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Understanding the Difference Between ITSM and Enterprise Service Management

IT Service Management is the practice of managing IT operations as a service, but in an enterprise organization, IT is rarely the only group that offers services. That’s where Enterprise Service Management (ESM) comes in. The issue in many enterprise settings, however, is not everyone has an organized system for requests in the same way IT does. What does this mean? Without a formal service management process in place, you risk losing the following:

  • Accountability: Who is responsible for what? Are requests being completed on time? Without proper assignment and tracking processes, answers to these questions get very blurry.
  • Visibility: Staff members seem busy and appear to be meeting responsibilities. But it is challenging and time-intensive to stop and precisely identify what is complete and what is still outstanding or even past due.
  • Clarity: Lack of clarity can lead to over-committing and, ultimately, disappointing stakeholders.
  • Paths Toward Improvement: The status quo stands a high chance of going unchanged when there is not a clear view of what is working versus what is not. It often takes highly visible process breakdowns to identify areas of improvement, leading to a perpetually reactive environment.

ESM helps to fill in the gaps and address these areas. The goal of ESM is to improve customer satisfaction by providing better service delivery. This means faster response times, better customer service and improved efficiency. By implementing ESM in your organization, you can improve customer satisfaction, reduce costs associated with service delivery and increase employee productivity through the automation of manual tasks.

Bringing ITSM and ESM Together on One Platform

In an organizational setting, the idea of ESM is often introduced through IT so it’s important that the platform you chose to run your ESM works well for ITSM. The goal of an ESM platform is to have ONE central hub for all services, both internally and externally. This means employees and customers have a single place to go to for IT support; ask an HR question; reserve equipment; or submit a name change.

A well-designed ESM platform has functionality sophisticated enough for an organization’s IT Service Management needs BUT is easy enough to understand and use for all departments. With the right vendor – HR, Marketing, Sales, Legal and IT can all use the same ESM tool for their needs.

When implementing Enterprise Service Management (ESM) it’s important to also consider your project management tools and processes – especially if you’re working with limited resources.

By bringing ESM and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) together – you can gain a 360 view of your entire organization. Every project, problem and service request– it’s all at your fingertips.

When using ESM and PPM together, for example, your marketing department can leverage ESM to manage requests for event support, while leveraging PPM to manage the actual event. By combining ESM and PPM, the marketing team can see all their work and available resources within a single tool.

By having that single view of all projects and resources across your ENTIRE organization, companies are better equipped to face these challenges head-on.

In addition to bringing ESM and PPM together, some companies are also exploring the benefits of adding integration and automation through a tool like iPaaS (integration platform as a service). 

iPaaS is a codeless integration platform that includes out-of-the-box connectors to popular systems such as Workday, Office365, Active Directory, Amazon Web Services, and more. With iPaaS, organizations can easily build integrations and automated workflows connecting various technology systems using a codeless, drag-and-drop visual workflow builder, streamlining the delivery of services even further. The platform can be used to facilitate integration and workflow around any ecosystem such as Salesforce for marketing, or HRIS for HR.

At Ellsworth Adhesives, the IT team supports about 1,600 end-users worldwide in a variety of roles, including sales, marketing, customer service, engineers and chemists.

With such a diverse set of support needs, it’s critical that everyone can communicate and collaborate effectively.

Ellsworth Adhesives uses TeamDynamix ESM to streamline service and enhance coordination among its global workforce. Nearly a dozen different departments are using the system to manage employee service requests – from IT, Security and Procurement to Quality Control and Environmental Health and Safety.

“It’s made our jobs so much easier,” said IT Service Desk Manager Adam Crichlow.

Before implementing TeamDynamix, Ellsworth Adhesive was using another ticketing system across multiple departments. But this other system wasn’t stable, and it would often crash. It was also very limited in what it could do, Crichlow said. There wasn’t a lot of automation, and team leaders couldn’t customize the service portal easily to fit different use cases.

Crichlow and his colleagues wanted a flexible, versatile system that could easily be configured for use across the entire organization. They were also looking for a solution that would offer more capabilities going forward, including change management and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) features.

They found all of this—and more—in TeamDynamix.

A highly flexible platform for managing IT and enterprise service tickets, projects, assets and changes, TeamDynamix allows users to create their own unique service categories and build automated workflows for managing multistep processes without any knowledge of coding required.

With TeamDynamix, Crichlow and his colleagues have easily created customized online service catalogs and dynamic forms for collecting information from users about the nature of their service requests. The information collected during this process allows for tickets to be routed automatically to the appropriate staff members for resolution, without burdening help desk staff with this responsibility.

Having a customizable and easy-to-use service portal has been a game changer for the company.

Within the IT department, the help desk used to receive about 80 percent of service requests through email, 15 percent through phone calls and walkups and only 5 percent through the service portal. Now, 95 percent of requests come through the portal, 5 percent come through walkups, and the help desk team no longer accepts email requests.

To make it as easy as possible for people to use the service portal, the IT department created an app that opens the portal automatically on employees’ desktops.

“We were getting 80 to 90 service requests per day, and the help desk team couldn’t filter and rout them all quickly enough,” Crichlow said. With the portal, however, this all happens automatically. This shift alone has cut the time it takes from creating to resolving a service ticket nearly in half.

Using TeamDynamix “has freed up staff time right away,” Crichlow said—a benefit the company realized “almost on day one” of using the system.

As other departments have seen the efficiencies that TeamDynamix has created, they’ve also adopted the ESM system. The latest department to create its own service portal using the platform is the Environmental Health and Safety team, which never used the old ticketing system for service management before.

Enterprise Service Management helps to fill in the gaps, leading to better efficiency, lower operation costs, improved service levels and increased satisfaction.

Getting ESM Buy-In Across Departments

A recent market study shows that as IT organizations plan for the future of service management, only about three in ten organizations have a formal ESM program to leverage ITSM principles outside of IT. However, work on this front is clearly underway.

Even though many respondents may not have an ESM program on the books, half the organizations have extended their ITSM or ticketing platform for use in managing work in other departments. Approximately a quarter of organizations say they’ve deployed ESM in more than two departments outside of IT.

And this isn’t surprising.

To successfully implement ESM across your organization every department or group needs a solution built purposely for them. A failure to do this will result in the failure of scaling your ESM outside of IT.

Here are some do’s and don’ts you can follow to set your organization up for success:

  • Don’t just take an ITSM platform being used within your IT department and try to scale it across each group. It won’t work.
  • Do meet with each department or group before implementing an ESM solution and settle on the processes and functionalities they need.
  • Don’t assume that each department has the same language as IT for each process. Marketing might not use the terminology “submit a ticket” for example.
  • Do ask each group or department for a list of their commonly used terms and how they correspond to the actions they’ll be taking when using the ESM platform.
  • Don’t overcomplicate or try to over-process the ESM platform.
  • Do make your ESM accessible and easy to use. For an ESM implementation to be successful, you’ll want departments and groups to be able to fully utilize the platform WITHOUT reliance on IT for support.

Want to learn how enterprise companies are using ESM to level up their ITSM operations and scale their service management offerings? Check out these customer stories:

To learn more about how you can work better together with IT Service Management and Enterprise Service Management download our eBook: ITSM for the Enterprise – What Makes it Work?