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ServiceNow expert on how organisations can harness Digital Transformation

ServiceNow expert on how organisations can harness Digital Transformation

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Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has provoked long-term changes in how businesses embrace Digital Transformation. This has increased the need for digital workflows to become more seamless and placed emphasis on the importance of replacing legacy technology, but how can businesses create a business strategy that puts customer experience front and centre? We spoke to Ali Kaddoura, Country Manager UAE ServiceNow, on how its huge growth in the Middle East and Africa region is helping redefine how companies achieve their customer goals.

Can you please discuss some of the key challenges your customers are trying to solve right now?  

Ali Kaddoura, Country Manager UAE ServiceNow

The current geopolitical and macroeconomic environment has forced businesses to rapidly digitally transform. In fact, today, IT transformation has gone from being a benefit to an imperative, IT strategy has now become a core part of the wider business strategy as opposed to being a complementary element. But many businesses fail due to poorly executed digital strategies. Big organisations that are stuck with legacy or siloed technologies are faced with the challenge of building futuristic architectures that can keep pace with evolving business requirements.  

We believe that ServiceNow is well-positioned to address these changes and help customers navigate through these journeys. 

How does ServiceNow help address these challenges? And what is your value proposition for businesses?  

ServiceNow focuses on experiences and workflows. Behind every great employee and customer experience is a great workflow and when work flows naturally, great experiences also follow.  

So, within our platform, we help organisations break down silos and seamlessly connect their people, systems and processes with enterprise-wide digital workflows. This is done by empowering the customers, employees and partners with modern consumer-grade experiences and creating a platform to accelerate the time to value. Our goal is to unleash agility and unlock innovation, two principal components of any Digital Transformation strategy.  

Can you elaborate on some of the key uses cases for the Now Platform?  

The key to achieving customer goals is having a loyal and high-performing workforce. But loyalty and performance are hampered by inefficient workplaces, processes and sometimes communication. If you look at the technological landscape of most organisations, you will find that each department, be it IT, finance, legal management, facilities management and HR, will have their own system of record. ServiceNow is uniquely positioned to be that one source of truth that connects all these systems at the backend and creates a single employee experience. As an employee, you do not have to log into different systems for an integrated seamless workflow – with our services, an employee can go to one portal and request any service related to their job; a salary letter, legal request, an IT support ticket, or anything helping the employee to stay productive and be able to do their work.  

From a customer perspective, the demand for frictionless customer experiences and tangible value is increasing. For any service or product you intend to buy, it is the experience, efficiency, interaction, speed and time to value that is the principal concern.  

At ServiceNow, we break down the silos and we help organisations connect their customer journeys to the backend systems, ensuring an efficient way of handling customer requirements. We automate and implement self-service to achieve great customer experiences that every business can profit from, no matter their industry.  

Another use case is around streamlining technology operations, as IT functions have become a central part of business strategy. Here, we focus on ensuring zero downtime, predictive analysis and making sure the business has the right level of visibility in its IT environment. We automate these IT operations, reduce costs, CAPEX and the number of people required to manage these IT assets.  

Upgrading IP assets and maintaining IP assets is an area where we pay a lot of attention. We play a key role in technology operations excellence by providing solutions like IT Service Management, IT operations management and IT Asset Management, all integrated into one platform service operations.  

How does ServiceNow stand out from its competitors?  

The Now Platform is the ‘platform of platforms’ when it comes to the workflow revolution. While there are vendors who offer solutions on specific and individual systems like ITSM or HR service delivery, for example, ServiceNow is the only vendor on the market offering a single unified foundation for all enterprise digital workflows, allowing customers to maximise the value of existing technology investments and connect siloed systems, departments and processes.  

Also, as our platform is built in the cloud, ServiceNow customers can be up and running in weeks instead of months or years it would take with a competitor. Time is a key differentiating factor for us as we are cloud-native. 

Can you talk about ServiceNow’s growth in the UAE, what are some of the key sectors that you operate in?  

We are seeing tremendous global growth and transformation under the leadership of our CEO, Bill McDermott. At ServiceNow, we refer to the Middle East and Africa regions as ‘the land of opportunity’ and within the MEA region, we are seeing a lot of the growth in the UAE. According to the December 2020 IDC META CIO DX Survey, 57% of CIOs considered workflow management applications a priority for the future of work and 45% prioritised the enhancement of customer journeys and these are statistics around the UAE.  

The survey also cited that 45% prioritised the enhancement of customers’ journeys. It is no surprise that there is an increase in the number of companies turning to ServiceNow for help in these areas.  

As a company, we are investing in this region and this is reflected in our growth. We opened our Dubai office in 2021 and have grown the team significantly in the last 18 months, tripling the number of employees in the region. Additionally, we currently work with several enterprises in the BFSI sector and with several financial organisations. We continue to serve banks, oil and gas companies, energy and utilities, healthcare providers and telecommunication organisations with industrialised vertical solutions and help them to accelerate their transformation.  

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