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2 Posts authored by: MichaelDortch

Sometimes, the past is prologue. It just takes a while for current reality to catch up with the foreshadowing.

Take IT innovations that have transformed how business is done. By my lights, three of the first of these began transforming business in the 1400s.

  • Adoption of Arabic numerals made arithmetic possible, transforming merchants and trade in. (Ever try adding and subtracting Roman numerals? Not what you'd call agile.)
  • The invention of double-entry bookkeeping (in Italy or Croatia, depending on what and whom you believe) made accurate accounting, inventory assessment and business performance analysis possible for the first time. (Once you can count and record what you have, what you've sold and what you've bought, you can know what's making you money, what's costing you money, and how much.)
  • The first printing presses made it possible to share information consistently. Including, for example, how double-entry bookkeeping works. (Italian Luca Pacioli's treatise on the subject, while not the first recorded description of the technique, was arguably one of the first "business best-sellers.")


Taken together, these transformative innovations enabled something businesses never had before: a single, consistent, shareable version of the truth based on a single system of record. Something without which modern business would be impossible, or at least very different.


Today, some six centuries later, business IT has reached a similarly transformative evolutionary precipice. And like their earlier counterparts, many of today's IT innovations are focused squarely on transforming and improving how every modern enterprise does business.


The most exciting news about this where ServiceNow is concerned comes from ServiceNow customers. As demonstrated amply and ably by the examples in the ServiceNow Custom Application Showcase, ServiceNow customers are extending the value of ServiceNow well beyond IT in innovative, transformative ways. And these efforts are extending the lessons learned and successes achieved by IT across all types of enterprises, enabling consistently effective and agile shared services and service relationship management.


At the heart of these benefits? The ability to use ServiceNow to create a single system of record that enables a single, consistent, shareable version of the truth, within and beyond IT.


If you are or know of a ServiceNow customer who is delivering transformative innovation with the ServiceNow CreateNow Development Suite and the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform, now is the time to seek recognition of those efforts. How? By submitting a description of the relevant work for consideration during this year's Innovation of the Year Awards. Finalists will be featured at Knowledge14 during the keynote address from Fred Luddy, ServiceNow Founder and Chief Product Officer (and "the Steve Jobs of ITSM").


The deadline for Innovation of the Year entries is March 31, so if you haven't done so already, get yourself or your colleague signed up ASAP. (And if you or your colleague haven't yet registered for Knowledge14, "early bird" discount pricing ends at 11:59 p.m. US Pacific time on February 1, so get on it! (Then, please take my poll on the business value of your latest ServiceNow custom app, and stay tuned for future commentary from me on the results. Thanks in advance!)

Once you've discovered or created something interesting, useful or cool, whether it's digital content or a delicious dessert based on a new recipe, what's the very next thing you're likely to do with that thing?

Why, share it, of course.

If you doubt the pervasiveness of this tendency, check any social media site or online content. Even those without a "like" button have a "share" button or link – and for those that don't, there are share features built into or easily added to most browsers.

And what's true for just about everything from cakes and cassoulet to digital content is equally true for custom applications, code snippets and even best practices related to application creation and deployment. I know this because ServiceNow customers have been sharing and collaborating on such resources since they discovered they could build custom applications on the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform.

Such collaboration and sharing previously required a fair amount of heavy lifting, or at the very least active participation in ServiceNow User Group (SNUG) meetings or Knowledge conference sessions. Some recent developments should lighten the load and expand and accelerate the urge to collaborate and share.

One such development is the addition of team development support features to the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform. With the Dublin release, the ServiceNow platform enables development teams to add resources rapidly, to manage multiple features and teams in parallel, and to schedule product releases predictably. Teams of developers working in parallel across features, releases, or geographies on the ServiceNow platform gain release management and code synchronization features that avoid the cost, hassle, and productivity drags that development conflicts can cause.

Another development that should spur more collaboration and sharing among those creating custom applications with ServiceNow is the newly enhanced and re-launched ServiceNow online community. Its location remains the same – But just about everything else about it has changed for the better.

One such change is a new section devoted to creators using the App Creator and the ServiceNow CreateNow Development Suite. A related change is that I have the honor of being one of the moderators of that section of the ServiceNow Community. Rather than describing it in excruciating detail here, I'll just say that I look forward to collaborating and sharing with you and your colleagues there soon. So make sure to register and post a profile, especially if you never did so at the original ServiceNow Community site. You'll be glad you did, especially if you're interested in discovering and interacting with other like-minded ServiceNow customers.

(A suggestion: once you're on board, you might consider starting by following the "CreateNow," "Service Automation Platform," "Business Applications" and "Share" areas within the Community. You can easily browse all the available "places" and "spaces," and follow as many as you like.)

One of the leading strengths of the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform is its ability to deliver mobile device support and social interaction features to any application running on the platform. The new team development features of the platform and new interactions made possible by the new ServiceNow Community site are similarly powerful and transformative.

If the past is an accurate harbinger, 2014 will be a great year for the growth and acceleration of collaboration and sharing among the members and supporters of the ServiceNow creator community. So request your upgrade to Dublin, get your Community profile posted, and start creating, collaborating and sharing what you've created and learned with the ServiceNow Community!

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