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ServiceNow Driving AI Workflows via Tools and Automation Enhancements

ServiceNow Driving AI Workflows via Tools and Automation Enhancements

The News: ServiceNow made a number of announcements at its Knowledge 2024 conference in mid-May, focusing on the delivery of new artificial intelligence (AI) tools across its Now Platform, along with specific automation and AI features designed for the manufacturing industry. ServiceNow also announced a new Digital End‑User Experience and enhancements to Contracts Management Pro, Security Operations, and Field Service Management.

You can read the press release announcing the news on AI enhancements at this link and you can read the release highlighting automation enhancements here.

ServiceNow Driving AI Workflows via Tools and Automation Enhancements

Analyst Take: ServiceNow announced a variety of new AI and automation enhancements at its annual Knowledge 2024 user and developer conference. These solutions are designed to improve workflows, increase employee productivity, and streamline business processes across departments. Some of the key new features that have been announced include:

  • Now Assist for Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM) is designed to accelerate strategic decision-making by analyzing and distilling customer feedback and requests, helping employees boost customer satisfaction and business growth.
  • New GenAI features built for app development include service catalog item generation, app generation, and playbook generation, enabling developers and admins to create catalog items and playbooks and build net‑new apps in a fraction of the time. This scales automation through the enterprise and saves hours building complex workflows.
  • Now Assist GenAI features powered by a Now AI multimodal model will be available for public sector customers in the Government Community Cloud (GCC), ServiceNow’s dedicated cloud designed to meet the regulatory, compliance, and security needs of government agencies. With Now Assist in GCC, agencies can use trusted GenAI capabilities to help with faster incident and constituent response and to improve self‑service resources.

The common attribute between each of these enhancements is the use of embedded AI across workflows to ensure that several tasks are optimized to drive the most efficiency possible while ensuring that all relevant data is captured, analyzed, and incorporated into the AI models. As vendors and enterprises become more comfortable with GenAI, expect that AI will become an integral engine for delivering business benefits, rather than an add-on feature.

ServiceNow Continues its Vertical Focus

ServiceNow also announced several new purpose‑built solutions designed for the manufacturing industry. The company’s Manufacturing Commercial Operations uses GenAI to streamline sales, support, and service, powering faster, more efficient operations, while Employee Center (EC) Pro Kiosk is designed to provide intelligent self‑service to deskless workers, bridging the communication gap between companies and their employees.

This announcement dovetails with an industry-wide trend of large SaaS vendors creating specialized versions or packages of their platforms that incorporate vertical-specific features, processes, workflows, and algorithms. ServiceNow, like other vendors in the market, have realized that many of these companies that had previously used smaller, purpose-built ERP and other solutions are seeking the innovations that are delivered via large, general platforms, but cannot or do not want to spend a lot of time and resources customizing them to their specific processes. While there likely will always be a need for niche software providers serving very specific use cases, the launch of vertical-specific versions or features of more generalized platforms will cause many organizations to consider these larger platforms.

Simplifying Workflows and Processes Across Departments

One of the key themes with enterprise applications today is being able to address issues within the flow of work, within a centralized platform, instead of requiring workers to address issues in several places. ServiceNow has introduced three solutions that address this concern:

  • Threat Intelligence Security Center is a new threat intelligence platform within the Security Operations portfolio that is designed to reduce the number of tools and manual steps required to manage the lifecycle of cyberthreat intelligence.
  • Contract Management Pro (CM Pro) is a workflow‑based solution for customers considering a contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool, which is designed to help legal, procurement, sales, and IT teams to improve efficiencies and reduce risk.
  • Field Service Marketplace, a new feature within Field Service Management, is designed to help field service organizations collaborate with third‑party contractors for easier communication and coordination.

The new solutions from ServiceNow appear to be built around the principle of automating the connections between all stakeholders and accomplishing workflows within a single interface or platform. In addition to streamlining workflows, keeping all workflows together minimizes the chance that a task or issue is lost in the shuffle or due to transferring data between systems.

ServiceNow’s Digital End-User Experience Solution Targets Enterprise IT Needs

As part of Knowledge 2024, ServiceNow also announced its new Digital End‑User Experience (DEX), which is designed to provide IT teams with a complete overview of how employees interact with technology, linking their desktop experience with the Now Platform. DEX is designed to provide real-time monitoring of employees’ usage of devices and applications, enabling proactive identification of issues that may impact workflow and productivity, without requiring users to reach out manually to IT for help.

DEX also includes features that drive impact across employee experiences:

  • Application and Device Health equips IT teams with more information about the applications and devices employees are using, allowing them to proactively conduct maintenance with necessary updates, help prevent interruptions and malfunctions, and safeguard employees’ work.
  • Desktop Assistant directly connects employees to AI‑powered self‑service features, enabling them to troubleshoot issues, run local tests, or chat with a Virtual Agent or human agent. This functionality is expected to be available later this summer.
  • Collaborative Work Management (CWM) offers a central hub for knowledge workers to plan, visualize, and engage with their teams—reducing the need for non‑integrated tools. The new solution is customizable to the way teams work and leverages data already on the Now Platform, promoting more efficient cross‑functional collaboration and organization with fewer tools. With CWM, teams can stay aligned on critical work while improving visibility from one single trusted AI and data platform.

The features in DEX reflect a growing concern among IT staff and line managers around the topic of application sprawl, as well as the adoption of technology. As organizations re-evaluate the technology they have acquired, they are seeking to maximize employee usage, while addressing the various points of friction that can arise during the day-to-day usage. By incorporating real-time monitoring, analysis, and AI technology, organizations can also ensure maximum uptime while limiting the labor impact to IT staff.

The announcement of an integrated Collaborative Work Management hub is interesting, as it is clearly designed to replace external collaboration tools from other vendors, including Slack, Cisco, and others. ServiceNow’s key value proposition is that it is fully integrated and can leverage the data and AI embedded within the Now Platform, but I suspect that organizations that have already created integrations linking other third-party applications may not see the value in migrating to ServiceNow’s CWM.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

ServiceNow’s Vision for the Future of App Development ServiceNow’s Vision for the Future of App Development

ServiceNow Posts Strong Q1, Driven by Big Deals and Subscriptions

ServiceNow Releases Now Platform Washington D.C. Update

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

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