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NHS Education for Scotland deploys ServiceNow to power digital transformation

Driving a digital strategy requires top-down executive support, says NES interim director of digital transformation Chris Wroath

NHS Education for Scotland (NES) has begun delivering digital transformation powered by ServiceNow, which will enable it to link operational tasks to its overall business objectives.

NES provides the education and lifelong learning needs of all NHS Scotland staff. The project uses cloud-based IT to build an IT service desk that is able to support facilities requests, training and human resources, along with IT.

The organisation appointed Fruition Partners UK, a master solutions partner for ServiceNow to implement the system, which was sourced via the government's G-Cloud supplier framework. The initial roll-out of the ServiceNow IT service management suite was completed within 30 days.

"Everything as a service is the theme of our digital transformation at NES," said NES interim director of digital transformation Christopher Wroath.

While public sector organisations can be hierarchical and goal-driven, Wroath realised that to achieve digital transformation he needed to look at corporate processes that could be mapped to core objectives for NES.

The approach he took was to create a working group that could branch deliverables across all directorates within NES, each of which had their own set of goals they needed to achieve.

"The view I took was that digital provide a set of outcomes mapped against a strategic objective. That is when you start to change," Wroath said.

Rather than consider each task as a body of work, he explained that delivering a service requires a different mindset: "If the service is to deliver trained individuals to the health service that have the right skills, you are accountable for the whole service."

While the project began as just a service desk, Wroath worked with interim CEO Caroline Lamb to build a comprehensive digital service covering risk, governance and resource management across NES.

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"Our plan is to create a unified platform across all our IT systems which delivers a consistent, easy to use, consumerised experience. We've delivered this initially with IT support, based on the ServiceNow platform, and we will soon be extending it to a wide range of other digital services," he said.

The team has rolled out the self-service portal which speeds employees' access to the many common requests they have, such as computer issues, as well as access to the multiple training management systems and repositories of training materials.

The underlying service management technologies include incident and problem management, change management, and a shared knowledge base. "One of the big drivers for me was the self-service portal. Users are quite knowledgeable,” said NES cloud transistion manager Paul Donnelly.

The implementation project for ServiceNow was kicked off in April 2015. Among the ideas Fruition Partners introduced to the project was to use mobile Skype for project workshops. "Not having to pay in for consultants to fly in is a smarter and better way to work," Donnelly said.  

The initial project went live in August 2015. "Although it's early days, the user feedback so far has been extremely positive, and we have far greater information about how IT support is being accessed and managed," said Donnelly.

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