What does the Architecture of a Fully Digitally Transformed Financial Services Firm look like?
As a company moves to the cloud it needs to consider three things: Applications, Data and Infrastructure. Organisations want best of breed. They are going to move to strategic platforms across all of their core operations. For the sake of argument, let’s say in Sales they move to Salesforce, in Engineering they move to aws, in Operations to SAP, in HR to workday and in Finance to Oracle. But how do you make work flow between these point solutions?
You have disparate Applications, Data and Infrastructure in each of your organisation’s core operations. To make work flow between them you’re going to need to build digital workflows. But to be able to do that, you first need to consolidate these applications and data into a single infrastructure – a single system of action.
This single system of action = the ServiceNow NowPlatform.
On top of this, you build your access layer, a single location for your employees and your customers to access the information they need. For years organisations have been using company intranets to fulfil this function. Today, it’s simply a portal. A single location where employees can communicate, collaborate, view documents; anything they need to be productive in their day-to-day all in one location. Behind this access layer sits the NowPlatform, the workflow workhorse of the organisation. It acts as the organisation’s single system of record collecting data and information across the various point solutions that you’re deploying across your operational estate. Housing all of this data in one location and one data model allows you to leverage the power of digital workflows, and the native platform functionality to get work done:
Integrations: Workflows that orchestrate the movement of information in and out of our point solutions.
Process Automation: Intelligent workflows that automatically route and assign work to individuals based on the process and business rules assigned.
Process Optimisation: Using native AI and Machine Learning capabilities, the platform can learn how you go about your day-to-day to streamline overly complex processes or suggest automation candidates.
Analytics & Visualisations: Housing all of your data under one roof allows you to create dashboards that update in real-time as well as draw powerful analytics like trend analysis based on historical data.
Developer Tools: One of the most powerful areas of the ServiceNow platform is also one of the most under-appreciated. With all of your data in one place and the workflow capability native to the platform, you can build your own custom applications to handle the use cases specific to your business needs.
What does a typical digital transformation with ServiceNow look like?
As powerful as some of these features and functionality sound unfortunately it is not as simple as plug and play. It requires careful planning and phasing of release as you mature through your digital transformation journey. I keep coming back to data and the power of housing it all under one roof, but quite simply, if you don’t get this foundational stage right, none of the rest will matter. Though painstaking, this presents a huge opportunity for differentiation for those organisations that get this right.
Stage 1 Foundations:
This is all about laying the right foundation by getting the data into the platform to establish ServiceNow as the single source of truth. Within the financial services sector, two key focus areas are ensuring compliance and introducing operational efficiencies. These can both be achieved by discovering your operational estate and bringing it into the CMDB to introduce more visibility across your operations. A good example would be asset lifecycle information. It is invaluable to understand where your assets are, what state they’re in, how close they are to end-of-life and whether they are compliant.
Stage 2 Experience:
The second stage is all about the experience. Now that you’ve got your data onto the platform and you’ve got some basic processes set up, it’s time to double down on these. How can you take your CMDB to the next level by making it service-aware? You achieve this by improving the stability of your processes by introducing some light touch automation such as automated routing of approvals. As your understanding of your services improves, you can start to map out service dependencies allowing you to place the customer as the focal point through SLAs and self-service.
Stage 3 Automation:
This final stage is characterised by automation. How can you leverage the native intelligence of the platform to innovate and simplify your operational estate? Using the data in the platform and the process maps you established in phase 2, you can start to identify candidates for automation. What processes can be simplified, eliminated in their entirety or fully automated to improve service speed and robustness? I often see this stage as the move from reactive to proactive. You can leverage the AI and machine learning intelligence to monitor your estate and learn from the historical data to pick out trends and forecasts that show you when and where an issue or outage is likely to occur. Proactive remediation not only fixes a problem before it happens but significantly improves the service you provide your customers.
I hope this gives you valuable insight into what the architecture of a fully transformed business using ServiceNow looks like. We appreciate the complexity of such a far-reaching transformation and therefore understand that it requires a phased maturity similar to what is outlined above. This is where Crossfuze fits in, operating as a business partner that ensures you roll out functionality in a strategic way that compliments your business goals and objectives. If you would be interested in hearing more about how we can support you please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me personally at email@example.com.