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GCN : January and February 2016
GCN JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 • GCN.COM 27 Few agencies are more depen- dent than NASA on the sup- port of sophisticated teams and service desks to manage scientific research and operations support around the world. In protecting its workforce from getting snared in time-consuming manual processes and email-based service requests, the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) has turned to a new set of cloud-based tools de- signed to streamline agency work- flows. Last fall, NSSC went live with a project to consolidate its workflow applications in the cloud using Ser- viceNow's IT service management (ITSM) platform, which helps iden- tify, replace and automate the inef- ficient workflows that limit employee productivity. So far, NSSC has automated more than 50 services for 40,000 agency and contractor employees --- in- cluding provisioning IT resources, responding to grant requests, and administering human resources and workforce services. ServiceNow is helping to spur a government transition to the use of digital workforce services and has won contract awards from the Army, the U.S. Postal Service and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "We think it's a sea shift in the way technology will be delivered if you look at the movement to the cloud and the delivery of things as a ser- vice," said Travis Howerton, deputy director of the IT Services Division at Oak Ridge. "We're a couple of years into our journey toward what we think the state of the possible will be in IT de- livery," he added. Eveline Oehrlich, a vice president and research director at Forrester Re- search, said ITSM tools have become "a key automation step to improve effectiveness and productivity of the workforce in these agencies and or- ganizations." Industry has been using ITSM for awhile, "and now the U.S. government is catching on." The move toward ITSM "grew out of the function of service desks in or- ganizations," which are under pres- sure to streamline old workflows, Oehrlich said. Help desks that still rely on email-based processes for ser- vice requests end up bogging down business workflow. However, organi- zations taking an ITSM approach are streamlining service by letting users generate their own requests, which cuts down on handoffs and unneces- sary middlemen. In its current project, NSSC is look- ing for ways to extend services man- agement for IT and other workforce services, including human resources. Officials started by using the Ser- viceNow platform to locate "all the processes and interactions that need to take place between legacy sys- tems, the current tools they have in place and the people who support all those tools," said Steve Alfieris, the company's vice president of federal solutions. That information is then used to automate, restructure and otherwise streamline operational workflows. "We leverage capabilities built into the platform that allow you to remove antiquated ways of doing things and Agencies are using IT service management to replace ine cient workflows of all sorts --- including help-desk requests, onboarding employees and managing helicopter fleets BY PAUL McCLOSKEY tion
March and April 2016