If you work in the IT world, you’ve undoubtedly seen the term IT Service Management, often referred to by the acronym ITSM. ITSM is the collection of actions and policies designed to plan, execute and manage all the IT services within an organization. But what do you call it when ITSM processes and tools are used outside of IT?
While ITSM methodologies have often been inherently confined to IT, there’s a shift occurring and an increasing number of organizations are adopting long-established service management practices to run their operations more efficiently outside of IT too. When companies roll out service management to departments and teams outside of IT, or throughout the entire organization we call this Enterprise Service Management (ESM).
Work Management Across the Enterprise: From Basic Service Requests to Full Projects
From managing requests to improving information flow, every department struggles with email inquiries, status spreadsheets and failed attempts at creating order out of chaos. This is an old problem, but now there is a solution.
Requests come in all shapes and sizes: benefit changes, work orders, event support, maintenance, creative services, equipment reservations, security passes, parking permits, etc. The list goes on.
To take an enterprise approach, you can use a single platform to manage these requests. Using one platform you can tailor portals for each department; automate routing and workflows; utilize a single information repository and track and report on outcomes.
Gain Control with Enterprise Service Management Software
From a fundamental standpoint, ESM makes perfect sense. After all, in an organizational setting, IT is rarely the only group that offers services. Take the facilities department as an example. If a shorted electrical outlet needs replacing or HVAC issues arise, facility personnel must be alerted so they can act.
No doubt, many institutions still rely on emails, phone calls or merely stopping and chatting in the hallway to communicate such things. These approaches can provide a certain degree of effectiveness in handling service requests. But let’s consider what is missing from that type of scenario – one where formalized service management processes are not in place.
- 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: Decision-making and promises are likely going to be dictated by a hunch unless there is a big-picture view of where and when resources are allocated. Lack of clarity can lead to over-committing and, ultimately, disappointing stakeholders.
- Paths Toward Improvement: The status quo stands a high chance of going on 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.
Enterprise Service Management systems fill in the gaps by addressing these areas, leading to higher efficiency, lower operational costs, improved service levels and increased satisfaction. Additionally, ESM provides a platform for users to search for information and resolve issues on their own using customized portals for each department. Each time an employee gets an answer or fixes something through self-service, that is one less request for service personnel to fulfill.
Accelerating Enterprise Service Management Adoption
A recent market study shows that as IT organizations plan for the future of service management, the overwhelming trend they’re preparing for is digital transformation. Approximately 51% of survey respondents report this as the most critical trend barreling for them in the next couple of years.
This indicates that ITSM leadership will need to be cognizant of how their service platforms and workflows integrate with user technologies and, more appropriately, tie data and services together on the back end. This will be crucial in creating seamless digital experiences that drive transformation investments.
This push for end-to-end service is echoed by the next two critical trends, each named by 38% of respondents. Those are integrating ITSM and project management on a single platform and extending ITSM software to other departments through broader ESM initiatives.
Like the digital transformation trend, these two trends are also driven by the more tightly coupled and complex technology platform relationships needed to build digital ecosystems that enable critical business functions. ITSM groups must ensure that disparate platforms like Salesforce and DocuSign are well integrated to provide valuable functionality across numerous groups like facilities, marketing, and human resources.
Interestingly, only about three in ten organizations say have a formal ESM program to leverage ITSM principles outside of IT. However, work on this front is underway. Even though many organizations may not have an ESM program on the books, half said they 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.
Relieving Ticket Volume and Driving Digital Transformation with ESM
When considering the use of automation and integration as part of a broader Enterprise Service Management strategy, it’s important to think of the different ways an integration and automation tool like iPaaS (integration platform as a service) can be used to extend ESM even further and drive digital transformation.
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.
One of the key ways in which ESM can drive digital transformation is by enabling organizations to take a more holistic view of their services and processes. This can help them to identify areas where automation or other digital technologies can be used to streamline workflows, reduce costs and improve service delivery.
For example, by automating routine HR tasks such as onboarding or benefits enrollment, organizations can free up their HR staff to focus on more strategic activities such as talent development and retention.
