The Keys to Success in ServiceNow Platform Transformation

  • May 25, 2023

When it comes to digital transformation, success can be elusive. Our Innovation Index found that companies that accelerate their digital transformation efforts to completion can expect a 17% increase in ROI in the first year.

For a digital transformation to be successful on an enterprise platform such as ServiceNow, the most important step is the one most often overlooked: defining success. Defining the basic conditions for success is an activity that forces organizations to align platform goals with the broader strategic objectives of the transformation. This is the critical first step in a process we call “Define, Align, Transform,” which is about taking the right efforts, in the right order, at the right time — and effectively supporting those efforts along the way.

Every digital transformation, large or small, then, can organize efforts across four elements — people, process, technology and data. These are the building blocks of transformation — and the start of understanding how to influence success.

The four building blocks of digital transformation

Successful digital transformation aligns effort around four core building blocks: people, process, technology and data.


  • The people who do the tasks influenced by the transformation and the people who influence the transformation
  • The processes that define who does what, in what order, to optimize for efficiency or automation, ideally following leading practices (for example ITIL)
  • The technology that connects the people, processes and data to enable operations and support digital transformation
  • The health of the data to provide trustworthy and useful data to stakeholders and intelligence tools
  • While knowledge of these building blocks has been around for over a decade, applying this framework can still be elusive. That’s because these four building blocks don’t live in isolation — they're influenced by each other and surface in each action, supporting function, success driver and external force encountered.

    The keys to platform success

    In our own research into ServiceNow success, we have found that organizations who hit roadblocks report common failures across these four building blocks:

    • adapting their roadmaps (23%)
    • managing organizational change (19%)
    • managing technology integration (20%)
    • lacking experienced resources (29%)

    On the other hand, for those who achieve success, the results include more efficient workflows (73%), increased automation (61%) and improved customer satisfaction (26%).

    Our other annual survey into digital transformation success reveals the same patterns of people, process, technology and data:

  • 52% Invest in reskilling initiatives for employees to include customer behavior into decision-making.
  • 41% Streamline processes to launch new business models/capabilities quickly.
  • 55% Modernize technology infrastructure to capture value from multiple channels.
  • 49% Leverage technology and automation to orchestrate data-driven engagements in real time.
  • Organizational strategic planning is increasingly long-term, while innovation focused on gradual, continuous improvement is believed to deliver the greatest return on investment, according to 42% of respondents.

    Empower your own transformation

    A successful digital transformation leveraging the ServiceNow platform requires that organizations engage in serious thought to define their transformational objectives and align these objectives with their strategic roadmap. From this position, organizations are better positioned to transform across the people, process, technology and data channels.

    To ensure that organizations maintain that momentum of transformation and empower a smoother technological transition, leadership can lean on experienced ServiceNow partners. We can help leaders leverage leading practices, and support internal resources by providing both the technical integration and the change management needed to support long-term success.

    In our eBook, Empower Digital Transformation Through a Successful Enterprise Platform Strategy, we further detail these building blocks and how to identify six critical drivers for success: strategy, leadership support, organizational alignment, governance, architecture and administration and external forces.

    Learn more about how our Jumpstart ServiceNow Strategic Advisory Service enables our clients to leverage the platform for better business outcomes.

    Subscribe to our blog

    Noel Howlett.jpeg
    Noel Howlett

    Noel Howlett is a Transformation Advisory Consultant within the NTT DATA ServiceNow practice. His work puts into practice the belief that it is innovation that propels us forward, as companies, as communities and as people. Innovation requires change and growth, and Noel’s work focuses on these transitional and transformational spaces, helping people define and deliver success in coordinating, accelerating and scaling innovation.


    Related Blog Posts