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Digitalization - Why 2022 will be a year of optimization

Even in the digital revolution, there are urgently needed consolidation phases. What priorities companies need to set now. And which optimization steps need to be taken.


In the current optimization phase, workers should be empowered to make the most of the technology available.

"Take your time. A field that has been allowed to rest yields magnificent crops." Even though this insight by the world-changer Mahatma Gandhi may hardly seem to fit the development history of digitization at first glance - an intellectual link makes perfect sense. Let's take a brief look back.

The years 2020 and 2021 were anything but "normal." The global Corona crisis forced IT organizations in three sectors in particular to take consistent action under high pressure: Migration to the cloud, development of structures for hybrid working models, and the associated enormous upgrading of their own IT services.

In the large-scale study "IT Service Management 2021" by IDG, the IT decision-makers surveyed found clear words: IT service management (ITSM) is currently the most important strategic topic in IT - even ahead of cyber security. There was also agreement that the central criteria of IT services - standardized order, efficiency and speed - also have a positive impact on the business processes of other departments and thus on the entire company. This is referred to as Enterprise Service Management (ESM), the big brother of ITSM.

In both services, budgets increased significantly in 2021. And six out of ten large companies had already introduced an ESM tool, and the trend is rising. These findings are backed up by a Bitkom study from April 2021, in which 95 percent of the industrial companies surveyed stated that the digitization of their organization had become much more important in the wake of the pandemic and, moreover, that digital technologies were helping them to cope with the crisis.

Back to Gandhi: The (digital) field in his sentiment has thus obviously been sufficiently tilled up to the present. The task now is to consolidate and optimize what has been achieved so far and then - in Gandhi's words - reap the expected harvest. But how can this be done?

The three steps: people, processes, technologies

As part of a large-scale survey entitled "Driving performance through optimization" from October 2021, the U.S. platform provider ServiceNow, together with ThoughtLab, queried the background to upcoming optimizations and next steps in digitization. And more than 900 international C-level executives provided answers.

Their key message: the three essential acceleration factors for optimization are

  • Technology

  • Processes

  • People

Sixty-five percent of executives want to modernize their IT platforms and systems, 60 percent want to use processes to strengthen cross-departmental collaboration, and 57 percent aim to train and upskill their teams.

So top executives have understood that it's not enough to simply equip employees with better technology. They also need to be empowered to get the most out of this technology in their day-to-day work.

These are the priorities we need to set now

In order to be able to design one's own business models in an increasingly digitalized economy in the future not only more securely, but above all more dynamically, it is necessary to focus on three aspects. Chris Bedi, CIO of ServiceNow, sums them up in the current issue of Workflow Quarterly: data utilization, consumer friendliness, individualization.

What exactly does that mean? In order for companies to develop better service and product experiences for their customers, which subsequently drive higher revenue growth, all existing but also newly acquired data must be used in the best possible way. Robert Rosellen, Senior Sales Director Large Enterprise at ServiceNow, specifies, "If data is the new oil, all companies need to get even better at evaluating it and then monetizing it." The same goes for services and applications - where the focus needs to be on consumer convenience. With the exclusively tailored individualization and personalization of products and service offerings, Chris Bedi's triad is rounded off - and new markets can be developed in a targeted manner.

Putting priorities into practice in everyday life

Enterprise service management systems are the tool of choice to enable companies to implement these priorities - data utilization, user-friendliness and exclusivity - in their day-to-day operations - and they are also real gamechangers. Platforms like ServiceNow's Now Platform bring together data collection and storage, workflow automation, and reporting across the enterprise. With centralized data storage, the Now Platform eliminates critical data silos and also enables the development of networked, cross-departmental workflows. Based on all data.

Only a happy customer is a loyal customer - true to this motto, user-friendliness must focus on aspects such as efficiency, speed and level in the customer journey - to which the NowPlatform, for example, can contribute quite a bit: "Future-oriented companies 'empower' their employees in Service Operations. They provide them with suitable technical solutions that are smooth, simple and quick to use," explains Rosellen. For example, in this System of Action, customer service representatives not only have access to all relevant data, but can also trigger customer-centric activities and services in the platform.

To enable companies to tailor their applications, products and services even more closely to the needs of customers and consumers, they must be quick and customizable. Via the app engine of the Now Platform, this is also possible for employees without programming skills, via low-code applications. In this way, companies that have basically nothing to do with software development can rapidly accelerate their own digital transformation, optimize their business results, and also empower their employees in a new way.

Robert Rosellen summarizes: "On the Now platform, digital workflow-driven apps can be configured, making it possible to connect people, functions and systems quickly and easily. With a focus on optimizing business processes." So nothing stands in the way of the glorious "harvest". And Gandhi's sentence will also become reality in the 21st century.


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