At Pima County, there are plans to use automation (with iPaaS) both in IT and outside of IT to gain better efficiencies and reduce toil for employees.
Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, said “[Automation] is something the organization is really just starting to comprehend as a vision that we want to get to overall. My goal and hope is to make sure people understand the possibilities of workflow beyond just getting approvals routed because that’s all that we really do today.”
The county has started by automating user group management and the onboarding/offboarding of employees – a task that involves several departments.
“As a government organization we get audited by the state every year and they want to know what these stale accounts are doing sitting here,” Hayes said. “Offboarding is currently a very manual process – having to review the list from HR of people who are no longer employed with us and manually revoking their privileges from all the different systems and software and disabling their accounts. There’s absolutely no reason for that to not be automated.”
And all of the automation is going to save time and resources across the entire organization.
“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Hayes said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”
ESM can also help organizations to adopt a more agile approach to service delivery. By breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration between teams, ESM can help organizations to be more responsive to changing business needs and customer demands. This can be particularly valuable in industries such as retail or healthcare, where customer expectations are constantly evolving.
Another way in which ESM can drive digital transformation is by helping organizations to adopt a more data-driven approach to service management. By collecting and analyzing data on service performance, customer feedback and other key metrics, organizations can gain valuable insights into how their services are performing and where improvements can be made. This can help them to prioritize investments in digital technologies and ensure that they are delivering value to their customers.
Finally, ESM can help organizations to build a culture of continuous improvement. By providing a framework for service management that is aligned with business objectives, ESM can help organizations to identify areas for improvement and implement changes more quickly and effectively.
This can be essential in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of digital business, where organizations need to be able to adapt quickly to stay ahead of the competition.
The City of Avondale Achieves Efficiency with Enterprise Service Management
City governments must serve their citizens effectively, often with limited staff. The TeamDynamix Enterprise Service Management (ESM) platform plays a critical role in helping multiple branches of the City of Avondale, Arizona, government work better together. With a more efficient organization, the city can respond to citizens’ needs faster and more effectively. By leveraging a single portal with automated request routing and workflows, the team can be more responsive and transparent with citizens.
The government for the City of Avondale consists of 14 departments serving nearly 100,000 residents. Its use of TeamDynamix (TDX) began within the IT department, which was looking for a better way to support employees’ use of technology through ITSM.
“Before, people would have to call or email our help desk with their service requests,” says CIO Jeff Scheetz. “However, now with the portal, IT has been able to create workflows and automation, rather than managing the many email and ticket requests. The workflow ensures that the requests are handled efficiently and provides additional reporting capabilities. Before, it was hard to prioritize tasks without a full view of what was going on.”
In just a little over a year, Scheetz and his staff transformed the delivery of IT service for the city using the TeamDynamix platform.
When other city departments saw how the platform helped improve the delivery of IT services, they realized they could streamline their own processes using TeamDynamix. The Human Resources department is currently onboarding TDX to manage its service delivery, and Facilities and Finance are coming on board as well.
TeamDynamix is helping to improve interdepartmental collaboration. For example, onboarding new employees is a multistep process that used to be quite cumbersome. Once new hires have completed all of the paperwork required by HR, they also need network privileges from IT. They have to be added to the city’s payroll system, and they need access to the building from Facilities.
This process used to involve a lot of paper shuffling, and it could take a while to complete. Now, the entire workflow can be initiated with a single service request that is routed to the various departments automatically.
“We can make sure we’re addressing all of our needs expeditiously,” says Scheetz. Having an automated system that keeps everyone on the same page has made working remotely much easier for city employees during the pandemic. Although in-person operations have resumed, “if someone needs to work from home, we can easily accommodate that now,” Scheetz says.
TeamDynamix has enabled employees to streamline city operations and deliver better service to Avondale residents. The system’s versatility has added a tremendous amount of value to the city government. “Everybody has a limited staff,” Scheetz says of municipal organizations. “Having a system like TeamDynamix makes a huge difference.”
Can your organization benefit from an organization-wide approach to service management? Learn more about ITSM, ESM and smart service management in our latest eBook: Smart Service Management – Working Better Together With a Connected Enterprise.
This post was originally published in April 2020 and has been updated with new information.