By Tari Dogra, Head of Division – IT Service Management, St James’s Place Wealth Management
In a recent issue of St James’s Place’s corporate magazine The Investor, I came across an interesting thought about the future of work: “Ultimately, the ability to have fulfilling careers will depend on technology both absorbing an increasing amount of the drudgery of work and developing new, exciting opportunities.”
It is something I feel passionate about because, as a senior IT executive, I have seen the difference a well-thought through technology project can make to employees’ lives and daily experiences.
It is not just about making their work lives as easy as real life and removing the stress associated with dated processes and IT solutions. It is also important to adopt good practices and tools that enable more efficient ways of working for all staff.
With the introduction of the ServiceNow Now platform, we have achieved a step-change of this kind at St James’s Place.
From outdated tools and practices to digital workflows
Our Technology and Business teams used to operate with an end-of-life system that we could no longer support or keep up to date.
Collaborative working and sharing were difficult because of inadequate tools and manual processes (too many emails and disparate data sources).
I relished the opportunity to create a completely new IT service management function, review and improve existing processes while introducing new processes, using a cloud-based platform that would supercharge our digital journey.
ServiceNow fitted perfectly, giving us the flexibility and scalability that we needed as a business. The Now platform, with its intuitive digital workflows has accelerated our business processes and completely transformed the work of our teams, boosting their productivity, engagement and motivation.
Supporting a growing business
It’s no wonder, given where we were before ServiceNow. Every request submitted to the service desk was classed as an incident, so triaging these was time consuming and complex. Now we can accurately classify all of the requests using ServiceNow’s digital workflows to route these efficiently to the right teams.
The efficiency gains have been tremendous, and the IT service team now handles an average of 12,000 incidents per month — and that’s true incidents, not all the requests that were previously lumped into the same category.
When it comes to requests, St James’s Place’s community of 15,000 employees and advisers (referred to as ‘partners’) can now self-serve using the online service portal to ask for hardware, software or to submit enhancement forms for business services.
Collaboration was improved by gathering and creating knowledgebase articles, for use by support teams and end users, with a full review and approval workflow.
When every role becomes meaningful
The impact on our teams is even better than I expected. They have full visibility of queries, requests, issues, problems and changes through one single dashboard, empowering them to support our continuous business expansion.
Their time has been freed up to focus on meaningful conversations based on real-time insights. At our fortnightly internal problem management forum we now discuss the impact (no of incidents related) of the problems raised and the best ways to resolve them.
At St James’s Place we also pride ourselves on our personalised face-to-face relationships with clients — it’s what we feel really sets us apart. ServiceNow is an enabler for both our employees and partners to have much more meaningful interactions with the most important stakeholders in our business: our clients.
Our people can focus on our core commitment of driving the best possible outcomes, in resolving issues as efficiently as possible.
Scratching the surface of innovation
The ability to switch on new features quickly and reliably has enabled us to improve our services in an incredibly agile way. As an example, we have built and deployed a client services feedback application on the ServiceNow platform in just three days, thereby completely transforming the process.
In a matter of weeks, we brought together all client feedback by using digital workflows to drive appropriate actions across the organisation. As a business, this meant it created a better customer experience by responding rapidly to client concerns and ideas.
In my opening quote I referred to technology opening new opportunities. A growing number of our departments and business processes (ERP, Partnership Support, CRM, Investment Management etc.,) will continue to benefit from ServiceNow’s digital workflows in the future and demand from the business is there to drive further digital transformation.
We have only just started to unlock the potential of an incredibly powerful platform. In doing so, we are enabling an efficient working environment and supporting the business in building and sustaining long-term client relationships.