and its role in enabling the future of work is a strategic focus for
IT leaders and their teams. But it’s interesting to think about what
this really means in the real world. Because digital transformation
is really not about technology (and that comes from the mouth of an
IT professional) — it’s all about experiences.
That said, I’m
not about to put myself out of a job. When it comes to digital
transformation, IT becomes more important than ever, but we must
change the way we behave, think and integrate with the business. IT
has to stop talking about process and start talking about
Changing IT’s purpose
For those of us working in IT,
one of the biggest challenges of digital transformation is the
cultural change it brings. Traditionally, IT built new applications
or systems to solve a problem. But when looking to digitally
transform, IT no longer builds for purpose — our work starts with an
idea or an opportunity to transform experiences.
thinking differently about the value we bring to our organisations.
For example, when we rolled out ServiceNow
in Veolia , it wasn’t about going live with global IT service
delivery and management — we went live with an employee experience
Used across 45 countries, ServiceNow handles around
15.5 million transactions every year for Veolia, but the platform’s
features and capabilities are pretty much irrelevant to our
workforce and customers. They only really care about the experiences
that these technologies enable us to deliver.
Why mobile matters
If experiences are key, then
there’s a fundamental area where businesses need to focus their
efforts. In our personal lives, we reach first for our mobiles, so
why is the desktop or laptop the default for work?
transformation for Veolia is all about mobility and our SATAWAD
strategy: secure, anytime, anywhere, any device. If it’s not mobile
ready, then we simply won’t adopt it.
I don’t believe that
anyone should have to go to work to “get to work” and that’s why I’m
excited about the Madrid
release of the ServiceNow platform, with its native mobile apps
and capabilities like text-to-voice and GPS.
For a dispersed
organisation like Veolia, I can already see the offline mode will be
huge. Our field workforce is vast, ranging from waste plant
operations and engineers, to refuse collectors and weighbridge
operators. The ability to work on a mobile device (through a great
user interface), then sync and upload when they can connect securely
to the network will free up time and remove frustration.
Fundamentally, it means we can create experiences at work that
rival the very best that our employees are offered as consumers.
What I’ve learned
We’ve achieved a lot at Veolia with
our SATAWAD-driven digital transformation strategy, but we’ve also
learned a great deal on our journey so far. Here are four things
that I’d urge other IT professionals to follow, based on my own
Encourage ideas, from everyone. At Veolia we encourage
everyone in our organisation to come up with ideas, with Dragon’s
Den-style events open to everyone. It’s about enabling every
employee to contribute to new ways of working.
Don’t restrict progress with boundaries. If you want to
bring strategic awareness to IT, put people in positions where
they can make a difference. Don’t hire a new chief digital officer
and give them too many boundaries. Give your people the freedom to
explore how things could really work.
Know the user, not the technology. To create the best
experiences you need to understand how your employees work and
what they want to achieve, not the tools they use. At Veolia our
“day in the life” programme means we go out and see and speak to
people about their role. We’ve been able to make small tweaks that
have been transformational.
Be patient. Lasting transformation won’t happen in one day
or even three months — I’d challenge anyone who says it can. Of
course, you’ll have breath-through moments, but ambitious
transformation on a global scale means you’ll be learning as you
go and this needs time.
are at various stages of their digital transformation journey and
I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging, particularly for a
global organisation of Veolia’s scale.
But with those
challenges come exciting opportunities to rethink the world of work.
Through the ServiceNow platform, we’ve already laid the best
foundations to realise this ambition, using digital workflows to
take the emphasis off IT processes and instead put amazing
experiences in the spotlight.
Prabjoth Saimbhi is a ServiceNow expert with an
implementation and continuous improvement track record across
global BUs and 20+ countries. A highly motivated and diligent team
leader who offers strong strategic thinking and an exemplary work
ethic, driving improvements and advancements on a daily basis in
order to add tangible value on a global level.
Over the last 4 years working in the ServiceNow arena with
Veolia, Prabjoth has filled multiple roles including global
deployment lead, performance & measure lead to the most recent
role of Product Innovation Manager. Prior to working at Veolia,
Prabjoth was a SAP Service Delivery Lead at Capgemini
having gone through the graduate programme starting off as a Java