Enterprise Service Management (ESM)

What is Enterprise Service Management?

Enterprise service management (ESM) is an extension of the principles outlined in IT service management systems, which facilitates enhanced service delivery for teams such as legal, marketing, finance, facilities, and human resources.

An example of an enterprise management service is when a company creates a single point of contact for all teams in the organization. This type of system uses IT workflows to facilitate better management of service demand and delivery. ESM also improves visibility into all forms of enterprise services while supporting core ITSM processes such as incident resolution and change management.

Enterprise service management (ESM) can be viewed as an ecosystem since it involves the interplay between various services, resources, activities, and other components that work together in order to provide value to an organization.

An ESM system allows organizations to optimize services on a regular basis for better operational performance across the board. By understanding which services add value and which ones do not, organizations can create an ecosystem where only high-value services are maintained while low-value ones are removed or replaced with more efficient alternatives. This helps organizations achieve greater efficiency in their operations while also reducing waste due to unnecessary processes or tasks that add no value at all.

What Problems Does Enterprise Service Management Solve?

By automating different aspects of service delivery and support, your organization can support the needs of customers and employees more consistently, quickly, and adaptively. According to the 2019 HDI Trends report, How AI Is Enabling Enterprise Service Management, the primary driver for ESM adoption is to improve the customer experience. “Employee satisfaction increased in 52 percent of organizations that both measure employee satisfaction and have expanded service management beyond IT,” the report stated.

ESM addresses many of the problems that come with organizational growth and expansion:

  • Allows employees to handle increasing volumes of work comfortably.
  • Keeps customer and employee requests from falling through the cracks.
  • Provides high-quality support at lower costs by using new AI-enabled capabilities like chatbots.
  • Consolidates multiple manual tools into a single service management platform.
  • Overcomes the limitations of manual operations, enhancing quality, speed, and scalability.
  • Breaks down the barriers between siloed services, giving all employees access to the tools and information they need to be productive—particularly important after an acquisition.
  • Gives customers self-service access to the support, tools, and resources they need, without requiring any human interaction.

Concepts of Enterprise Service Management

  1. Service: Service refers to a business service that is offered within an enterprise, such as IT or non-IT services. Enterprise service management (ESM) involves the curation of a service catalog that includes all of the services offered within an organization. ESM also allows you to set relevant SLAs for different departments, track service delivery progress, and capture customer feedback when issues are resolved. Modern ESM tools also allow you to share automated surveys with end-users in order to measure user satisfaction.
  2. Processes: Identify the processes that need to be included in an effective enterprise service management system. This should include any processes that are vital to the success of your organization, such as customer service, order fulfillment, billing and invoicing, inventory tracking, and replenishment.
    • Map out all sub-activities and sub-processes for each process identified in step 1. This will help you identify areas where waste can be minimized or eliminated entirely by streamlining inefficient steps or eliminating unnecessary ones altogether.
    • Identify which technologies can help automate certain processes in order to reduce manual labor costs associated with them while still maintaining high levels of accuracy and efficiency in execution.
    • Use predictive analytics tools to identify potential issues before they become problems by gathering data from multiple sources (such as customer records, product information, etc.), analyzing it using advanced algorithms, and providing insights into future trends so that corrective actions can be taken before any issues arise. This will enable organizations to plan ahead for potential problems before they occur thus reducing downtime due to unexpected issues or mistakes made during the execution of tasks.
    • Once all processes have been analyzed, implement changes where necessary and maintain them moving forward with regular reviews of the effectiveness of each process/change made in order to ensure its continued success in improving the efficiency/effectiveness of operation overall
  3. Cloud Services:: Cloud services in enterprise service management include cloud deployment, cloud enablement, cloud data council, cloud data platform solutions, cloud managed services, and more. Cloud deployment offers companies the ability to quickly deploy new applications or services across multiple locations or regions. It also provides visibility into resource usage and allows for scalable capacity on demand. Cloud enablement helps businesses implement a successful hybrid or multi-cloud strategy by providing tools such as automation and orchestration capabilities. Cloud data platform solutions provide access to a wide range of tools for data analytics and insights into customer behavior patterns. Cloud-managed services help businesses reduce costs associated with running their own IT infrastructure while still maintaining control over security settings and compliance requirements.
  4. Vendor Management: Vendor management is the process of managing relationships with vendors to ensure quality, cost-effective services and products are delivered. Vendor management relates to enterprise service management (ESM) because it involves managing all vendors who provide services or products to an organization. ESM allows organizations to maintain a comprehensive list of all services offered, as well as set relevant service level agreements (SLAs) for each department. This helps ensure that vendors are delivering high-quality services at an optimal cost.
  5. Partnerships: Partnerships are an essential part of enterprise service management (ESM) as they help businesses build strong relationships with other organizations and providers. These partnerships enable companies to gain access to the latest technologies, products, services, and expertise in the industry. They also provide opportunities for collaboration on projects or ventures that can lead to greater efficiency and productivity. Partnerships can help enterprises expand their reach globally while reducing costs associated with hiring new employees or acquiring new resources on their own. Furthermore, partnering with reputable companies that have a proven track record can provide peace of mind knowing that all services provided are reliable and trustworthy.
  6. Customization: Customization refers to the process of adjusting, changing, or modifying an existing product or service in order to meet individual needs. Enterprise service management (ESM) is a type of enterprise software that helps organizations manage and optimize their business processes. Customization is an important component of ESM as it allows organizations to tailor the software according to their specific needs, ensuring greater efficiency and accuracy in data collection and analysis. With customization, organizations can ensure that their ESM solution meets all regulatory requirements while still providing them with valuable insights into how they can improve their operations.

