Urban Planning Meets Digital Transformation

Digital transformation should look like a master-planned community, not urban sprawl.


I often find that analogies from personal life are often helpful to understand and think through the challenges we face in our professional environments. For me, all week is spent working on ways to improve the portal/Employee Center experience for our clients, and the weekends are spent pedaling around on my classic road bike.

During a recent road bike excursion around sunny San Diego,I observed all different sorts of neighborhoods and communities. While each area has its own charm and character, the presence or absence of good urban planning is clearly evidenced in the experience of riding through the streets. Some neighborhoods have wide, clean streets, with zoning easily mingling residential areas with shopping and dining. Other areas feel congested, disorganized and make even stopping to look around seem very unappealing. The best of the neighborhoods had great signage, well zoned streets, and felt inviting to porous the main drag and side streets. It was easy to find the top local eateries, locate parking, and access the services a citizen might need.

It occurs to me that the analogy helps explain what enterprise software users experience when visiting various portals, intranet, and internal sites. Some experiences make users feel like closing their browsers or cruising on over to a different avenue to get the information or services they are looking for. Digital transformation, like urban planning, needs to recognize that users have expectations on being able to enjoyable find what they are looking for, and that they have preferences on where to stop and sit for moment. Let’s consider this a bit more to make sure our portal experiences aren’t run-down boroughs that our users want to avoid.

Small Town

The small town has a little bit of charm, and you might like to visit it once or twice. But the small town lacks the goods and services you need to get life done. This is the IT service portal of a couple of years ago.You really only go there when you need something. It’s just a quick stop off point to open a ticket. There is not enough content on these portals to bring you back, so unless you know exactly what you need, you’ll likely never cruise by.

Urban Sprawl

This is when one small town springs up next to another. IT service portal? Sure. Let’s stand up a basic HR portal. And maybe a Purchasing portal. How about legal? Sure. Next thing you know, it’s like driving across a digital version of Dallas. (Apologies to any readers in Dallas). Yes, everything you need is here, but finding it is time consuming, frustrating, and requires good local knowledge of what portal you need to go to.

Master Planned Communities

This is the epitome of what the enterprise portal should be. It doesn’t all have to be built at once, but all roads should lead to and from downtown. This is a central hub. An enterprise portal, build on Employee CenterPro. This allows all users to start their daily work journey in the same location, and then easily navigate to the community they are looking for. It’s a melting pot of rich content, access to services, and even the people needed to help users be effective in their jobs. Even if a user needs to take a trip from the central hub, landing pages, clear navigation, federated search, and even virtual agents can help direct users to adjacent neighborhoods to find what they need.

The goal really needs to be creating a centralized starting point for all users, and then planning out the building process with signage, ease of use, and even user preference (curb appeal) in building a long term strategy. The crew at NewRocket understand this journey sometimes requires a bit of remodeling, even bulldozing of existing portals, but the end goal of a master planned enterprise portal ensures the growth, efficiency, and satisfaction of your work force. Reach out to learn more about our trajectory mapping services.

About the Author

Matthew Allen is the Experience Practice Lead at NewRocket. Matthew heads up the global UX/UI and content consultancy from sunny San Diego. He is passionate about Latin America, cycling, camping, and his family. I also love attending Knowledge conferences and hope to meet you in Las Vegas!

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Urban Planning Meets Digital Transformation

Digital transformation should look like a master-planned community, not urban sprawl.

Knowledge Wrap Video

The event provided a vibrant platform for reconnecting with peers, delving into AI transformation, and driving innovation with purpose. Read on to discover how NewRocket made its mark at Knowledge 2024.

What We Learned

From recent insights gathered, we learned that ServiceNow customers are increasingly receptive to adopting AI solutions and ServiceNow has the tools to embrace that head on. However, there's a gap in AI use-cases for more mature users, highlighting the need for a creative approach to accommodate their business needs.

In navigating AI adoption, organizations are challenged to find the delicate balance between embracing innovation and avoiding dependency on emerging technologies. Advisory consulting and trusted guidance beyond initial queries spark interest, particularly around AI's impact on operations. Read our AI blog series to learn more about our approach.

Excitement around GenAI is apparent, with most users eager to explore its potential benefits and invest in quick wins. Notably, advanced use cases like process mining are gaining traction. Key solution themes include interest in native mobile applications, Employee Center migration, and the urgent need for enhanced data capabilities.

Recognitions and Awards

ServiceNow Americas Employee Workflow Partner of the Year

The ServiceNow Americas Employee Workflow Partner of the Year award celebrates Partners' exceptional efforts in enhancing employee experiences through innovative collaborations and technology solutions. Learn More.

UK Public Sector Partner of the Year Award

The ServiceNow UK Public Sector Partner of the Year underscores  Partners' dedication to driving digital transformation and delivering exceptional outcomes for public sector organizations in the UK.

ServiceNow.org Partnership for Good Grant

The ServiceNow.org Partnership for Good Grant highlights Partners' commitment to leveraging technology for social impact and driving positive change in communities around the world. Learn More.

Top 10 Finalist for ServiceNow Best Employee Portal of the Year

ServiceNow's Best Employee Portal of the Year award recognizing Partners' dedication to creating innovative solutions that empower employees and enhance workplace experiences. Learn More.

NewRocket Booth

At ServiceNow's Knowledge 24 event, we connected with 350+ attendees at our booth, showcasing how NewRocket supports organizations on their ServiceNow journey. AI emerged as a key topic, reflecting the growing interest in its potential across businesses. Our strategic advisory approach, FlightPath, aligns technology with business objectives, drawing on our expertise in customer, employee, technology, and security transformation. Plus, we captivated attendees by transforming them into astronauts using AI. See the photo booth results here!

Workshops and Speaking Sessions

Beyond Personas: Developing Holistic Frameworks to Personalize User Solutions

Industry innovation: Consilio’s Transformation Journey on ServiceNow

Dive Into Prototyping to Accelerate Validation With Design Libraries

Make Better Business Decisions by Integrating Risk and Compliance

Participating in ServiceNow's Knowledge sessions and workshops this year was truly enriching. Interacting with customers and partners provided invaluable insights into the future state of ServiceNow and allowed us to have in-depth discussions on how we can collectively offer better experiences across various facets of the platform. From exploring advanced AI integrations to optimizing workflow processes, the conversations were not only enlightening but also inspiring, fueling our commitment to innovation and excellence in the ServiceNow ecosystem. We can't wait to see you next year!

NewRocket Party

Our poolside event at the Capri restaurant in Las Vegas provided a refreshing break from the conference hustle, allowing us to unwind and connect with friends, colleagues, partners, and customers in the cool open air. As the night progressed, we loved creating unforgettable memories and strengthening our bonds within the ServiceNow community.