I get asked a lot about mobile and how to deliver branded mobile experiences on ServiceNow. For years the answer has been to use Service Portal since it’s responsive and can be themed to function really well on mobile devices. This has worked quite well for many use-cases, but it still requires accessing through a browser or ServiceNow Classic, and it’s still not the same experience that we’ve all come to expect from a native mobile app.
54% of employees expect their employers to provide mobile-optimized tools
Some of this has changed with the release of the Now Mobile app, but it is ServiceNow branded, lives in the app stores under ServiceNow’s name, and requires entering of the instance name and credentials. It may be great for roled users, fulfillers, or users at least familiar with ServiceNow, but there are still many use-cases when using the Now Mobile app does not seem ideal. Consider, for example:
- Local governments or municipalities enabling anonymous citizens to report issues
- Universities using ServiceNow for managing student requests
- Product companies offering support via ServiceNow to its customers
- Enterprise organizations wanting to provide their employees with a tailored and branded experience
In many of these cases, it seems the ideal scenario would be a dedicated app, in the app stores, with the organization’s branding, and with the specific features for that target audience.
This compelled us to explore what it would take to develop cross-platform mobile apps. Apps fully integrated with ServiceNow, with custom branding, feature specific UI’s, and taking full advantage of the mobile capabilities such as geolocation, maps, push notifications, and camera features. We’ve chosen to build our current platform on React Native, as this allows for both iOS and Android apps with a single code base, but we’re also exploring a version in Swift and Java.
In the video above, you can see some of the example apps that we’ve been prototyping. The goal of the project has been to follow the same conventions as Now Mobile, leveraging the same APIs, ensuring a sustainable architecture. As of this writing, we have not yet released any publicly available apps into the store… but we are working with some of our early adopter customers on some innovative new mobile solutions.
I would love to hear your comments or feedback below. What are some use-cases where a mobile app could really improve the user experience?