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On the London stop of its European tour, ServiceNow revealed how two large banks are using its cloud-based IT service management software to reduce ticket response times. 

Royal Bank of Scotland has gone live with ServiceNow, on-boarding 14,000 employees onto its ITSM ticketing system in 10 months, and Bank of Ireland is due to go live next month. Both banks are also using other ServiceNow products, including incident, problem and change management tools. 

For RBS the average incident raise time has come down from 20 to eight minutes and the average time taken to make the change from 360 minutes to 84. More than 50 percent of critical IT processes are now automated through the platform, saving 46,000 man hours a month. Early customer surveys had an 80 percent approval rate, saying it was easy to use.

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Bank of Ireland's early results are more hypothetical at this stage. Mark Kellett, IT service design manager told Computerworld UK that the ticket-raising process has now been automated, reducing time required from 25 minutes to five. This will apply to anyone implementing a change, be it a mainframe change or a software patch, across both partners and the banks internal divisions.

From the perspective of the bank's customers, the benefits will be reduced service downtime as well as freeing bank staff up for value added activities.

Change management

Both banks said that the time taken to roll out the ITSM tool was related more closely to change management than the technology itself.

Colin McEvoy, head of IT service transition at Bank of Ireland, said: "We had faith in the technical delivery, budget and timeline. The big anomaly was the organisational change aspect."

McEvoy said that people will always buy into journeys at different phases. The key is to start at the top with executive support and from senior stakeholders, with a small cohort of passionate advocates, and to not worry about resistance because "there will always be dinosaurs, process purists".

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Anna Bisset, programme manager at RBS said that she used weekly newsletters and Facebook Workplace to share information with employees around the change. At the top level she took a business readiness "tube map" to executive steering group meetings and set up a live dashboard to keep the executive informed of not just the technological readiness, but business readiness also.

Bisset said that a "train the trainer" system didn't get great uptake pre-deployment so RBS shifted to an online learning portal to get new users up to speed before switching over. She then trained a team of 270 champions to walk the floor post-implementation to work through any issues employees were having with the system.

Bank of Ireland case study

Bank of Ireland began to adopt more cloud services two years ago, having previously favoured traditional outsourcing arrangements. The bank became aware of ServiceNow as a market leader through Gartner's Magic Quadrant and then asked the IT teams at Barclays and Deutsche Bank for feedback on the service, before running a full request for proposal process.

What the bank wanted was consistency, accountability and a single source of truth when it came to its IT landscape, cutting down on the blame game between outsourcing partners, big tier software providers and internal IT. When it came to incident response there was no end-to-end service and multiple sources of truth.

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Before ServiceNow it was using a service management solution with an unnamed large provider it couldn't control, meaning tickets were going through five to six approvals on average, leading to more discussions and meetings and a slower rate of change.

Now that it is able to improve accountability and automate some of these processes the IT team is freed up to be more proactive in dealing with suppliers.