First, we’re already seeing more and more organizations bring in internal IT teams, utilize software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, and roll out self-service models to reduce the dependencies on external, outsourced, and siloed IT resources. Next, IT organizations are now more critically involved in helping other areas of the business meet the need to provide similar self-service capabilities that IT has successfully deployed to their customers.
As these two interdependent entities begin to realize the benefits of collaboration through merged and coordinated tools and processes, there’s never been a better time than today to start adopting enterprise service management (ESM) across the organization.
Business Benefits of ESM
IT service management (ITSM) tools have advanced considerably in response to the demanding, diverse needs of the modern enterprise. ESM broadens the scope of these evolving ITSM tools beyond IT and across the organization into other areas of the business—like human resources (HR), finance, marketing, and facilities—to improve performance, deliver a transcendent customer experience, increase employee engagement, and strengthen business outcomes.
By extending and enhancing the functionality, traceability, and reproducibility of ITSM to other lines of business with ESM, organizations can yield significant business benefits beyond greater efficiencies and cost savings. For example, if businesses want to thrive in the future and survive any seismic changes, they will need to evolve into an autonomous digital enterprise that embraces intelligent, tech-enabled systems across every facet of the organization. ESM helps make rapid innovation achievable within this ecosystem.
Not only that, as we experience generational and cultural shifts that change how we consume technology, applying ITSM principles enterprise-wide can help address the very pressing needs and expectations of internal customers—the employees—and external customers. Replacing unstructured, mundane work with modern, automation-based alternatives through ESM enables personalized, responsive service that creates happy customers and frees up employees to focus on business-critical tasks.
Along this journey from basic automation to automation with deliberate human intervention to a fully autonomous solution, the level of intelligence increases, so it’s fair to characterize that progression as a path of intelligent automation. By using the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and applying methods and algorithms that can learn and adapt from the right set of data, intelligent automation is made real in solutions like ESM.
Now that we’ve uncovered the business benefits of ESM, let’s dive further into how to implement strategies for successful ESM adoption.
Strategies for Success
Establishing SaaS-based, enterprise-wide, multi-device-compatible service management functions is necessary to adopt processes that drive digital transformation. It’s also helpful in reducing the complexity that may have resulted from hastily scaling ITSM solutions as the world shifted to remote work.
Choosing the right ESM solution can be discouraging and confusing, especially as most tools on the market are simply far-reaching ITSM tools designed for specific use cases. In order to plan wisely and ensure ESM success, consider the following:
- Follow the tried-and-true guiding principles of ITSM derived from the ITIL 4® framework.
- But don’t apply ITIL blindly outside of IT; understand what is valuable to stakeholders so that the transition to ESM truly benefits them.
- Carefully assess the organization in order to determine what to improve or to replicate.
- Progress iteratively in small achievable steps.
- Avoid silos by including the right people throughout the process and by being transparent with sharing actionable data and open to constructive feedback.
- Look for flexibility and functionality but be cautious of tool sprawl.
- Ensure the ESM solution you choose is flexible enough to deliver the specific functionality for your intended use cases across the organization.
- Be careful not to create a bespoke ESM experience using a selection of unintegrated ITSM tools, which may lead to more complexity and cost inefficiency.
- Provide a seamless experience to customers across the organization on devices and channels of their choice.
- Ready the organization for change.
- Get senior-level buy-in and create adoption initiatives and training to ensure that the decision to implement an enterprise-wide solution does not come as a surprise.
- Communicate the change before crossing the finish line.
- Collaborate with others and work to deliver a solution that employees will want – and want to use.
- Think long-term when developing a plan for ESM. Longer-term benefits of a more cohesive approach will help ensure better organizational maturity and expansive business benefits. After all, change can be costly and daunting for stakeholders so it’s essential to get it right to not just for today’s business demands, but also future technological and cultural disruptions.
When done correctly, ESM solutions help organizations create, manage, and analyze data that improves business performance and delivers insights on growth, competitiveness, and efficiency—while also empowering users with service-oriented experiences delivered by simple, familiar, and fast user interfaces. Now that business and IT alignment is no longer a goal but a requirement for digital competitiveness, it’s time to adopt the very processes that drive digital transformation, beginning with enterprise service management.