How ServiceNow can help water supply companies operate smarter

24. January 2019

Yesterday I attended a webinar from ServiceNow on AIOps (Artificial Intelligence Operations), and I think this is very interesting. It has a lot of potential value for several customers. Today I want to talk about opportunities for water supply companies. This type of utility industry serves a life-essential function in our society and it can be challenging to maintain the water quality standards.

Water quality

ServiceNow has a capability to detect anomalies as part of their AIOps. So if water quality significantly decreases, it has a built-in capability to alert the right people and to take action. When there are multiple sensors in the infrastructure and when they are connected, ServiceNow can identify which points in the infrastructure are affected and as such determine the impacted area. When combined with government services, ServiceNow could enable the affected people to be notified in that area. When combined with Field Service Management maps, the root cause area can be identified. Field service engineers in the surrounding area can get a notification containing the impacted area, severity, likely cause and possible solution. With continuous measurements on the sensors, ServiceNow can determine when the issue has been resolved. Upon this, a notification can be sent (automatically) to the affected population.


But there’s more to explore. Once these sensors are available and connected, think about how affective it could be when ServiceNow pro-actively detects a leak in the infrastructure (like reduced water pressure). Again, the above steps can be executed, but also a different scenario may be applied depending on the severity. When it concerns a small leak, the people impacted may not be notified immediately, but only a field engineer may be sent to solve the problem.

Health monitoring

The next step would be to pro-actively monitor the quality (health) of the infrastructure. Based on data, it could be investigated whether there are indicators predicting the failure of a part of the infrastructure. With anomaly detection changes in the infrastructure maybe identified in an early stage and preventive maintenance may be scheduled when necessary.

Service automation, investigation and redesign

So the water quality as well as the infrastructure itself can be monitored via sensors and ServiceNow could take the predefined action. There might even be suggested correlations with the sensor data to see if a breakdown of the infrastructure affects the water quality. And if this is the case, it may be further investigated for a possible causal relationship and lead to a redesign of the infrastructure composition.

Future use

Lastly, there is an ongoing trend with softening of the water. Consumers may see an extended lifetime of their washing and coffee machines and other devices, which they no longer need to descale. Commercial parties now fulfill this need. On the other hand, a lower water quality may be sufficient for flushing the toilet. This is a more sustainable choice. And farmers may also require a smart solution for the irrigation of their soils.  These are just some examples of the need for smart solutions for the water industry

So a differentiation in usage of water is an opportunity for water supply companies which could require changes in the future of a smart infrastructure. Valves, sensors and data integrated with other systems could be connected and enabled by ServiceNow, to realize smarter solutions.

Devoteam & ServiceNow