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Enrich Your Digital Workflows with Identity: How to Use Identity to Design and Automate Modern Business Processes


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Clear Skye shares how organizations benefit from digital workflows and identity on the Application as-a-Service delivery platform ServiceNow. Learn how organizations can use an identity workflow strategy to improve their business agility by making more informed decisions while reducing effort and total spend.

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First a story. If I may a, a, a journey that I'm sure many of you have have been on in your past a journey across it over the last 20 or plus years like myself, people of a certain age, you'll be familiar with organizational barriers, barriers to workflow barriers to getting business decisions performed effectively. And in real time, these, these islands of it assets, they often represented a business unit like finance or manufacturing, sales, and marketing, and they required a dedicated team of, of people to feed and water and own and maintain these applications. Each of these siloed apps, they, they spoke their own language if their own workflow, if you like, and chances were, the API was hard to use. If, if at all present the it industry reacted to these, these silos, these challenges with solutions that connected them together, like the green lines.
So to speak on this slide, data and information was synchronized and consolidated by solutions like meta directories message queues, enterprise service buses, and many, many open source solutions and why, or they, they all, they all, they all drove to share and transform information between business functions. A company was effectively many different companies within itself, and they all needed to share information that they needed to get work done. Looking back over history. You know, one of my favorite love hate workflow solutions of the time back in the nineties was, was Lotus notes. It was. And why is it relevant? Well, it was stunningly successful, much like ServiceNow today. Many of us of a working age will look back with fondness of hurling, this big software stack around with this at the time. But what was note great about notes was the ease of information sharing, right?
As well as being able to build other applications. So it's got some similarities with the application platform as the service solutions like ServiceNow today, in that it had a very rich database of information. It had a consistent look and feel a consistent security model and workflow that brought people together. These workflow solutions have have been empowering business. You know, they've been going from strength to strength since then, and not surprisingly workflow has also been called to digital identity systems over the last 20 years or so. And these systems, this workflow technology has been getting progressively easier to use. The once was a time when you had to be a programmer in order to configure workflow. And unfortunately, you know, many solutions out there, many identity products are still like this. They need dedicated technicians to basically churn out configuration and churn out code. It's hardly low code and definitely not low, no code.
These terms, low code and no code are what service now use to describe their, their modern flow workflow types called flow designer. And this is, this is all about reuse and flexibility. The, the, the ability to build individual workflows and easily test and easily share the workflow with other business units. So when folks think about service now, they immediately kneejerk on ITSM or it service management. And we heard Christopher in his excellent content. Talk about, talk about it, TSM and, and that's understandable as is often the first touchpoint. Many of us have with service. Now I need to request something. I need to open the ticket cause I've got a problem. I go to ServiceNow for those that have peaked behind the curtain of ServiceNow, there's a whole range of industry award-winning applications delivered on this platform with all the benefits that that brings. One such example is vendor risk, compliance, governance, and risk.
And these, these applications bring a whole spectrum of different workflows to the ServiceNow platform, my own experience of, of identity, and then learning and getting familiar with ServiceNow. I fell in this, I fell in this camp of ServiceNow, is I TSM, but in my conversations with customers, it's clear that one of the key value adds of introducing identity workflow into this scenario of ServiceNow is information sharing and governs risk compliance and vendor risk management. These workflows are all enhanced by the notion of having identity T additionally, we've got security, instant response, threat intelligence. Now consider yourself a risk operator. You're working a security ticket. Wouldn't it be great if the affected user, the person that you are investigating, you didn't have to swivel chair round to another application, another workflow, and reauthenticate find that person and compare notes on two different screens, having identity information directly within the security, instant response or threat intelligence workflows brings a whole different dimension to becoming secure and staying compliant.
Finally, we've got other applications, other workflows on the platform, such as human resource, service delivery, customer service management and software and hardware, asset management. And those of you have an identity background. I'm sure all these terms are familiar. And if you think back to the first slide with all the silos in the islands, integrating these solutions in the past was possible, but it was work. And it's all about agility and time to market in today's day and age, which is why identity brings so much more to service now than just the traditional identity use cases. I, I hope it's becoming clear that those old islands of business capability, you know, the on-prem SAPs and the on-prem identity products, I wish our coincidentally calling themselves platforms. Now, the PeopleSofts the old databases, the DB two S of old, they they're gradually being replaced by, by this now platform, which delivers all these applications as a service it's elastic, it's scalable, and it's extensible.
