NSW Department of Justice transforms back end with ServiceNow

The state's justice department has turned to ServiceNow to transform its IT and back-office service management as part of its leap into digital service delivery.

The New South Wales Department of Justice (DOJ) has turned to ServiceNow to modernise its IT management systems, with its Digital Technology Services (DTS) team replacing a number of legacy systems that DOJ found itself possessing following a handful of agency mergers.

The solution provided by the enterprise cloud company is expected to support 12 agencies with one integrated platform, consolidating IT infrastructure, applications, and information management across the department.

The IT service management (ITSM) from ServiceNow will allow DOJ to deliver a single source of information to users managing customer requests and enquiries across Courts and Tribunals; Correctional Services NSW; Office of Emergency Management; Office for Police; Justice Strategy and Policy; Justice Services; Juvenile Justice; Births, Deaths, and Marriages; Crown Solicitors; and Veteran Affairs.

Speaking with media at the ServiceNow Now Forum in Sydney on Wednesday, DOJ director of Operations and Services Andrew Dimech said the department has transformed the business processes that cover the 14 agencies DOJ supports and 14,000-something end users into a "one-stop shop" for service delivery. The business support centre runs HR and finance service management, combining them into one interface that handles all requests and incidents.

"It's just as much a technology change as it is an end-user change," he explained. "You think it's simple, but it's not. Taking people away from a fax machine that they've used for 25 years to an online portal system takes time."

He highlighted that such a change takes more time inside government than it does in the private sector.

The other half of the journey, Dimech explained, is to digitise some processes that are citizen-facing, such as updating the way birth certificates are retrieved, with DOJ looking into automating the process to receive a certificate at birth.

"We're trying to work within government to remove that [difficulty] and improve those processes," he explained.

"It's going to require some investment, but through some of Minister Dominello's vision around 'digital on the inside, digital on the outside' ... we're trying to get funding for those initiatives and push those forward."

At an all-of-government level, Dimech said the focus is becoming more aligned with digitising processes, noting that it is now an expectation of the public.

"We're catching up," he said. "We're trying to focus on high-level, ministerial directions to help gain focus within the department on funding."

With funding the main requirement for modernising IT and service delivery, he said NSW Treasury is working on helping DOJ push the next initiatives over the line.

Speaking highly of the digital strategy launched by Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello in May, Dimech said the government is "getting better at having the right sponsorship" to aid digital transformation initiatives.

Dominello's Digital Government Strategy was touted at the time as a bold vision for transformation across the NSW public sector, with the three-faceted strategy focused on customer experience and the government being digital on the inside, and brought together through the use of data.

"Once ServiceNow's ITSM functionality is fully operational, the DTS team's key priority is to automate the majority of manual workflow processes, previously completed via email and even fax through intelligent workflow and approval processes," Dimech added.

"We're also continuing to explore the wide range of opportunities the platform offers, including automation of request fulfilment, maturity of incident/problem, and change management with built-in capability of future platform releases, and most importantly user access and self-service for transparency of requests and incidents across the department."

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