Knowledge20: Recapping Six (yes, six!) Weeks of Digital Transformation

Colleen Harper

Knowledge20 has come to an end, and it was certainly one for the books. Like many other companies, ServiceNow was faced with the cancelation of their annual in-person conference scheduled for May. In response, they quickly pivoted to a virtual conference, catering to thousands of employees, partners, and customers participating from their homes around the world – and their execution was outstanding.

What was once planned as a week-long conference, turned into a six-week virtual experience covering a variety of topics and user experiences. The core themes covered in the first five weeks were Accelerate, Build, Succeed, Connect, and Dream. In the sixth and final week, ServiceNow’s CEO Bill McDermott challenged viewers to tie it all together by taking Action. But let’s take a moment to start from the beginning…

During the first week of Knowledge (K20), we heard how having the right digital tools directly impacts a companies’ ability to address unexpected challenges. In the IT Workflow keynote, Pablo Stern, ServiceNow’s SVP of IT Workflow Products, spoke to their ability to take nearly 10,000 employees remote overnight. A short time later, ServiceNow assisted major U.S. airline company, Delta, to do the same, at nearly three times the scale. How exactly did they accomplish this? By acting fast and building a consolidated single platform for IT, which leads us to week two: Build.

Building new workflows, fast, when your business needs them most. Week two of K20 brought us CreatorCon, breakout sessions focused on developing or enhancing existing workflows, and a fresh approach to tackling technical debt through their software and asset management tools. The inability to efficiently track hardware and software licensing is a pain point many of CDI’s clients frequently seek to relieve. By implementing ServiceNow’s hardware and software asset management modules, CDI has helped customers identify, eliminate, and reduce risk associated with technical debt.

Another area where ServiceNow looked to mitigate risk was in the workplace. By the halfway point of K20, most of the world was reaching a turning point for COVID19 and business leaders were beginning to ruminate the ‘when’ and ‘how’ employees could safely return to work. To address these concerns, ServiceNow released Safe Workplace, a suite of applications that would manage essential needs and services for reopening while keeping employees and customers safe. These applications have been a hot topic amongst CDI’s clients who are in the throes of planning a safe return to the office.

Given the flexibility of ServiceNow, we have seen some creative solutions in scheduling of employee shifts and connecting to building security to enable/disable badges based on shift scheduling and the results of a health employee screening application. The best part about the Safe Workplace applications is how quick and easy they are to setup. Out of the box, these can be enabled for use in just a few days, so customers can move quickly on getting their employees back into the office.

In the weeks to follow, K20 continued to impress us with innovative ways to connect and inspire.  “It’s all about delivering smart experiences,” said ServiceNow chief product officer, CJ Desai. Desai then went on to explain how ServiceNow had shifted some focus in the past year to innovate and expand on user experience technology. These innovations include investments in machine learning and natural language processing (NLU), which help ensure that new mobile apps and chatbots get smarter and smarter. Ultimately allowing for “frictionless interactions between employees and the organization.” Given the current work from home environment, CDI is seeing more demand than ever for products that monitor and address user experience. If employees are not able to work efficiently, business will suffer, so we’re excited to see how ServiceNow plans to address this in the days to come.

As K20 wound down, attendees were left with one final assignment: to consider how they could act now. The goal of K20 was to help us think outside the box, evolve and respond quickly to a changing world. With that, CDI is excited for the new and innovative ways we will be working with our clients over the coming year, helping empower them to meet their business needs now and for many years to come.

See next year at Knowledge 21 – hopefully in person!

Colleen Harper

Colleen Harper, Solutions Architect, CDI

Colleen Harper, Solutions Architect, is a forward-thinking senior technology consultant with a proven track-record of successfully leading and delivering complex technology implementations within the financial industry. In her current role, Colleen is responsible for supporting the CDI Digital sales team in a solutioning capacity for clients interested in partner offerings. While her initial focus is on ServiceNow, she will be working to expand CDI’s digital partner portfolio in the coming months.


Prior to joining CDI, Colleen worked in the financial services industry, where her roles included Senior Client Implementation Specialist, Infrastructure Service Delivery Analyst and Business Management Analyst, with responsibilities ranging from presales support to product development and delivery of a leading trade surveillance solution which helped to identify potential cases of non-compliant trading and investment activity.


Presently she holds a ServiceNow System Administrator Certification and will soon hold a certification for Atlassian System Administrator. Her technology expertise, while focused initially in the financial services industry, is within products which aim to enhance software development, project management, and content management.


Colleen is a graduate of The University of Delaware with a B.S. in Management Information Systems. In her spare time, she can be found training for marathons and spending every possible second outdoors with friends and family. When she’s not running, she sits on the young professional board for a non-profit called Back on My Feet, which combats homelessness and addiction through the power of running.