Interview News

ServiceNow is working with customers to accelerate digital transformation and create new ways of working

Arun Balasubramanian, Managing Director – India & SAARC, ServiceNow 

What is the market scenario now amid the pandemic? Which are the sectors driving growth in the market?

Digital transformation was a business imperative pre-COVID with IT spending in India forecast to grow $94 Billion in 2020, according to Gartner. Post-COVID, CIOs are more cautious with their spending on IT hardware but digital transformation initiatives in India continue to accelerate. Telehealth, smart-chatbots, mobile apps and distance learning are mission critical products and services in the ‘new normal’. Companies are fast-tracking digital initiatives to overcome unexpected disruptions and reimagine the future of their business.  ServiceNow is the strategic workflow authority and we are at the centre of this digital transformation.  

CEO’s continue to feel pressure to digitally transform their businesses to protect revenue, maintain business continuity and improve productivity. In doing so, they are also transforming how they enable their people to work. There is an urgent need to execute simple business process, digitally and enable people to work how they want to. 

Education, healthcare and public services are among the top industries in India driving digital initiatives as a result of the pandemic. Across these and other industries, the challenge faced is turning multiple systems of record into an integrated system of action. The pandemic has created more pressure, to get systems up and running quickly. That’s not easy when these systems live on separate platforms with limited or no connection.  

Industries with more advanced digital foundations pre-pandemic, such as retail and banking, are now focused on experience-driven digital initiatives using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Organisations with digitally enabled workflows can build or expand programs on many dimensions, in a matter of days instead of months, and are better equipped to manage rapidly evolving employee and customer experiences. 

How ServiceNow is supporting the organizations in the new normal? 

As India prepares to slowly reopen in stages, ServiceNow is working with customers to enable the modern enterprise workflows required to get people back to the workplace, to accelerate digital transformation and create new ways of working.

In March, ServiceNow released four no-charge Safe Workplace apps as part of the emergency response to the pandemic.  Since then, we’ve launched our Safe Workplace apps suite and dashboard, helping to bring employees safely back to the workplace, no matter what industry you’re in. And, our engineering teams, including talent from our Development Centre in India, continue to deliver product innovations every two weeks.  More than 600 organizations worldwide have downloaded our Safe Workplace suite, including Uber, Coca Cola European Partners and Bank United who are using the suite to return to the workplace safely. 

WFH or WFA comes with a lot of security challenges, what is the advice of ServiceNow in this situation?

The sudden surge in people working from home has put enormous stress on security resources that are already stretched thin. In addition to protecting the corporate network, CISOs must now worry about every employee’s laptop and home Wi-Fi setup at a time when security threats are multiplying and attacks are accelerating, playing on pandemic fears. 

The only way to address this new, advanced threat landscape sustainably is with digital processes – automation, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Workflows that may have operated manually in the past—operations, business intelligence, and supply chain—are suddenly candidates for automation. And many enterprises are finding out that they’re not as automated as they thought they were. 

Cloud is one big area of growth, what else? 

We’re moving to a predictive world with the power of new technologies like 5G, IOT, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). We’re going to be in an instant-response world. In the future, businesses are not going to be dealing with incident management that isn’t first predicted, and in many cases taken care of before the problem even shows itself up to the customer. 

Technology like AI will fast-track mission critical decisions for leaders with high accuracy and impact. 5G will be one of the big transformational agents of change as we look ahead five years. 

What are the top 10 challenges of the business that ServiceNow takes care of? What is the competitive advantage of ServiceNow? 

The world is experiencing a seismic shift from the obsolete “business process evolution” to a new “workflow revolution”.  The way work has traditionally been done, no longer works and business leaders are seeking ‘digital first’ solutions. But the focus on technology and the tools alone will not make the biggest difference. The opportunity is really about people and empowering them with technology so they can work better, in any location at any time. This is how to protect revenue and increase productivity. Being digital first really means having systems in place that break down departmental silos and create digital workflows that deliver great employee and customer experiences, increasing productivity across industries.

ServiceNow not only delivers organizations solutions to safely manage the return to company workplaces, but also enables the modern enterprise workflows required to create new ways of working. We’re not just helping companies reopen for work, we’re helping our customers reimagine how work gets done. Managing critical workflows will be critical to providing employees the services and experiences they need to do their jobs seamlessly and efficiently.

The ServiceNow advantage is a unique platform – one platform, one data model, one architecture – to make work, work better for people. 

Many critiques say ServiceNow is not intuitive, there is lack of trained professionals, it is complicated, and registrant to customization, what is your say on this?  

When businesses are looking to solve for a specific challenge, customising technology to address a business process is generally the first instinct. But the reality is that this approach often carries broken manual processes over to the digital world, instead of thinking with the outcome in mind – the impact on the customer, employee, and mapping the best practice digital workflow processes. 

ServiceNow delivers one single system of action to a company and best practice digital workflows, end-to-end. The Now Platform gives organisations the ability to build applications, connect departments and deliver best practice digital processes that talk to one another. From HR to finance, legal, IT and more, the experience must be intuitive for every employee engaged in a process. ServiceNow’s automation capabilities ensure interoperability and seamless connectivity.

India is one of the fastest-growing markets for ServiceNow. ServiceNow has tripled its employee base in India in the last two years and we are committed to continued investment and growth of ServiceNow professionals.

Provide some names who have grown on ServiceNow with some use cases. 

ServiceNow has been delivering digital workflows to India enterprise organisations since 2004. We’ve seen particularly strong appetite for digital transformation from Telecommunications, Manufacturing, and Financial Services.

ServiceNow’s growing customer base includes some of India’s leading telecommunications providers, including Tata Communications and Bharti Airtel.

In just six weeks Airtel transformed their business operations with ServiceNow. Through the consolidation of four systems and integration of 30 tools, Airtel reduced manual work by 80 percent and reduced outages hours by 75 percent. Airtel also delivered a self-service portal where employees could find answers and get help on their own 24/7, while delivering a better, flexible service experience. 

Which sectors are best fit for ServiceNow and why? 

Any workflow in an enterprise is a candidate for a Now Platform-based application, connecting IT to Finance, Customer Support, HR and more. Organisations can build applications that automate existing processes and create efficient, digital workflows at scale.

What is your overall growth strategy for this year?

ServiceNow is well positioned to become the defining enterprise software company of the 21st Century. We have enormous organic growth opportunity to get to $10B and drive global innovation. We will do this through verticals, buying centres, scaling the ecosystem and geographic expansion.

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