Core components of ESM

Following are the core technical components that are utilized as a part of the ESM architecture:

  • Enterprise Service Catalog: Service Catalog consists of all active/live services that an organization provides to its customers/employees. Each service in the Service Catalogue has the corresponding workflow or the service value chain associated, which helps in the fulfillment of the associated requests. Service Catalogue is integrated with Knowledge Management, Case Management, SLAs, Reports & Analytics, which helps in bringing value to the business offering and governance.
  • Case/Issue Management: Case Management is a way of interaction where customers, employees, or partners can provide feedback, report an issue, or log a complaint against the services they are consuming. This plays an important role in the overall enterprise service ecosystem and in improving customer/employee experience
  • Enterprise Service Portal (see figure below): This provides consumer-grade customer/user experience by providing necessary service management capabilities which extend to the functionalities listed below:
  1. Organization-wide news feeds
  2. Urgent announcements (regional and global)
  3. Division wise sub portals (like mini websites for each business function and their capability showcase)
  4. Employee notifications
  5. Social feeds (connects to corporate LinkedIn and other platforms)
  6. Chatbot or virtual assistant
  7. Service catalog
  8. Knowledge articles and documents vault
  9. Unified and consistent service/brand experience
  • Knowledge Management: Knowledge management provides a vast field of opportunities within digital transformation initiatives. The majority of organizations are still struggling to find how to manage the ocean of documentation and knowledge bases across organizations. Before we go further, we must look into why knowledge management is so important in the first place.

ESM Reference Portal Representation

The Business Benefits of Enterprise Service Management

While the use of ITSM by corporate IT organizations to improve efficiency, effectiveness, control, and insight has gained nigh-on global acceptance, many enterprises still need to recognize that ITSM is equally relevant to other corporate service providers. But it shouldn’t need to be a leap of faith by the other business functions. Instead, the business benefits of enterprise service management should be articulated and sold. These include:

