As an IT professional, you probably have some ideas about how you could extend ITSM best practices to other areas of your organization. When your work is rooted in processes and workflows, it’s only natural that you’d notice opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity, both on your own team and others.
While business areas like HR, Facilities, Finance, and Legal have their own processes, they’re usually not as dialed in as IT’s are. These teams typically don’t have the specialized training and expertise in request, incident, problem, and change that you do.
This gives your IT team a unique opportunity to drive process improvement and digital transformation across your organization. By applying your lessons learned, best practices, and proven processes to other teams and business areas—a discipline commonly referred to as Enterprise Service Management, or ESM—you can accelerate your enterprise’s modernization and streamline user experience across your entire organization.
“For I&O professionals, [Enterprise Service Management (ESM)] is a transitional stage in the journey to the fully digital enterprise. Although organizations may always have an ‘IT department,’ digital interfaces and channels already pervade business, and they’ll only broaden and deepen. Ultimately, ESM will converge with AI and consumer-inspired devices (e.g., Amazon Alexa) to provide a seamless, friction-free, and responsive fabric for digital business operations.” —Charles Betz, “ESM: Elevate Service Value Beyond the Technology Organization,” Forrester, Aug 2, 2017
Your service desk team is already adept at leveraging ITSM processes to optimize efficiency. Why not leverage these practices and expertise to drive efficiency and productivity across your entire enterprise? While it’s no trivial undertaking, the benefits of an enterprise-wide approach to service management are many. Here are the top five reasons it’s worth taking a unified approach.
1. Happier, more productive employees
If employees aren’t able to easily solving their problems, they get grumpy. Understandably, nobody likes feeling unsuccessful or having to jump through hoops just to fulfill simple requests. And they really don’t like having to babysit every issue and keep tabs on it to ensure resolution.
Extending your service portal to other business areas gives end users the self-sufficiency and simplicity they want. When you give your users a single unified service portal to make requests—whether ordering a new laptop or requesting an air conditioning repair—you give them a one-stop solution to solve their problems.
The addition of a robust knowledge base and automated status notifications make their experience that much better. They’re empowered to quickly and conveniently find answers on their own. And when they need to request additional assistance, they’re proactively informed of the status of their request.
When you serve your employees with a unified service platform, you give them a single source to solve problems. They’re able quickly get back to what they do best, making them happier and more productive.
2. Increased line of business (LOB) efficiency
When portions of a workflow can be handled without human intervention, the process as a whole moves much faster. Automation allows you to pull people, processes, and technology together for optimal efficiency.
You’ve already seen the benefits of automating common workflows and repetitive tasks within the service desk. But automation is often slow to come to business areas outside of IT.
Just as your service portal enables automation of IT workflows, it can also automate time-consuming LOB tasks. The automation of request approvals alone (automating the routing issues and request to the right party) can be a huge win. With a low-code platform, you can easily automate this and other workflows to drive efficiency across your entire organization.
And the efficiency gains don’t end there. By moving to ESM, you’ll also achieve cost efficiencies. Centering your service management on a single platform can reduce your licensing expenses and administrative burden. You’ll also minimize training requirements when you only need to teach employees how to use a single system.
3. Improved visibility and focus on KPIs
Using a group inbox or ad hoc processes is a less-than-ideal way to manage requests, yet this approach is common in areas outside of IT. When issues are addressed on a first-come, first-served basis—rather than by priority—business-critical requests can easily get lost in a pile of less important ones.
You can’t fix problems you don’t know exist. But you can leverage your ITSM solution to identify and fast track high priority issues across your organization. You can use its reporting and dashboard features to uncover bottlenecks in processes that weren’t obvious before.
These features also give your business leaders more visibility. They’re able to track KPIs and focus in on areas for continuous improvement. Armed with insights into the volume and nature of requests, managers can shift resources to where they’re needed most and keep your organization moving forward.
4. Streamline interdepartmental processes
Certain processes cross over multiple business areas and require cross-functional collaboration for completion. Employee onboarding is a classic example of this type of process, typically requiring actions from IT, HR, facilities, marketing, and more.
Your ITSM solution provides a centralized system for managing these types of interdepartmental processes. You can leverage service portal functionality to make initial requests, then track entire workflows. Your ITSM solution should also be able to integrate with other enterprise applications to centralize and streamline a variety of interdepartmental workflows.
By unifying cross-functional processes on a single system, you can easily track progress, facilitate clean handoffs, and identify process breakdowns. You reduce the chances of a key task falling through the cracks, or the process getting hung up along the way.
When you nail a cross-functional process like employee onboarding, it impacts the entire organization—in a good way. It facilitates and accelerates the hiring process, plus improves employee retention and satisfaction. You also improve departmental communication and pave the way for increased collaboration and efficiency across your organization.
5. Position IT as a valued business partner
Extending traditional IT service offerings to other areas of your organization broadens IT’s impact. When you’re able to affect big changes, like increased productivity, efficiency, and visibility, you’re driving better business performance. Those efforts won’t go unnoticed.
Your exposure to other business areas also deepens your understanding of your organization’s strategic objectives. With these insights, you can confidently step into a leadership role on critical initiatives, like modernization and digital transformation. As you contribute more to the business conversation, you’ll uncover even more ways IT can deliver value and drive improvement.
Go Faster with ITSM
A service desk built on a flexible and robust platform provides more than just an ITSM solution. You can leverage its capabilities to share your best practices and extend IT’s influence throughout your organization. Unifying the service experience across your enterprise will deliver big benefits and accelerate your enterprise’s modernization.
When you’re supported by the right ITSM platform, your move to ESM can happen quicker than you think. You can easily create portals to support a range of business needs. And if your ITSM solution includes pre-built extensions, automating LOB workflows is a matter of simple configuration.
A low-code platform further simplifies things, enabling you to easily build forms, write reports, and extend your service catalog via wizards and GUIs—all without writing code. If your ITSM vendor offers an application exchange, you can even crowdsource innovation from other organizations who’ve already solved similar problems.