Why Enterprise Service Management?
Enterprise Service Management helps transform a slow, reactive, organization with business functions and departments working in silos into an integrated working environment, which is efficient and satisfies your users and the business. With ESM, ITSM extends its proven benefits into business functions, to:
- Standardize service delivery across the business
Standardization enables a common service catalog for IT and non-IT services, and is a pre-requisite to automated fulfillment. As a result, business departments can focus on providing business value instead of manually supporting employees with multiple differing requests.
- Improve service delivery outside of IT
By automating service management, specifically support and delivery of services, outside of IT, business functions can reduce related workloads for delivery, avoid error of manual procedures, and provide higher quality services.
- Improve user experience outside IT
A unified portal based on a common catalog provides omni-channel self-service, easy-to-access knowledge, social collaboration, and a virtual agent. This lets employees get back to work easily and quickly, regardless of what type of service request they have.
- Increase service and support performance
Reporting and analytics capabilities provide the foundation for continual service improvement, which in turn further helps improve the service delivery and user experience
By leveraging your ITSM investment, knowledge, skills and experience for ESM, you can increase your return on investment and decrease operational costs of your service management solution.
THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE became even more important during the COVID-19 crisis. With a vast increase in employees working from home, an entirely new situation for IT and business departments who had to deal with new and increasing demand for services such as VPN access or ordering work equipment. One example of how an organization was able to leverage ESM to successfully respond to this is a federal judicial body that quickly and easily pivoted to remote working during lockdown.
The COVID-19 crisis propelled the digital transformation in many businesses, and these new ways of working will stay long after the crisis, a chance for ITSM concepts and tools with their benefits to expand into ESM use cases.
Improving the customer experience is a business driver for expanding service management outside of IT, said 77% of the survey respondents.
What is Enterprise Service Management in ITIL?
Similar to IT Service Management (ITSM), ESM provides a strategic approach to offering and supporting services across the company. This is what IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) helps with; it is a best practice framework for delivering services, from design to retirement, and continuously focused on improvement. While ITIL 3 looked at processes such as incident management, it did not focus on how work flows within and across organizations and what the role of incident management therein is. Other industry standards such as IT4IT with its value stream approach, and agile methodologies address this critical aspect.
ITIL 4 has changed the way to look at and approach this, managing services from demand to value.
The four dimensions model in ITIL 4 - organizations and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, value streams and processes - ensures a holistic approach to service management, which can also be applied to non-IT functions.
The Service Value System (SVS) in ITIL 4 discusses how the components and activities of an organization work together to facilitate value creation. The SVS includes guiding principles, governance, service value chain, continual improvement, and practices, the latter replacing the processes.
The fundamental ideas and concepts of ITIL 3 and ITIL 4 are the same, and ITIL 4 can be seen as an expansion of ITIL 3 with a focus on value and outcome, and therefore a proven foundation for ESM.
How can artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning benefit ESM?
Both IT and business face the challenges of too many manual, error-prone workflows, an ever-increasing volume of requests, employees dissatisfied with the level and quality of service, and more. AI and machine learning technology can take ESM to the next level:
- Smart search capabilities enable employees to find answers easily and quickly
- Virtual agents or bots can perform tasks using natural language processing (NLP)
- Intelligent analytics enable workflow optimization and automation
- Metrics from unstructured data, for example user surveys, can be gathered and analyzed more efficiently.
Read How AI Is Enabling Enterprise Service Management from the resource list below for more thoughts and information on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the adoption and expansion of enterprise service management (ESM).
What is true of IT support, is also true for ESM; AI makes operations and outcomes better. To find out more read Ten Tips for Empowering Your IT Support with AI.
How to choose the right Enterprise Service Management software
A tool alone does not solve any problems, whether they are ITSM or ESM related problems. First and foremost it is about creating and applying a service centric approach, then adopting service management by leveraging ITSM principles and practices, and expanding them into business functions.
It is important to understand what your objectives for implementing ESM, the resulting requirements, and the desired business outcomes are.
This helps determine the scope of an ESM project, the readiness of the organization, and the critical success factors. Questions to address should include:
- What is your current state?
- Where are you in terms of service management maturity?
- What are your priorities and project goals?
- What do you really need?
- Do you have organizational or cultural factors that could inhibit success?
- Who is your sponsor, and how actively will they support ESM?
- Can you build the right kind of team?
To guide you through these 7 fundamental questions in your ESM tool evaluation process and selection criteria read the ESM Buyers Guide.