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Powering the public sector with ServiceNow

As government services lag behind the seamless digital experiences of the private sector, how can you achieve that elusive trinity of fast, efficient AND convenient for your citizens? Well, ServiceNow’s Public Sector Digital Services is how.

It’s ironic that some of the most important services citizens need to interact with are frequently the most frustrating to use. Engaging with government services can often require visiting multiple websites, making numerous phone calls and even visiting offices in person before a resolution is reached.

It’s understandable then, that – in an age of swish, interconnected digital experiences elsewhere – citizens are left frustrated by public sector services that are slow, siloed and require multiple hoop-jumps to use.

Improving the citizen experience is high on the list for government agencies – but achieving it requires transformation of not just the front-end experience, but the IT infrastructure and processes behind it too.

And that’s where ServiceNow’s Public Sector Digital Services (PSDS) come in.

The importance of efficient digital services in the public sector

Efficient digital services in the public sector are a win-win scenario. As the provider, you spend less time and money firefighting and more time getting stuff done, whilst citizens get the answers and information they need with minimal hassle.

The more citizens have to fight through seemingly disconnected layers of people, processes and technology to do what they need to, the greater their frustration becomes – which gets taken out on your support staff and fuels a lack of trust in wider government.

And it’s not just citizens who suffer at the hands of inefficient services. Your people, too, will be frustrated at having to navigate the web of systems that house the different pieces of information they need to complete even simple tasks.

For every government department or agency, providing services that are fast, efficient AND convenient is the ultimate goal. Getting there, however, is no small challenge.

Digitising the paper-based processes of the past is merely the first step – true transformation requires digging into the heart of the operations and processes that drive them.

It’s all about understanding how work ‘gets done’ in your organisation and the interconnected people and parts as well as how information is shared between them.

ServiceNow’s Public Sector Digital Services

A big barrier to improving the end-to-end citizen experience is that no one person or department is responsible for it.

With everyone busy focusing on ‘their bit’ of the system, the big-picture vision and improvements get lost in the process.

One way to overcome this is to invest in a digital platform that’s geared towards customer service by design – and arms you with the visibility and workflows to connect the dots and make sense of what the heck is actually going on.

ServiceNow is such a platform and one that only continues to grow in its adoption by the public sector. So much so, that ServiceNow has a dedicated selection of applications and capabilities designed to address the specific needs of government departments and agencies.

These Public Sector Digital Services are intended to help you accelerate digital transformation and improve efficiency with a unified data model and pre-packaged low-code workflows tailored for government use.

eBook: Unlock the power of ServiceNow for the public sector

Government departments need to deliver services efficiently without sacrificing accessibility.

Fortunately, achieving that balance is now possible. 

Download your free eBook and discover how to:

  • Deliver a streamlined experience 
  • Create GDS-aligned services at speed
  • Access ServiceNow’s public sector suite
  • Reduce costs and improve efficiency
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Benefits of PSDS

When it comes to modernising your services to citizens, ServiceNow’s Public Sector Digital Services offer a powerful platform to do so. PSDS will help you:

  • Reduce citizen effort: Citizens don’t care about organisational charts – they care about getting what they need with minimal effort. PSDS helps you provide an easy, personalised experience that improves their satisfaction and reduces your cost of delivering services.
  • Break down barriers: By unifying your services, operations and infrastructure in a single platform, you can empower your people to easily access cross-departmental information to serve citizens quickly and effectively.
  • Become proactive: Historically, government agencies are very reactive in their approach. With visibility into the health of your services, you can proactively detect an issue with advanced analytics and event management to plan for any disruption – or even avoid it entirely.
  • Deliver services fast: With everything connected in a single platform, you can quickly connect frontline personnel to the teams or people that can take action – drastically reducing resolution times.

Features of ServiceNow’s PSDS

ServiceNow’s PSDS includes key features tailored to public sector use cases to help you quickly deliver value to your agents and citizens.

Dedicated data models

Out-of-the-box, PSDS provides you with some ready-made data models to get you up and running much faster. These include:

  • A constituent data model: The records that contain citizen profiles and consumer information.
  • A business data model: The records that contain business profiles, child businesses and business contact information.
  • An agency data model: The records that contain agency profile and agency staff information.

These data models help make sense of the relationships between constituents, businesses and agencies. This means information can flow seamlessly between departments and teams without sacrificing transparency, accountability or security.

