Year after year, customers reward innovative companies that find ways to cater to their needs and meet them where they are. And where is everybody? On their phones.
What’s true for consumers is also true for employees. That’s why every enterprise needs to provide consumer-grade mobile experiences for its workers. The next generation of employees will expect to get more things done on mobile devices. They grew up in a world of ubiquitous, intuitive consumer tech. Why would they tolerate clunky, confusing tech experiences at work?
The cloud-based app stack
In order to win the war for talent, we need to provide consumer-grade experiences at work. This means making the user experience simple, easy, and intuitive. Implementing a strategic shift like this requires a nimbler approach to IT infrastructure and a more flexible application stack.
For example, speed is crucial to success in mobile app development. One out of five people abandon an app after trying it once. Enterprises can’t afford to take months to fix problems and roll out upgrades. Neither can they iterate quickly on a mobile app with traditional tech infrastructure and waterfall development. These require a level of agility that has eluded most IT departments until quite recently.
Employees don’t care what it takes to deliver these services on the back end. They want a straightforward, intuitive user experience.
There are good reasons why this goal has been elusive in the enterprise. Automating enterprise processes means navigating a complex web of workflows and data, running across disparate networks, systems, data sources, and applications.
At ServiceNow we think about workflow “above the surface” and “below the surface.” Above the surface you need to deliver experiences that match the convenience and simplicity of good consumer apps. Below the surface you need to tame all that inherent complexity so that employees can get work done.
Employee onboarding is a great example of a complex workflow that spans multiple functions and systems. You might assume onboarding is HR’s job, but it actually takes many departments to get new hires up and running. They need a laptop and phone from IT, a desk from Facilities, a badge from Security, benefit information from HR, payroll services from Finance, and so on.
In short, onboarding is an enterprise-wide activity. It traditionally required many emails, texts, and walks down the hall to make sure new hires had what they needed to be productive.
Generally speaking, employees don’t care what it takes to deliver these services on the back end, or which teams are involved. Instead they want an intuitive, straightforward user experience that sets the tone for how they will interact with their new company.
American Express Global Business Travel (AMEX GBT) uses ServiceNow digital workflows to automate onboarding functions across HR, IT, and facilities teams, creating end-to-end process visibility and efficiency. As a result, AMEX GBT reduced onboarding-related emails by 90%, or 300,000 emails a year. The company saved $500,000 in annual onboarding costs. Finally, AMEX GBT employees now devote 18,000 fewer hours each year to onboarding tasks, freeing them up to focus faster on their new jobs.
No single platform can enable this kind of transformation by itself. Enterprises have coalesced around a handful of cloud-based, strategic platforms for mission-critical operations—Oracle or SAP for enterprise resource planning; Workday or SuccessFactors for human capital management; Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics for sales; Slack or Microsoft Teams for collaboration; and so on.
An increasingly important piece of the modern, cloud-based stack are service platforms that can play nice with all of them—taming that enterprise complexity by orchestrating workflows and tasks around and through those core systems, all of which play strategic roles in the enterprise.
You need that kind of platform integration to truly meet people where they are. For many companies, it will become a critical element of long-term success.