Demystifying Enterprise Service Management—And Why IT Needs to Get On Board

Posted by on April 21, 2016


During recent years, especially with the increase in cloud services, IT has lost some of its control on technology decisions. Lines of businesses are becoming more comfortable selecting business solutions delivered as services or hosted elsewhere instead of turning to IT for a solution. If IT is going to continue to be relevant and add value it must lead organizations with new ideas, and enterprise service management will be the crux.

First of all, what IS enterprise service management (ESM)? ESM is the ability to manage processes across numerous lines of business from a single application that has the flexibility to handle it all. This could include: IT, Human Resources, Facilities, Fleet, Case Management, Project Management, and even some aspects of Accounting. ESM is generally delivered through an enterprise service management software platform that enables these departments to deliver services to their users in a streamlined and cost-effective way. 

Moving to enterprise service management is the quickest way for IT to provide a valuable contribution to the business, especially one with rapidly changing requirements—while not slipping towards a simple existence of being administrators for outsourced solutions. The evidence of this movement is found in the palm of every employee that IT serves.

Enterprise Service Management: A Case in Point

I submit that the smartphone has already become a symbolic enterprise service management solution for most people’s personal lives. The level of connectivity, information, entertainment, productivity, and collaboration that sits in the hand of every smartphone owner has transformed the way people live their lives and this transformation has occurred at a breakneck pace.

For example, during the last week alone, by using my smartphone as my personal enterprise service management system, I have:

  1. Placed phone calls (yes, not a novel idea)
  2. Texted with my daughter who is at school 250 miles away
  3. Located a pool supply company and immediately launched GPS navigation to get me there
  4. Transferred money between bank accounts
  5. Updated my mortgage account information
  6. Created a parts list for a trip to the local home supply store
  7. Scanned a bar code on a product and instantly received price quotes from multiple sources
  8. Managed 3 different email accounts
  9. Checked the weather & news, daily
  10. Read a few chapters in a book
  11. Researched a new red wine, rated it and scanned it into an app that tracks my favorites
  12. Logged my cycling rides onto a social site geared for cyclists and runners
  13. Streamed my own personal radio station while I worked in the yard
  14. Shopped for a dress shirt and redeemed a gift card in the process
  15. Searched Real Estate listings

Had this been a week where I was away for business reasons, there would likely have been 5-6 more tasks such as booking travel, checking into a hotel, using my phone as a boarding pass, and searching an app for a highly rated restaurant.

The Relationship Between ITSM and Enterprise Service Management

To remain relevant, it is important for IT organizations to support employees by providing services in ways that work best for employees and encourage productivity. The best way to do this is to take steps to shift to an enterprise service management strategy. A vast majority of companies are moving towards this using their IT service management (ITSM) solution as the foundation for a broader service management platform. Most ITSM tools already offer catalog or portal functionality, very robust process flows that can be tailored, and strong integration capabilities. In addition, ITSM solutions designed to be a platform are well positioned for the move to enterprise service management, including Cherwell Service Management®.

Adopting a larger service management strategy has many benefits including: simplifying and reducing processes, cutting costs, bringing different departments and teams together with a single portal all while improving it service management solutions to allow for future growth.

Lines of business have become more comfortable in selecting business solutions that are delivered as services or hosted elsewhere. In the past several years, many industries are selecting these solutions without involving IT in the decision making process. If IT is going to continue to be relevant and add value, then it must help lead its organization with new ideas such as enterprise service management. The path to ESM begins with identifying end users requesting a service from a department in a high touch or manual process such as email and/or identifying applications that provide redundant services that should be combined into a single solution. Unifying the fulfillment, catalog, and automation of processes across business units allows for the elimination of solutions, maintenance, vendors, and ultimately costs while keeping IT relevant across the entire business. (For more guidance on how to introduce enterprise service management to your organization, read this article.)

An enterprise service management solution that presents a single portal for all of the services offered by an organization is no longer a stretch. Perhaps the simple truth is that IT should consider embarking on an broader service management initiative because for the first time ever, it can be successfully achieved.

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