ServiceNow upgrade goes from AI to Zero Trust

You can’t not do GenAI in 2023, and 'Vancouver' release has gone there – but its detours may be more worthy

Artificial intelligence might just cause IT departments to reconsider their success metrics – according to ServiceNow circa 2017. That's when the SaaS-y workflow specialist promised it would put AI to work automatically routing jobs to the most appropriate person in the "Kingston" release of its platform.

Fast forward to the present and the "Vancouver" release unleashed today * again sees ServiceNow extolling the virtues of AI. Because it's 2023, Generative AI is on the agenda in a tool called "Now Assist for ITSM" that goes to work on records of your past incidents and live chats with customer service agents, then allows virtual agents – aka chatbots – to produce "complete answers instead of search results so agents can resolve issues and requests faster without needing to ask users to repeat themselves."

Another GenAI addition to Vancouver, "Now Assist for CSM," summarizes information in a case file so that agents see a potted history rather than having to read multiple documents and reach their own conclusions about whatever it is that ails you.

Just wait until that one produces the errors for which GenAI is infamous on a support call. Redefining help desk hell for the AI age.

A similar tool promises to present HR folk with robo-written summaries of workers' histories, to help them diagnose and deal with common chores like erroneous amounts of pay.

Less glamorous and exciting to hype-surfers and investors - but arguably more important – is the implementation of Zero Trust principles, which bring granular authentication to the ServiceNow platform. Doing so improves security, but also gives ServiceNow the confidence to suggest connecting more users.

That's very on-strategy for the vendor, which started in ITSM (IT service management) and has long hoped to reduce its dependence on help desk-adjacent matters and bring its workflow expertise to more parts of a business.

Vancouver advances that cause with capabilities for clinical device management and accounts payable operations.

Back in the IT department, Vancouver adds software bill of materials tracking that promises to create inventories of the code you run across your application estate – including open source components – then figure out if it needs patching or replacement, and put the appropriate jobs in to-do lists. ®

* ServiceNow releases are all named after major cities, with the name of each advancing by one letter of the alphabet. Since Kingston debuted in 2018, users have been offered London, Madrid, New York, Orlando, Paris, Quebec, Rome, San Diego, Tokyo, and Utah**. Washington will follow Vancouver.

ServiceNow users all have their own instance of the product and can choose whether and when to adopt a new release.

**We are aware that Utah is a state and not a city. Take it up with ServiceNow.

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