ITSM vs. ESM: Is Your Organization Ready?

Posted by on August 25, 2020


Organizations are expanding the role of ITSM at a rapid pace, according to a 2020 report completed by Enterprise Management Associates. Nearly 90 percent of participants stated their organizations achieved varying levels of enterprise service management (ESM) deployment from ITSM.

The evolution of ESM is here. This is excellent news as global industries continue to embrace ESM's ability to unite organization efforts. These initiatives lead to reduced delivery costs and improved efficiency while boosting employee morale.

However, the question remains: What is stopping your organization from achieving maximum or optimal results? What is stopping you from introducing ESM to your organization?

The answer is usually access to solutions. That's what EMA's report provides in "ESM: the (R)evolution of ITSM." Two hundred global ESM practitioners, a mixture of ITSM direct management and executives, participated in the research. 

Matt Klassen, vice president of product marketing at Cherwell, says organizational issues tend to lead to hiccups in automation strategy. 

“Organizations that have done very well think about automation from an operational perspective as opposed to a business results perspective,” Klassen says. “They don't partner properly to discover how they can help others and be helped. They try to force some technology to fill a need. For example, humans resources, and it wasn't designed for that. Other solutions fail to make the cut because of cost, length of implementation, or lack of no or low code.”

Highlights of the EMA report include:

Widespread Adoption

Nearly half of practitioners are considering new ITSM platforms with ESM implementations on the horizon.

That's not to say ESM is without challenges. Thirty percent of practitioners report varying levels of success. The main obstacles range from technical concerns and organizational bureaucracy to processes and resources (budget, staffing, vendors, etc.).

Also, communication between departments, in-house conflicts (IT vs. non-IT), and resistance to change are leading organizational challenges.   

Still, practitioners consider it a natural extension of ITSM. Many of the resources needed for this transformation exist in ITSM platforms, its people, and its processes. Advances in AI and automation, functional capabilities, budget prioritization, siloed projects, and organizational considerations also play a role in adoption.

A Priority on Digital Transformation

Why ESM? Digital transformation continues to be the answer, according to one-third of respondents. Cost savings and efficiencies (31 percent) are also significant to respondents. So is the speed and agility of service (30 percent) and other answers. Read the entire list here.

The top factors that suit an ITSM platform for ESM use, according to the EMA report:

  1. Integration
  2. Ease of use
  3. Analytics
  4. Scalability

More Highlights from the Report

  • Practitioners listed information security and data integration as critical challenges to achieving ESM success.
  • Ninety-four percent of practitioners anticipate ITSM growth during the next three years, while 90 percent expect ITSM budgets to increase.
  • IT staff are often embedded in business teams, the most common approach to staffing for ESM, according to practitioners. More than half utilize this cross-pollination approach, while 33 percent add non-IT staff to the ITSM team.

ESM at Use

  • Common ESM tactics are portals or bots
  • ITSM acts as admin's arm for fulfilling departments and functions
  • Automation is a significant enabler of ESM
  • EMA research finds IT chargeback for ITSM services is on the rise year-over-year
  • Increasingly, ESM workflows, processes, and performance levels are tracked and managed formally. For more information, search for "ESM tactics" in the report. 

Automation Champion Seeks Collaboration

Klassen believes in order to achieve a successful automation strategy, an organization must first define clear ownership of the initiative. Whoever owns it must take a collaborative approach. 

"Some groups are going to be more receptive than others," he says. "Some of this is opportunistic. Figure out where leadership is motivated or interested. Find that low-hanging fruit. Discover potential partnerships. For one company, efforts might start in IT and move to facilities, and then to HR. But I think it's going to look different at different companies, especially at cross-functional organizations. You're going to have to build confidence and rapport and get support." 

Impact of ESM

Respondents enjoyed nearly four positive impacts, which is exciting news for potential adopters. Metrics include decreased cost per ticket, service desk complaints, trouble tickets, escalations, better SLAs, a reduction in downtime, and other impacts. 

Start the Journey from ITSM to ESM with a Plan

The journey from ITSM solutions to ESM is much smoother with a road map. Learn from the success and setbacks and others. Get yours now by downloading EMA's research report.

Get the Report