LAS VEGAS: The agility of software-as-a-service (SaaS) has allowed European nuclear research organisation Cern to bring traditionally separate IT and business services into a single service desk.
Reinoud Martens, service manager at Cern, told V3 at ServiceNow's Knowledge 15 event in Las Vegas that the organisation used ServiceNow's cloud platform to create a single system to manage Cern's multiple business and user-facing operations.
"ServiceNow was a new product with clean architecture, and was SaaS. That allowed us to go very quickly and to move in a couple of months from signing the contract to going into production," he said.
Martens explained how the platform provides a way to manage services across Cern's different departments rather than force the 10,000 researchers that work with Cern to approach different departments to get access to various services.
He likened the system to tearing down the borders in Europe and having every country adopt a single currency and uniform laws.
"The idea is that these physicists come to Cern to find Higgs Bosons and other things, and we don't want them to waste time looking for which number to call to fix a certain problem," he added.
However, Martens explained that his team had to overcome the challenge of departments wanting to hold on to their own practices rather than being part of more automated processes delivered through the service desk.
"Before [individual departments] were email driven and they had their own knowledge and everything in their own little office, and this guaranteed them a job," he said.
Using cloud and SaaS provided the answer to this challenge. "Agility is very important, because what we've tried to do here is roll out a single solution, with a single workflow, a single portal and a single number to call across the organisation," said Martens.
"There are people who like their little kingdoms, so you're a threat to these people. Being agile and going very fast, I think, is beneficial if you want to do something like this.
"You go so fast that all these guys that are not so excited by your ideas have no time to put a stick in the wheels, because you're already there by the time they figure it out."
Cern's service desk has been running for over three years, but Martens explained that he wants to add more services and processes, and encourage more people to adopt the unified framework.
"What we're trying to achieve is to turn Cern into an efficient and effective organisation," he said.
Cern is not alone in using ServiceNow's cloud platform to rework its business. Harley-Davidson revealed at Knowledge 15 how cloud adoption has helped the company to leave legacy IT behind.
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