Silos are undeniable obstacles to digital transformation. A Google search for “digital transformation and silos” yields 5 million results – and they’re not looking good for silos.

It makes sense. If a business wants to adapt to secure the value of the latest technology revolution (that is, achieve digital transformation), it must operate at velocity and with readily available insights. The enemy to that informed agility? Data and process silos.

Digital Transformation Efforts Accelerated in 2020

Companies had no choice.

In 2020, with employees and customers locked down due to Covid-19, companies had the digital-transformation imperative thrust upon them. Processes had to be digitized. In-person events switched to online events. In-person hiring went virtual. And data volumes grew massively.

Surveys of executives conducted by ServiceNow partner Acorio found that 61% of companies had digital transformation initiatives underway before the pandemic started and that, as of early this year, 79% of companies now do.

But the rush to digitize processes aggravated the problem of silos. All these new apps generated new data. And without connecting those apps and moving their data to data warehouses, the data remained as quarantined as the users who generated it.

Digital Transformation Efforts Will Continue

In a coronavirus trends report in April 2020, Mary Meeker and other partners at Bond warned about being “awash in data, but lacking connectivity and insight.”

Undoubtedly, it was an extremely rough month – during a rough year. But emerging from the worst (let’s hope) of the pandemic, companies have the opportunity to continue digital transformation efforts that include breaking down silos. In fact, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the growth of digital transformation spending will continue at a CAGR of 15.5% through 2023.

Why Service Management Must Break Down Silos

Consider again the pandemic warning “awash in data, but lacking connectivity and insight.” This notion is a summary of the problem with silos in service management for companies that have not yet achieved digital transformation.

1. Lacking connectivity. Collecting new data from a growing number of disparate systems, companies find themselves with separate silos of information about the same customers, events, employees, and so forth. When the data is updated in one system without updating in another, the company faces errors, inefficiency, and many other problems. On the other hand, when service management connects these tools, the organization can achieve a federated system of record. This system maintains the golden record, the “source of truth,” distributed across the company’s various systems of record in best-of-breed applications.

2. Lacking insight. A growing volume of data creates a pressing need to extract that data and replicate it to a data lake or a data warehouse. There, BI teams can use leading BI tools such as Tableau and PowerBI to query data – without slowing down the SaaS tools that generated the data – and deliver actionable insights.

Of course, for service management, the industry-leading platform is ServiceNow. If you are a ServiceNow customer, it’s possible that you expanded your ServiceNow subscription within the past year. And you likely grew your volumes of ServiceNow data – data that requires connectivity and insight.

Extending ServiceNow Workflow Is Expected

The ServiceNow platform is not meant to be a silo.

Unlike other large providers of enterprise software, ServiceNow takes an approach of putting all of its applications onto a single platform with one data architecture. This strategy gives ServiceNow customers the opportunity to integrate other applications to the platform. “We are a better-together story,” says ServiceNow CEO Bill McDermott. ServiceNow is designed to help ServiceNow customers achieve real value when those customers extend ServiceNow workflow to those other applications.

Not only is the ServiceNow platform not meant to be a silo today. It was never meant to be a silo.

ServiceNow’s first employee, David Loo, was hired to build integrations for the ServiceNow platform. “Fred [Luddy] actually hired me at ServiceNow,” says David Loo, “just to make sure that integrations work properly and were built from the ground up as the platform was created.”

The idea of interconnecting ServiceNow with other tools is both baked into the history of ServiceNow and part of the modern competitive advantage for ServiceNow.

How Companies Unsilo ServiceNow Data and Workflow

The imperative to digitally transform became obvious in 2020. And digital transformation spending will continue growing for years.

As silos are undeniable obstacles to those efforts, companies will advance toward digital transformation when they unsilo ServiceNow data and workflow.

In fact, dozens of companies, including some like yours, have extended ServiceNow value across the organization. Read their stories about breaking down service management silos.

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