Why “demand destruction” is necessitating sweeping changes to your outdated workflows

January 30, 2017 Karin Glazier


All of your employees are experiencing rapid technological innovation in their own lives. From personal wireless devices to service automations to self-driving cars, employees have tremendous exposure to the benefits and advantages of technology. Consequently, when they show up to work every day, they are increasingly expecting that their employer is taking full advantage of technology as well. When employers don’t modernize workflows and business processes to achieve technology-driven efficiencies and automations, employees will eventually rebel. They will gradually modify legacy systems and abandon workflows through a phenomenon called “demand destruction.” Demand destruction literally kills demand for outdated workflows; you need to be attuned to it so you can get ahead of it. Let’s explore the reasons demand destruction is causing problems for your organization:

  1. Disconnected workflows waste time and money: A common feature of outdated workflows is that related work is disconnected. For example, a spreadsheet is used for project tracking and management, while a PowerPoint is manually compiled to provide regular reporting on project status. Disconnected workflows create the type of waste and redundancies that employees at all levels—from front-line workers to the C-suite—rebel against. They instinctively want to do efficient and meaningful work that is cost-effective.
  2. Soaring overhead expenses are dragging down profitability: Wasteful workflows cause overhead expenses to soar, creating a drag on long-term profitability. The C-suite is often evaluated on profits, so even if employees didn’t rebel, the C-suite eventually will take action. Executives have a corporate responsibility to consider sweeping changes if they can add to or restore profitability.
  3. Your employees are rejecting outdated processes and workflows: Your best employees hold themselves accountable for better outcomes and are creative thinkers. Thus, it should come as no surprise that when they see outdated processes and workflows, your leading employees will produce their own workarounds.
  4. Ad-hoc workarounds create unintended and harmful effects: While ad-hoc workarounds for established workflows are necessary for individual employees, they create big problems for the enterprise. Ad-hoc workarounds are not strategic or interconnected. They are simply the best solution that individual employees come up with a limited perspective and no regard for the enterprise.

Most organizations are unaware about how much “demand destruction” has occurred among their employee ranks. These organizations would benefit tremendously from an independent review by a ServiceNow implementation partner like Crossfuze. Crossfuze uses best-practices process workshops to draw out the actual configuration of business processes and workflows within an organization. Then, we work backward to figure out how these processes should be designed to deliver optimized business outcomes. Not surprisingly, the workflows and processes we develop tend to look nothing like the existing ad-hoc workarounds. In the end, we’ll deliver interconnected workflows, lowered overhead expenses, and employee buy-in for modernized, comprehensive workflows.   Thank you for reading this post. Please consider sharing it if you found it to be insightful. To dive deeper into this topic, please contact us with any questions at LetsTalk@crossfuze.com.

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