the year. Prepare for the platform upgrade.

5 practical tips for effective ServiceNow implementation

Before implementation

ServiceNow is a powerful technology platform that can drive digital transformation and process automation in large organizations. But implementation can also be frustrating and cumbersome. Based on my experience as an implementation consultant, you need to do these 5 things if you want to increase the odds of ServiceNow project success. Here are 5 tips for successful implementation of ServiceNow – the best practices you need to think about before starting your journey with ServiceNow platform.

Set clear business goals 

It’s time to begin, and let’s do it with the first step – business goals. When I join new ServiceNow implementation engagements, I like to ask myself some questions, and the most important ones are: “We need to consider, what are we doing here”? What do we want to accomplish by investing everybody’s time and effort into the project that will likely take months and cost millions? 

You have to answer this and the funny thing is, it is not always clear how.  

What is not so funny is that when it comes to a successful ServiceNow implementation, without clear business goals everybody involved in the project – without a single exception – struggles. And this is to be expected. The truth based on many case studies is: you don’t know where you’re going (at least roughly), you will (most likely) never get there. 

Before thinking about implementing ServiceNow, it’s time to approach what you want and what you have to accomplish. Think out of the box. Answering this question, ideally in measurable ways, makes it easier to select the ServiceNow product and services, including the right license package, assemble the team that is fit for the job, plan timelines and distribute tasks, destined to ensure a successful ServiceNow implementation.

Put boundaries on the scope

Scope creep is a real thing. It doesn’t come out of nowhere. It drains resources. It derails and frustrates teams. It delays go-lives. You don’t want to have these struggles in your project, definitely not in a major way. 

That’s why scope boundaries are needed. Ideally, they should flow from clear business goals. But they are more specific.  Your business goal may be migrating from your legacy ticketing solution to IT Service Management in ServiceNow within 3 months.  

Your scope should specify whether migrating existing tickets from a ServiceNow implementation of the old tool to the ServiceNow is part of the project. Or which ITSM processes (incident, change, problem, service request) will be part of implementing ServiceNow. Or whether Knowledge management is in scope too. And so on. 

The more you explicitly include and exclude from the scope, the easier it will be for everybody, including your ServiceNow implementation vendor and platform support team, to estimate their effort and manage ServiceNow delivery without drama. 

Put together the team  

I guess this is my personal favorite from all best practices to ensure the right ServiceNow implementation. IT systems are about technology, about the platform, but, out of the question, they are also the people.  People who collaborate to define business goals and scope. People who bring technical expertise to configure, customize and test your ServiceNow instance. People who drive and embed the change in your organization. People from the IT department, responsible for IT processes. And finally people who will be using ITSM applications, Customer Service Management, Project Portfolio Management, GRC, HR Service Delivery, Safe Workplace Suite, Event Management or whatever ServiceNow solution or product that you are planning to roll out. 

The quality of the team that you put together on your side (especially process owners and product owners) and the quality of the team your ServiceNow implementation vendor will bring to the table will to a large degree define the quality of a ServiceNow implementation. 

One fatal mistake I’ve seen is dismissing this good old human aspect of technical implementations based on the assumption that “technology will simply take care of itself” or “developers will just do it”. As disappointing as it sounds, we’re not there yet, not even close, and strong teams are key to successful ServiceNow projects.  

You’ll find even more practical tips how to avoid pitfalls in implementing ITSM ServiceNow here.

Follow the implementation process 

And strong teams work much more effectively if they operate within some framework. Let’s call it the implementation process of ServiceNow. It’s simply a sequence of steps, to some degree predictable and repeatable across ServiceNow projects, that provide guardrails for everyone involved, from business stakeholders to solution architects to quality assurance engineers. 

ServiceNow is promoting its own methodology called Now Create, based on years of the most important customer experiences, best practices, successes and failures of the platform.  

The most successful implementation of the platform vendors embrace it but also enhance it with a lower-level process for SDLC (software development lifecycle), team collaboration mechanisms (like Agile) and other practices that provide structure to what is often a very dynamic, non-linear process of implementation and embedding ServiceNow as an ITSM, ESM, CSM, ITOM, PPM, GRC or HR solution.

Embed this change 

One of the halves of the battle is getting the technical part. We need to think about what the other half is. The right answer is: getting the intended users to make the new tool – ServiceNow – their own.  
One thing to consider is if employees really visit the new Service Portal and use the Service Catalog. Do they see value in ServiceNow? Do business approvers log in to the mobile app to approve requests, changes or contracts on the go? Do team leads pay attention to SLAs to drive efficiency of their teams? Are support agents more productive and less frustrated now that they have dashboards, reports and Performance Analytics to make their work easier? Are their business needs completely fulfilled? Are they satisfied with usage of the platform?

It’s not enough to say that these things work – technically. Well, it may be enough to sign off the completion of the project. You know – tick this box. But in the bigger picture, for the ServiceNow product, like ITSM, PPM or a custom app, to be successfully implemented, it needs to be backed up with organizational change management.

How to do it? This means user adoption support, training and communication, documentation and sharing, usage monitoring, feedback management and continuous improvement. All this is needed to make the platform truly transform the organization. And the best value is that this job is never complete (or easy) as organizations evolve and so should their people, processes, services and tools, including ServiceNow.

Another thing worth your consideration is platform’s user experience. We gathered in ebook 7 tips that you should take a closer look at while improving your platform UX.

Prepare for ServiceNow implementation

To sum up, 5 things you should remember when implementing ServiceNow: make sure people will use it, build realistic scope, set clear business goals, gather a strong team of people who will be project ambassadors across your organization. Don’t forget that you don’t have to know it all. We are here to prepare you for the journey and make this process smooth and successful. Prepare for implementation with a partner who cares.