More and more organizations are embracing digital evolution to improve processes and increase productivity. The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria, a state government agency in Australia, is one such organization.
EPA Victoria embarked on a large-scale digital transformation journey three years ago to reinvent its operations, its interactions with the public, and its approach to environmental protection in the state of Victoria.
The agency is improving processes and systems to align with the new Victorian Environment Protection Act that goes into effect July 1, 2021.
Chris Moon, chief information officer at EPA Victoria, lives and breathes organizational transformation. He joined us on the ServiceNow Neighbourhood online series to explain how EPA Victoria is using ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) to reimagine enterprise service management across the organization.
Overcoming growing pains
ServiceNow is helping propel change as EPA Victoria evolves from what Moon describes as a “small business where everyone knows everyone else and helps out, to a small enterprise.” Many of the systems and processes that supported the organization when it had about 400 staff didn’t scale effectively to an enterprise with 800 employees.
“We started rolling out ServiceNow as an IT Service Management tool, but we always had the intent that it would be an enterprise service management tool,” Moon explains.
Everyone within the organization accepted the need for an IT service management tool, but some questioned the need for a broader enterprise service management tool, he adds. However, some teams—including EPA Victoria’s science function—saw the potential of ServiceNow early and quickly climbed on board.
The science team within EPA Victoria is responsible for feeding information to a larger field officer cohort and is benefiting from a knowledge base within ServiceNow, Moon says. “The knowledge base is really key, because [our scientists] are not [repeatedly] answering the same three or four questions.”
As a result, “the resistance from business units to the potential of something like ServiceNow has diminished, and that is where we are getting a backlog of … units wanting to onboard onto the ServiceNow platform,” he adds.
Embracing new approaches
The transformation program included development of the EPA AirWatch website, which displays information about air quality in the state. The website went live in October 2019. “In the January bushfires, which had a huge impact in Victoria, that website underwent an enormous amount of traffic and got stress-tested in a way we never expected—and, luckily, held up throughout,” says Moon.
The organization has also undertaken a lot of change management work to encourage team members to use the ticketing system “as opposed to sending a staff member a message … at 9 pm asking for support.” The coronavirus pandemic has helped push business unit end users into filing tickets as they can no longer simply approach staff members for support, Moon notes.
EPA Victoria is continuing to review opportunities to extend ServiceNow further into the organization. “A key use case from other business units is procurement,” Moon explains.
“Procurement in government is quite an extended process, with lots of formality and paperwork to ensure standards and policies are being followed correctly. And there are also documents needed, like conflict-of-interest statements, that go throughout the procurement process. So, procurement is one of the next cabs off the rank.”
Finance use cases and other opportunities are also emerging throughout the organization.
Collaborating for success
Moon attributes EPA Victoria’s decision to work with Deloitte as key to the success of the ServiceNow deployment. “We were able to utilize [Deloitte’s] capabilities to understand how we should set up ServiceNow,” he says. “I was worried that if we just set up ServiceNow for IT, we would paint ourselves into a corner and not easily be able to expand it out.
“What we did was initially quite a wide scan of where the solution could be used and what it could achieve,” he adds. “That way, we could make sure at the back of our mind, whenever we were implementing the ITSM processes, we understood the full scale and breadth of what we eventually wanted to implement.
“[So], regardless of whether that meant we onboarded procurement in a month, 12 months, or two years, we understood that was eventually on the roadmap and that wouldn’t cause us an issue.”
Because the ServiceNow Now Platform can do so many things, Moon says taking some time to review what it could do in the future is extremely important. “The last thing you want to do is spend two years implementing it for ITSM and find out you’ve managed to customize it to a point you can’t easily deploy it to other areas.”
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