Feb 10 2021

How ServiceNow Tools Can Make Government IT More Efficient

ServiceNow solutions can help government agencies streamline their operations.

The budget outlook for state and local governments is still dire, but not as grim as was once feared, The Wall Street Journal reports, noting that “policy analysts estimate state and local revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic will total about $300 billion through fiscal year 2022, though that doesn’t include rising expenses.”

The publication reports:

In the end, state revenues fell 1.6% in fiscal year 2020 and were 3.4% lower than projected before the pandemic, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. While states expect revenues to decline 4.4% in fiscal 2021, which ends on June 30 for most, 18 states are seeing revenues come in above forecast.

Despite the potential for hundreds of billions of dollars in aid coming from Congress, state and local government agencies will still need to focus on ensuring that costs are contained and that government operations are made as efficient as possible.

To do so, IT leaders might consider tapping ServiceNow for its IT service management and cost management solutions. By wringing efficiencies out of IT operations, agencies can make the most of their budgets, either to obviate the need for budget reductions or to ensure that limited dollars are spent wisely.

ServiceNow Tools Enable Savings in Operations

ITSM is “the planning, delivery, and support of IT services via a mix of people, processes, and technology,” according to ServiceNow.

In addition to automated IT help desk tools, ServiceNow notes, ITSM implementations include the use of predictive intelligence and machine learning to respond to requests, “performance analytics to create data visualizations, anticipate trends, prioritize resources, and improve performance,” as well as “incident management and problem management to restore services quickly after an unplanned interruption or a major incident.”

Another ITSM approach includes asset management for IT environments. Asset management tools can help keep track of assets with financial, contractual and inventory details, such as IT hardware and device management. They can also aid with software asset management and help agencies maintain track of non-IT assets, such as vehicle fleets and lab equipment.

ITSM is cost-effective for several reasons. ServiceNow notes that ITSM software can help organizations reduce costs, saving time and money “through efficient service delivery” and reviewing workflows “to discover process improvements.”

ITSM also reduces costs by helping agencies avoid duplication of efforts. ServiceNow can give IT organizations an agencywide or governmentwide view of the IT environment and service requests that enables them to cut down on redundant activities.

Additionally, ITSM helps agencies remain agile. “Beyond simple cost savings and efficiency improvements, modern IT service management allows government agencies of all sizes to respond to changing needs, regulations, and mandates quickly,” Jessica Tavasti Davis, director of government programs and initiatives at Microsoft, says in a company blog post. “By having visibility into assets and contracts through a single source of truth, agencies can accurately anticipate and respond to changes without fussing with code or getting bogged down with confusing administrative processes.”

LEARN MORE: Find out how to make the most of your IT budget in a challenging time.

ServiceNow Helps State Governments Glean Efficiencies

State governments have gained efficiencies from using ServiceNow tools. For example, the Tennessee Department of Human Services has used ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management to cut down the time it takes to assign inquiries from 36 hours down to 100 seconds, according to a ServiceNow case study.

The Tennessee DHS turned to ServiceNow because it was faced with limited staff and rising customer volumes and was failing short on its customer service commitments, the case study notes. During peak periods, call center wait times rose to more than two hours and it took staff days to respond to emails.

DHS launched ServiceNow CSM statewide, and “immediately saw dramatic improvements in quality and efficiency,” says Landon Cook, former director of customer service operations at the department, in the case study.

“Instead of taking 36 hours to assign an inquiry, it now takes less than two minutes,” he says. “In total, we’ve reduced our end-to-end resolution times for high-level inquiries by more than 70% — from 120 hours to 34 hours. And, of course, that efficiency also translates directly into lower costs for our taxpayers.”

Across the country, the Washington State Department of Health automates delivery of 90 services via ServiceNow, and its IT team uses the company’s tools to ensure both responsive support for staff and the efficiency delivery of IT services.

As a case study notes, the IT team launched a digital transformation program, moving to an IT as a Service model. “We wanted to run IT as a business, creating products and services that are tailored to meet our customers’ needs,” Amy Wilson, the DOH’s enterprise system support supervisor, says in the case study. With IT as a Service, “customers choose services from a catalog of service offerings and only pay for what they use. Our goal is to make IT easy to use, transparent, and cost-effective — strengthening the department’s efforts to serve the people of Washington State.”

The department has realized a 50 percent reduction in service delivery costs. “We’ve slashed our average service delivery times by 50% from six days to three days, and we’ve now got 66% adoption for our self-service portal,” she says.

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