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The ServiceNow workspace experience is changing – are you ready?

With Agent Workspace coming to an end, now is the perfect opportunity to explore how you can benefit from ServiceNow’s new ‘Next Experience’ Configurable Workspaces.

Today’s workforce demands a flexible working experience tailored to their needs. The static workspaces of the past are no longer enough – your people now expect configurable page layouts, extensive component options, and the ability to build custom features.

Not to worry, ServiceNow is hard at work making this next-generation of workspaces available to those using the platform, and the good news is that you can start taking advantage of them right now.

Before we begin, let’s talk terminology…

To reflect its new approach to workspaces, ServiceNow has updated its terminology to describe the old vs. new way of working. Here’s a quick breakdown of the terms you need to know:

The old way

  • Classic Environment: The way you worked before and what you’ve probably gotten used to. You work out of forms, lists and dashboards and open new windows when you want to view multiple areas of a platform at the same time.
  • Agent Workspace: A workspace that allows you to work in multiple areas of the platform on one screen. Elements like Agent Intelligence and Playbooks added some great new functionality, but, overall, it’s fairly limited and more of a one-size-fits-all approach.

The new way

  • Configurable Workspaces: A whole host of highly-configurable, persona-based workspaces built on a flexible architecture. There are a growing number of UI Builder components available that can be added to Configurable Workspaces to tailor the experience to the user’s needs.
  • Next Experience UI: A redesigned, modern look and feel for the Classic Environment. It includes a horizontal menu bar that optimises the use of the screen including easy access to favourites and workspaces. It also enables switching between Classic Environment and workspaces all in the same browser window.

Now, let’s dive into what’s driving this change and how you can benefit.

What’s happening to the ServiceNow Agent Workspace?

ServiceNow’s route towards this new way of working has seen a wealth of components being made available for its Configurable Workspaces. You’ll notice, however, that these new components don’t make an appearance in Agent Workspace.

This is because Agent Workspace is slowly being replaced in favour of this Configurable Workspace approach, with support ending for Agent Workspace in March 2024.

Configurable Workspaces are compatible with ServiceNow’s Next Experience User Interface (UI) – a new interface that allows you to access ‘Classic Environment’ forms, lists, and dashboards in the same pane as your Configurable Workspace.

Now, the end of Agent Workspace might sound like a bad thing, but it actually presents you with an opportunity. You can benefit from these new Configurable Workspaces right now with multiple components to choose from.

The Service Operations Workspace

The Service Operations Workspace is a good example of where this transition from old to new has already occurred.

The Service Operations Workspace is a Configurable Workspace compatible with the Next Experience UI and is available in ServiceNow’s IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Operations Management (ITOM) products. Hence the ‘Service’ and ‘Operations’ in the title.

Each ServiceNow product will have its own related Configurable Workspace. At first, they may not seem all that different from the workspace experience you’re used to, but you'll soon discover there’s a great deal more flexibility and configuration on offer than what’s possible using Agent Workspace.

ServiceNow's recommendation is that any new workspaces are created using a Configurable Workspace as it begins to deprecate Agent Workspace ahead of March 2024.

There's no way to migrate existing Agent Workspaces to a Configurable Workspace due to the architecture being completely different – so now is the time to start considering making the move.

What are the benefits of ServiceNow’s Configurable Workspace?

Configurable Workspaces using the Next Experience UI are focused on configuration for specific job roles or ‘personas’. They use a catalogue of functions and features that can be enabled and designed with your unique workplace requirements in mind.

By aligning your people’s workspaces with the apps and services they need, your users will feel fully supported to complete their work tasks. It also allows you to maximise efficiency by removing common process bottlenecks via a single workspace.

Go beyond out-of-the-box

People like to work in the way that best suits them.

Whilst ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box workspaces, such as the Service Operations Workspace, are enough to get you started, they won’t be right for all roles and responsibilities.

The beauty of Configurable Workspaces is that you can design them from scratch using an extensive library of components to suit a unique set of requirements.

The list of available components continues to grow, and you can adjust and develop your workspaces as the need arises instead of being restricted to what comes as standard.

Next Experience UI

The Next Experience UI allows a user to see everything relevant to their role in a single view, with configurable features for adding new widgets and functions as well as changing accessibility settings.

Using the Next Experience UI Builder, you can quickly configure page layouts and components, extend and deploy custom components, and build pages and web-based portal experiences through a WYSIWYG interface.

This flexibility helps to improve productivity by allowing people to work in the way that they want and ultimately results in a more engaging experience for everyone.

Watch the video below for an overview of ServiceNow’s Next Experience workspace UI:

What do I need to do – and when?

ServiceNow has announced that support for Agent Workspace will end with the Washington D.C. update in March 2024. But there’s every reason to upgrade now, stay ahead of the competition, and deliver the workspace experience your people expect.

Our recommended first step for moving to this new Configurable Workspace experience is to consider what a reimagined workspace would look like in your organisation.

Do you have any existing areas that have to be frequently reworked or configurations that are overengineered for a single use case? Could these be removed or replaced by something more suitable?

It’s also worth considering which personas and user journeys currently exist in your ServiceNow instance. Is the ‘Classic’ way of working causing loopholes, missed opportunities and duplicated effort?

Be sure to engage with key stakeholders in your organisation to get their thoughts on what a new workspace experience would look like for them. These could be your service desk managers, service owners, or ServiceNow users.

As of the latest release (Tokyo), new ServiceNow customers only have access to this next-generation workspace experience. They're already benefitting from new best-in-class functionality – so make sure you are too.

Ready to get started?

We’re already helping our clients begin taking advantage of these new workspaces. Whether it’s our simple Accelerator Workspace service or a complete Next Experience Migration, we’ve got a wealth of experience in planning and supporting you through the transition.

We’ll hold persona-based interactive workshops with you to understand your business goals and design a workspace solution that supports them.

We’ve got three ready-made services for you to choose from:

  • Accelerator Workspace: With no way to move an existing workspace into the new experience, we’ll get you up and running with a Configurable Workspace designed to replicate your current Agent Workspace setup.
  • Accelerator Workspace Pro: In addition to the first service, we’ll provide consultation and configuration support to enhance and replicate your current way of working.
  • The Ultimate Next Experience Migration: We’ll level up your user experience using best-in-class ServiceNow technology and design a persona-based workspace from scratch to meet your unique needs.

Our approach is to ensure you’re aligned with industry best practices and making the most of ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box functionality – which only grows with each release!

Simply get in touch with us to discuss your migration needs and we’ll help you begin the move to ServiceNow’s new Configurable Workspace experience.

By Nicola Conquer
8th Feb 2023