Cloud tools help Harley-Davidson leave legacy IT in its dust

Harley-Davidson drives into a cloud based future

LAS VEGAS: Motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson has adopted ServiceNow’s cloud platform in a bid to move away from on-premise IT systems and embrace cloud-hosted services.

Speaking at ServiceNow’s Knowledge 15 event in Las Vegas, Shannon Weiss, IT asset manager at Harley-Davidson, explained how moving to the cloud was part of the modernisation the 100-year-old motorcycle company has been undergoing.

“Transformation was happening all over the company. We realised that with the changes that were going on [that] our current tools and business processes weren’t really going to cut it. We needed to look at modernising them,” she said.

“We know that cloud, big data, Internet of Things, is the way we’re going, but we had an on-premise [system] that was far from that; it was very thick, clunky, and it was not used around the world.”

Weiss explained that despite the company expanding to have regional headquarters across the world, Harley-Davidson’s IT infrastructure failed to keep up with the services it needed to operate on an international scale.

“This is a challenge for IT. We are a global company, but where we were at we weren’t a very global company,” she said.

From January 2014, Harley-Davidson began to take its IT systems and replace them with services hosted on ServiceNow’s cloud platform, and in the process solved the problem of not having a uniform set of IT assets across the company.

Weiss said the move to the cloud enables Harley-Davidson to get more ‘bang per buck’ out of its IT assets.

“We all need to do more with less money, and if we can save money around these IT parts, if we can reuse what we have sitting on the shelves or what’s being underutilised, then we can deliver more value to the business,” explained Weiss.

Using ServiceNow’s platform for asset management also allows Weiss to have a clearer insight into the IT systems and hardware being used across the company, whereas previously such data sat in separate siloes.

When it comes to replacing outdated systems, Weiss said she now has access to information that enables her to put forward a clear business case for funding an IT assets upgrade. “We can run reports on what needs to be refreshed,” she said.

Weiss also noted that Harley-Davidson has plans to push more parts of its business services into the cloud as it proceeds with company-wide modernisation.

Harley-Davidson is not the only well-known company to use ServiceNow’s cloud to solve an IT problem. Recently, food retailer Pret-a-Manger moved to the cloud to bypass the UK’s IT skills shortage.

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23 April 2015 | 10:30 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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