These platforms are all about sharing. It's all about having a unified data plane, shared workflow and a shared common experience. Those are the factors that we see are behind the success of this platform, whether it's GRC security, incidents or HR. So let's move on to talk about identity and how identity has reacted to the growth of this platform. On the left hand side, you see a typical stack of an identity governance product on the right hand side, we can see from the previous slides, the service now environment. So, so what has happened? How has the identity market reacted to the growth and the popularity of ServiceNow? Well, I mentioned the kneejerk reaction of I T SM and the access request workflow, which is just one of many workflows that are, are relevant to this conversation. And the identity market is, is, is typically gone ahead and created a integration of sort, right?
It's like a bit like a tick on the back of a dog, right? The typical use case of access request and being able to maintain catalog items within the ServiceNow Porwal. So what has happened is many identity vendors have published an application to the store, which goes some way to solving this challenge. It's a step in the right direction, but as hopefully you'll come on to see it's just one of a number of digital workflows. It's not the bill and the end, all the story. Okay. So can we, you know, can we not see how this model, it, it, it kind of fractures the workflow and, and the business process it's not end to end, and it's certainly not low code, no code. So one of the key messages here is to avoid duplication and, and you Martin, you and, and Christopher were talking about that in, in the previous segment, duplication of effort, spending additional time and additional cost to get to what is importantly the same destination.
And as we can see here, even with an identity request app being native to the platform, there's still an unhealthy duplication of effort. Everything in red on both sides is basically duplicated the workflow, auditing, reporting dashboards, and connectors integration. You know, we can't have an identity conversation without talking about connectors. So some time ago, you know, identity vendors were, they were all scored. In fact, many, still are on the number of connectors that they have out of the box. Well, in today's modern workflow platform, many integration options are provided by the platform itself. So it it's, it's becoming clear that, you know, to, to people like me, identity guys, we are no longer here just to solve that integration challenge. The platform provides so much capability almost out of the box, but let's move back to the overview of the, the ServiceNow platform and what many consider to be a different, if not better way to IGA, by having the native identity capability adjacent and playing a role like a family member around the family table, with all the other workflows that are going on the platform.
And here we have in the blue, the identity classic identity use cases like lifecycle management, you know, join a move lever. The, the access request we mentioned from an I TSM perspective, the access reviews, making sure people have just the right amount of access and, and nothing more. And importantly, the audit, the intelligence, and more, most recently, you know, machine learning and AI, and guess what the platform has machine learning and AI too. So those identity vendors that have chosen to position their technology on the platform, they're in a unique scenario to take full advantage of the capabilities the platform has to offer without having to reinvent the wheel. Okay. So customers, a real world example customers have told us, you know, when a security incident or a threat is discovered that making accurate timely decisions is essential to their security operations. You know, being able to respond swiftly to security incidents with, with workflow running on the platform that can pull all these different elements together.
The, the information has to be up to date. We can't wait for the next reconciliation or the next API to import information to the, the CMDB or whatever workflow is running on the platform. And with identity being native to the platform, those business security decisions, those workflows can be supplemented by real time identity information, without any delay and, and likewise identity workflow benefits from the platform itself. Take, for example, the identity use case of recertification or at, at testing somebody's access, wouldn't it be better and safer to see not only the entitlement associations from the identity perspective, but also the level of risk they expose the business by interrogating the ServiceNow CMDB, the GRC I R M risk register to look at the security, instant response audit trail, and to pull all of this information together, to provide a holistic view of, of that person within that workflow.
So these are all use cases that allow team play between formally siloed parts of an organization, and they all leverage the preexisting service now, workflow investment. So I'm going to hand over in a moment to, to my colleague at tiller, who's going to talk in, in detail about some of the advantages of a particular use case of, of workflow on the platform. But I'd just like to spend a few moments looking at this particular slide. And there is more to service now than these five blue circles on this screen, of course, but these are the areas where we are finding our conversations with, with our customers and partners are, are, are taking us, whether it's an it workflow, whether it's a security instance, response workflow, like I, I mentioned previously vendor risk management. And in fact there are solutions out there in the security identity space that specifically focus on vendor risk management, and you don't need it because if you are committed to the platform, it's, it's all possible with workflow that runs natively. And then there's GRC being able to provide evidence in real time from an identity workflow directly to the GRC risk indicators. This is one of the key value add messages that our customers are, are telling us, but let's focus on HR. And with that, I'd like to hand over to my colleague tiller, are you the teller?
