On February 4, 2021 ServiceNow held an analyst webinar focusing on their new ServiceNow Vaccine Management Solutions.
At the world attempts to roll-out vaccinations in an orderly way, many organizations face daunting issues related to communications and coordination. The goal is to deploy more than 15 Billion doses (up to 2 for each living person) globally as quickly as possible.
In order to meet demand, Service now sees the following six areas as critical to meeting demand with speed and agility:
- Technology enablement through automation
- Centralized visibility to optimize efficiency
- Quality control and compliance to ensure standards and safety
- Collaboration and communication for streamlining workflows across entities
- Financial planning to control costs and ensure transparency
- Incident response and training for managing exceptions
The ServiceNow position
Service now is tackling the workflow by breaking the problem into manageable activities. These activities include:
- Vaccine administration
- Vaccine allocation
- Provider management
- Vaccine capacity management
- Transportation and storage
ServiceNow developed a solution that covers the distribution, administration, and monitoring of the vaccine workflow.
The solution offers capacities that cross all of the agencies, including:
- National agencies and governments,
- State, provincial, and local government agencies
- Analytics services providers
- Pharmaceutical manufacturers
- Device manufacturers
- Healthcare providers and hospitals
- Program administrators
While ServiceNow offers outcomes by process, the biggest outcome will be people receiving vaccinations. In some instances, the ServiceNow Vaccine Management Solutions will play a strong role; it may play no role in others. That should not be the case. ServiceNow has done good initial work on problem framing and solutions development. Successful deployment in a fragmented technology market, however, will require more than a single vendor or solution. Vaccine management solutions will require a new view of competition that likely hasn’t been seen in World War II. ServiceNow will likely reap benefits from this work, but hopefully, they will also play a role as thought leader and industry integrator in order to avoid solution confusion and delays of adoption caused by long cycles of evaluation.
Serious Insights Analysis
The ServiceNow solution for vaccine management creates a detailed template for what needs to take place to ensure vaccinations proceed with good pace and safety. The company’s commitment to bi-weekly updates recognizes the rapid pace of change as new information about the roll-out, and new technology integration needs emerge. The ServiceNow solution reflects deep research with the customers and partners to craft a solution within a couple of months of the first needle in the arm. Unfortunately, the approach to vaccine management will prove as fragmented as any technology deployment.
Software vendors and consultancies including IBM, Deloitte US, and Accenture, and others are already moving into this space. One of the leadership voids at the U.S. National level comes from a lack of technology planning and implementation. It would be valuable for national-level efforts to kick off that quickly vet solutions and work to ensure the integration of those solutions. If the vaccination solutions market becomes an overtly competitive one, rather than a coordinated or collaborative one, technology will increase the cost of coordination even as it attempts to reduce it.
While the ServiceNow Vaccine Solutions Management citizen engagement module begins early in the process with a sign-up workflow, it should probably go further back in the value chain with communications tracking. In this era of misinformation, it will be important to identify which messages drive action for which segments of the population–and then target the right messages at those audiences. Helping people overcome reluctance, distrust, or fear will be the first threshold in the workflow for vaccination management. Marketing will be critical early, and it will require constant vigilance throughout as early successes lead to stragglers and the recognition of underserved populations.
Serious Insights advises those in the vaccination delivery value chain to consider the rationalization of their infrastructures. It will cost time and lives if organizations adopt multiple or different management systems. And because of the number of agencies and businesses involved in the vaccination process, systems integration will drive deployment timelines. Of course, that is why IBM, Deloitte, and Accenture offer their own solutions, which likely include ServiceNow as a potential component.
The United States government and other governments worldwide need to include technology management in their plans, even if they only offer advisories. In addition, guidance should be developed for experience design at a level above the workflow. ServiceNow dips their solutions into that offering but doesn’t take it far enough.
The movement from vaccine to vaccination, as ServiceNow points out, is likely the largest logistics effort ever undertaken and one that compresses timeframes beyond those of anyone’s personal experience at this scale. Workflows prove their value every day in companies in many ways but have never faced this level of need. Collaboration and coordination will be tested in new ways and will likely require new levels of design, empathy, and integration.
The world cannot afford for agencies to manage through typical customer journeys. Serious Insights encourages ServiceNow and other technology providers to engage each other proactively. They should replace typical sales cycles with offer solutions cycles designed to create pathways to rapid adoption. It is critical to break the software evaluation cycles and deliver rationalized solutions quickly. As pharmaceutical companies offer a vaccine for individuals to combat COVID-19, technology companies should come together to offer their customers a vaccine against competitive evaluations, at least for this one set of solutions.
For more serious insights on collaboration click here.