  • Improved efficiency and reduced operational costs: Through optimized processes, workflow, automation, and alerting, enterprise service management (technology) can remove unnecessary manual effort and rework. This is added to when self-service and self-help capabilities are used by employees.
  • Self-service efficiencies and workload reductions: The provision of a self-service capability means that employees can get to the solutions they need more quickly through self-help. Both this and the ability for employees to log issues and requests via self-service means fewer telephone calls to the service desk or the business function equivalent. The automated delivery of solutions and requests further adds to the potential cost savings.
  • A better ROI on the corporate ITSM solution investment: The more people and business functions that use the ITSM solution, the better the ROI and per-user ongoing management costs. Also, depending on the business function systems that can be phased out, there is the potential for additional technology cost savings through business-function application rationalization.
  • Improved effectiveness: Using a fit-for-purpose ITSM solution for enterprise service management can help to ensure that all employee issues and requests are dealt with and, where possible, to agreed service levels. No more losing requests in personal email accounts or delays through the inefficiency of individuals.
  • Improved visibility into operations and performance: The use of ITSM technology lets staff and management understand what has been achieved and what hasn’t. It ultimately gives insight into the value that each business function provides and makes it easier for this to be communicated to customers and other business stakeholders.
  • Increased control and governance: Enterprise service management processes and enabling technology can be used to implement much-needed internal controls and to provide insight into who did what and when as well as higher-level reporting.
  • Better service and customer experience. Enterprise service management ups the corporate service provider game to better deliver against employee expectations across ease-of-use, self-service, service request catalogs, knowledge availability and self-help, social or collaborative capabilities, anytime and anyplace access (to services and information), and people or customer-centric support.
  • The opportunity for improvement: Firstly, the increased visibility into the operational performance from enterprise service management allows improvement opportunities to be identified. Secondly, ITIL's continual service improvement capability provides the mechanism for improvements to be managed and delivered.
  • Improved access and communication channels, plus more effective communication: Enterprise service management and a suitable ITSM solution bring a choice of access and communication channels including telephone, email, chat, self-service, alerts, and a broadcast channel via the self-service portal. Escalation and alerting capabilities also help to ensure that no ticket or communication goes un-actioned.
  • Improved accountability, even across business-function boundaries: Not only does enterprise service management technology make it easier to assign and see responsibility and accountability within business functions, but it also does the same across business functions. For example, some business services, such as the onboarding of new employees, require multiple business functions to work together to ensure that everything is delivered on time.
  • Better understanding of what services are needed and provided: Enterprise service management doesn’t have to be limited to support and change management. The ITIL service lifecycle can also be used to manage business function services from service strategy to service operation, allowing greater insight into the services provided.
  • Standardization. This is not only business-wide, optimized processes but also a common way of working, a common look and feel, and a common service model for employees. It also offers the potential to provide a single point of service, no matter the service provider, company-wide. *Improved collaboration within and across business functions: Not only does enterprise service management make it easy for work to pass between individuals or groups, or to be worked on collectively, but it also makes it easier for work to pass between different business functions.

There is also a benefit specific to the corporate IT organization. Not only is enterprise service management an opportunity for other business functions to benefit from ITSM principles and capabilities, but it’s also an opportunity for IT to further demonstrate its business worth through its wealth of service management skills, knowledge, and experience and the provision of the technology to support business-wide service management.

How ESM enables Digital Transformation

The terms ITSM and ESM can sound offputting for teams outside of IT. With more and more businesses embarking on digital transformations, gaps between teams are becoming clearer. While ESM isn’t digital transformation, there are a number of ways ESM enables digital transformation, including:

  • Clarifying services and improvements: At a large organization, there is little visibility into the day-to-day of what the HR team does for the rest of the company. It’s not always apparent, but all teams offer a range of services that are generally accessed in a haphazard way. HR teams get pings on Slack for payroll information, facilities teams get emailed about urgent repairs required, and IT teams get office walk-bys to ask about laptop replacements. ESM helps organizations articulate their services and offer them in a consistent way through a unified portal, accessible 24/7.
  • Breaks down internal silos: When it comes to onboarding a new employee, HR and IT need to work closely together through a myriad of steps, which can be extremely manual and error-prone. With ESM, an orchestrated approach defines a consistent workflow initiating the new employee into the system. Then the facilities are notified a new workspace is required, and IT is prompted to organize a new laptop and access. With all the steps automated, a consistent sequence is followed, ensuring no one drops the ball.
  • Uses automation to drive efficiency: Automating onboarding isn’t the only area that can be sped up. When all teams display their services through a ‘digital catalog’, processes are identified. IT teams can automate access to software systems or replacements of broken equipment, all while having everything tracked and logged.
  • Streamline control and governance: What is tracked can be measured. By defining services across all teams, work can be centralized and streamlined. For example, ID passes can be risky for an organization. If the requests are lodged through a service management tool, at the end of each month, facilities teams can look at outstanding passes and follow up. Before this, ID passes may never make it back from contractors.

See Also