Yeah. Thank you for the introduction, Paul. So as Paul has mentioned, there are many use cases for identity can enrich existing workflows. But the one we want to highlight is HR, and want to go a bit more into detail into this one, just in interest of time, we'll focus on, on this one use case for now. So what I like to say here is that this is this identity lifecycle use case. So joiner mover lever, as someone would call it is typically seen as an HR use case. However, if you look behind the scenes, you actually need multiple parts of the company to, to collaborate, to, to get the right outcomes. So you don't just need HR to do their work and, you know, kick off into use background checks, mandatory training and so on. You also need identity to make sure that you give the right access or birthright proficient, and you need finance to set up payroll.
You need facilities to issue a badge. You need it to issue a laptop. At the end of the day, business is a team sport and you need all these teams. And the beauty of service now is that it is possible to have prebuilt applications on the platform that allow all of these teams to collaborate in one place without any customization and without the need to integrate them. And last but not least, we have already talked quite a bit about, about how this all benefits the enterprise, but we also need to talk about the end user, the employee of the enterprise. They have a job to do, and in order to let them do this job, you want to enable them to be efficient. And all of these employees in their private time, they'll be using social media and e-commerce sites. And my example that I like talking about is Amazon.
If I go into Amazon, it doesn't matter where I am in the world. You know, whether I'm sitting here in the UK or in Germany or in the United States, it doesn't matter if I'm on a phone or on a computer. I can order whatever I want beginning to end on one Porwal and then I can follow that order on that same exact Porwal. And it tells me exactly what I need to do in order to get what I want. And I think enterprise, it is obviously many years behind, but this is where companies should strive to get in order to enable their employees to do their job.
That's a great point. Taylor and the HR use case will be familiar to many of us like, like myself from, from an identity background. And when you, when you think back of what was required previously, to integrate an identity workflow with an onboarding workflow, you had to deploy connectors, you had to create service accounts and go through clearance and all sorts of, of, of hoops and challenges to get that integration set up. But this particular use case, et etcetera, that you've mentioned here, there is no connector, right? There's, there's no service account. It's, it's, it's a workflow. And it's about reuse. It's about not duplicating the information across different systems. It's, it's just time consuming and you don't need to do it now. Not everybody's going to be using HR on service now, although from, from our information, it's one of their, the fastest growing applications in popularity on the platform.
And of course, you know, if they've got Workday or success factors, you're going to have to have an integration to those systems. And thankfully that's where the platform helps us out again, because it's, it's kind of a built in, into integration hub spoke that can pull that information and, and off you go again, you're, you're on your journey with the workflow. So yeah, thanks for the insights there at, till coming to the end of this, this, this section now just want to summarize again, the five key areas that, that myself and my colleagues and partners that we are seeing, adding additional value from both an identity side and a service. Now workflow side is the sharing of information in a timely, efficient manner and not remastering, not re-authoring information, not synchronizing that information across different silos. So Martin, this last slide, three bullet points to consider, you know, business is a team sport.
You know, you play on the same pitch. You don't have football games running on different pitches. You know, why would you have workflows running in different corners of the business, whether they're on-prem or in the cloud, you've gotta have effective collaboration, sharing of information and reuse of that information to authorized users within the enterprise, we spoke about duplication of effort. We today's businesses need to be agile. There's a rapidly changing environment that we all work in today. You, you need to have effective time to market and, and it's gotta be cost effective too, which is mean don't pay for something you already have. If you have service now and granted not everybody will. And if you are using service now for more than just I TSM, and I say that with much respect to, to I TSM then identity workflows on the platform, it makes complete sense. So with that, I'd like to say, thank you for the opportunity to speak from myself and the teller. And we look forward to any questions and feedback you may have back to you, Martin.

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