Enterprise service management – why every business needs to think like an IT department

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Most of us have raised a ticket with an IT department – it’s a familiar system that has been the bedrock of IT services for many years.

More recently its scope has been recognised by software developers who have been successfully replicating the model across other areas of business - the likes of HR, facilities management, legal and marketing functions and more. In short, many business departments are already benefiting from thinking more like IT departments, using IT Service Management Software (ITSM) to help them.

This has given rise to a new category – Enterprise Service Management (ESM). Any team that handles requests for employees, users or customers, via a group mailbox or similar system, is a service provider and can benefit from the principles of ESM - improving productivity, accuracy and service performance and, in turn, cost efficiency.

The primary benefit of ESM in any organisation, is being able to take IT service management, and have it viewed (managed) by individual departments in a way that doesn’t always require the involvement of IT. Instead, users are able to raise issues quickly, and have them managed in a way that works for the department involved.

There has been a shift in attitudes to software services in recent years. Teams are no longer looking for complex capabilities they don’t actually need, but instead are craving simple functionality that really delivers.

ESM is preferred over multiple mailboxes, as it prevents messages from getting lost between colleagues, or from being marked as ‘read’ and forgotten about. Shared mailboxes can receive thousands of messages per day. ESM makes this manageable, and solutions can be tailored to each departments’ unique requirements. Performance can also be monitored, for instance, response time to tickets and completion. Imagine, service management systems, for the entire organisation.

At Clearvision, we see ESM as the future of management. By automating processes and organising service assets through ESM, service teams are able to deal with requests without getting bogged down in admin. This frees up teams to focus on more customer-oriented tasks.

The first step

With a 360° view of every customer, asset, ticket and interaction, service teams can also use ESM to measure KPIs with ease.

Teams are able to respond to requests at a faster rate, enabling them to identify problem areas, and provide more satisfying resolutions for internal and external end-users sooner. Meanwhile, self-service portals enhance transparency for end-users and provide a single point of contact for requests. This helps them find and engage with the services and resources they need, with minimal effort.  

The first step to implementing an ITSM solution is looking at an organisation’s requirements for a service desk. Is there a need for it in the first instance? The organisation in question needs to be setup in a way that allows for ESM to succeed. They need to make sure the right people have been brought in, and that the right processes are in place. An ITSM tool, is the icing on the cake, not the magic answer for solving underlying issues in an organisation.

Any department that deals with requests for service or information from employees, users or customers via emails, can benefit from having an ESM tool manage those requests. Interconnectivity must be considered in the decision-making process. The best candidates for ESM are the teams who:

  • receive large numbers of requests about similar topics
  • receive requests that require collaboration from multiple departments or have clearly defined dependencies
  • have to deal with time-sensitive requests that need to be tracked and managed properly
  • provide approvals and permissions and actionable “next steps”
  • provide standard reports regularly

Just some examples include:

  • customer service — handling a high volume of requests about products and services
  • HR — handling salary enquiries, and requests for leave and training
  • facilities — managing spaces and handling requests for repairs, bookings and office furniture/equipment
  • finance — sending invoices, tracking payments and approving expenses.

While the change is already under way, the sheer scope of choice of frameworks, methodologies and platforms has made decision making on a platform incredibly difficult.

VeriSM - Value-driven, Evolving, Responsive, Integrated, Service Management - is a new bespoke service management system developed by our team at Clearvision which adopts an end-to-end system for service management that cherry-picks from present and past best practices and platforms.

It focuses on a delivering outcomes and best business value to a system rather than devising bells and whistles that sound cool for the sales team but will hardly ever be used. This no-nonsense, eyes on the prize approach has ensured VeriSM is rapidly gaining traction and will continue to in the foreseeable future.

VeriSM is driven by the robust, back-to-basics ITSM and ESM solution Jira Service Desk (JSD) by Atlassian. Thanks to JSD, Atlassian is now recognised in the Enterprise Service Management Q3 2018 report - the first-ever evaluation of the emerging ESM landscape.

To deliver real value to service teams and end-users, companies should first look at what their service teams are trying to achieve, perhaps by adopting broad-spectrum and non-IT-oriented approaches to service management like VeriSM. They should then invest in tools that match those goals and are designed for ESM. These tools should be simple and easy to use, so that service teams can focus less on the “hows” (service processes) and more on the “whys” (improving the customer experience). That’s how transformation happens.

At Clearvision, we recommend incremental project delivery to ensure value is delivered as fast as possible. With this in mind, we go from a Discovery Phase straight into a Proof of Concept configuration, to validate any assumptions and to test the foundations of the solution prior to adding any additional functionality in later phases. By validating the Minimum Viable Product, we can start with a simple solution and through configuration management, extend out as required.

 “Clearvision can provide health checks for seasoned users, and supply resources where needed, through our clearhub services. For users in the consideration phase, Clearvision will provide honest feedback to prove if it will work for you.”

Gary Blower, Clearvision
Image Credit: MNBB Studio / Shutterstock