Government Service Portal

The Government Service Portal is a dedicated portal for citizens, business stakeholders and contributors (working on behalf of citizens) to request services, track cases, view and update their profiles, report issues, and more.

Business owners can also register a new business, manage contacts and request services, permits and licenses. It offers a much simpler and easier way for end users to find what they need and request services – keeping them updated and providing a smoother experience for everyone.

Virtual Agent

SerivceNow’s market-leading chatbot can be accessed via the Government Services Portal to enhance the customer support on offer to citizens and businesses. It also works in third-party messaging applications, such as Engagement Messenger.

Admins and conversation designers can create custom conversations, modify existing ones, or create new ones using a selection of pre-built components tailored for public sector use cases. This helps you widen the reach of your service by providing support outside of typical work hours across multiple channels simultaneously.

Public sector playbooks

There are two types of playbook available in PSDS:

  1. Information Request Playbook
  2. Service Request Playbook

The Information Request Playbook handles the end-to-end workflow for public record and information requests and the Service Request Playbook provides the same but for non-emergency service requests, such as park maintenance, damaged road signs, or other community issues.

Each playbook comes with a service catalogue of pre-built request options with powerful automation support that allows you to resolve requests much faster and more efficiently.

An omnichannel approach

Citizens want to use your services in a way they’re familiar with, and they’ll expect consistency across each device and channel.

By consolidating your service management into ServiceNow, you can offer a fully joined-up experience that meets those expectations.

Citizens can start and continue conversations across web, chat, email, phone, social media and in-person channels – and your agents will have all the necessary context to keep things moving no matter where the interaction takes place.


Empowering citizens to find their own answers provides only positives. Citizens feel in control and get what they need, and your service team have fewer requests filling up the queue.

With the pre-built services available through the Government Service Portal and powered by the playbooks mentioned above, you’ll see a significant reduction in the number of tickets coming through – freeing your team up to focus on higher-priority tasks and incidents.

An extensive knowledgebase of articles surfaced directly into chats via Virtual Agent, not only provides the answers users need in a familiar format, but it helps deflect common requests away from your support teams.

ServiceNow and the GDS Service Standard

As you likely know, any public-facing service provided by the government needs to adhere to the Government Digital Service (GDS) Service Standard.

Historically, using ServiceNow for these services hasn’t been ideal because, for all its technical capability, ServiceNow hasn’t been able to meet the GDS standards for accessibility out of the box.

This is because government services need to meet very specific design and functionality requirements to ensure services are simple, accessible and efficient.

What’s needed is a way to adapt ServiceNow’s user interface so that public sector organisations can take advantage of all the functionality included in PSDS and deliver it in a way that meets the GDS standards.

We identified this as a key hurdle our public sector clients were facing and so we set about fixing it. The result? A dedicated GDS Toolkit that does exactly that: allowing you to create or replicate any ServiceNow service requests using GDS-approved design blocks, styles and modules.

That way, all the benefits of ServiceNow are unlocked and your citizens get to enjoy faster, more intuitive experiences in a way that supports modern accessibility requirements such as screen readers, keyboard tabbing, video captions, alt text and more.

Ready to get started with PSDS?

With the GDS Toolkit acting as a bridge between accessibility and experience, a whole world of opportunity is now open to you.

You’re free to take advantage of all of the features and functionality included in ServiceNow PSDS, helping you digitise and accelerate service delivery with connected workflows and departments united under a single platform.

If you’d like to know more about ServiceNow PSDS, or the key role our Toolkit plays in making it available to you, contact our friendly team to see it in action and see what it could do for the future of your citizen services.

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Key takeaways

Government departments and agencies need to deliver services that are both efficient and accessible.

  • ServiceNow’s Public Sector Digital Services is a dedicated selection of features and functionality designed for use in the public sector.
  • It modernises and streamlines the citizen experience whilst empowering your agents to take action much faster.
  • By consolidating your services, operations and infrastructure under a single platform you can break down internal barriers and use data to drive a proactive approach avoiding service disruption or failure.
  • Public-facing services need to meet the GDS Service Standard – but ServiceNow hasn’t historically met the accessibility standards required.
  • The GDS Toolkit from FlyForm allows you to create and adapt ServiceNow service requests into an accessible GDS-aligned experience, helping you modernise and transform your service delivery at scale and speed.