ITSM Antipodean Podcast – Episode 26


Meet Fred Luddy – CPO Servicenow

Month in Review

Rob – Highlight of the month was TFT12. All presentations are here.

Karen – Highlight was being the 3rd speaker on TFT12 – making history with the first 24-hour IT conference following the sun. Read more about TFT12 here.

Meet Fred Luddy

Fred Luddy has served as CPO at Servicenow since May 2011 after having founded Servicenow in June 2004. He served as President and CEO from that time until May 2011 and as a director since June 2004.

Fred tells his story. Freed quotes Steve Jobs – “The journey should be the reward”. Fred is a programmer at heart. Technology should simplify lives and put a smile on someone’s face.

Fred created Servicenow and then drove up and down the coast of San Diego county, CA, begging people to “use” the software – not necessarily “buy” it. Once they started saying “yes”, he started putting customers online. On July 5th 2005 the first sale was made. Initial focus was middle market but the product got pulled into the larger organizations. Now focused on global 2000. Fred does believe that there is an opportunity to sell into the middle market but at the moment the economic model does not support it.  We may see a ‘Servicenow Lite’ in the future!

Forbes named Fred “one of the ones to watch” in 2012. In 2011 Ernst and Young named him Entrepreneur of the Year. What is next in the Fred Luddy story? The same things that drove Fred back in 1973 – drives him today. A passion that is aligned with a skill is a blessing. Technology should be simply enough to allow everyday business people to create their own applications. Fred wants to create technology that is simple yet powerful and support the citizen programmer or citizen developer. Technology should empower people.

Rob raises the issue of lack of discipline that many of us have learned in IT such as testing. Can ‘rogue’ developers cause more trouble? Fred reckons it is a challenge but you can give people well-defined guardrails to help avoid the problem. Fred says “90% of the people who programme should not!” Fred and Rob share horror stories.

Fred still programmes on the product and was doing so on the flight from Sydney to Melbourne and demonstrated the outcome at the Servicenow User Group in Melbourne that afternoon. Fred is currently working on a new iPad interface. Fred stays close to the ground floor and the technology. It gives him comfort that he can provide technical leadership that is going to be reasonably accurate.

Fred gives his advice on starting a company or making a business a success. He says that you have to “find a problem, solve a problem and tell the world about it”. Getting all three right, at the right time, is extremely challenging. There also has to be a modicum of luck. You also have to persevere with passion.

Did Fred ever imagine where his career would go? The answer is “yes” and “no”.

Fred talks about his feelings when the IPO happened. It was surreal. It was a milestone – not a destination. Most significant reason was to stop the company scrutiny and put the company records out there. It was exciting and nerve racking at the same time.

Fred hopes to get to New Zealand on his next trip and Rob has promised that a beer is waiting!

Fred was warned for 25 years that if he came to Australia, he might never go back! Fred says that they were right.

Karen asks whether Australia had lived up to his expectations. Fred wants to take back some Koala Bears and meet a wombat! Karen recommends that Fred visit Healesville Sanctuary on his next trip.

Fred talks about where he sees the future of Service Management in the next 5-10 years. Fred just tries to make it from holiday to holiday! Self-service and automation will be key trends. These two things will allows us to deploy more and more technology into further and further reaching areas of the business.

Fred says the value of ITIL is that globally we all now have a common vocabulary and can be used well outside the realms of service management and IT. Fred uses the analogy of the toilet to explain the pervasiveness of processes referred to in ITIL.

Booby(s) of the Month

Pick of the Month


The team will record the festive season round-up on 19th December.

Suggestions for guests and podcast content to


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