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Why is Enterprise Service Management (ESM) such an important concept, why does it have enduring power and why do people call it the “new ITSM”?
Like ITSM, it is necessary to look at how ESM can make your operations more efficient and your employees more productive. In recent years, especially with the increase of cloud services, IT has lost some of its control over technology decisions. Business lines are becoming more comfortable choosing business solutions delivered as a service or hosted elsewhere rather than turning to IT for a solution.

This creates a fragmented solution environment, can adversely affect IT's ability to support what individual departments see as business-critical applications, lead to internal user frustration and ultimately reduce productivity and increase operating costs. Above all, it takes control away from IT by taking the risk of reducing the IT team's scope of responsibility and relevance.

If IT is to continue to be relevant and add value, it must lead organizations with new ideas. Enterprise service management is rapidly emerging at its core and can open the way to IT solution.

What Is Enterprise Service Management?

First of all, what is enterprise service management (ESM)? ESM is the ability to manage multiple business processes from a single application with the flexibility to manage them all. This can include: IT, Human Resources, Facilities, Fleet, Case Management, Project Management, and even some aspects of Accounting - any department that really offers some kind of service. ESM is usually provided through an enterprise service management software platform that enables these departments to deliver their services to their users in a simplified and cost-effective manner.

IT professionals will consider ESM essentially as an extension of the already understood concept of information technology service management (ITSM) to a wider enterprise. ITSM allowed organizations, and more specifically, IT teams to understand how to automate and streamline many critical service functions. The same principle is now applied to services and solutions provided by other departments within an organization. Although individual service management solutions other than IT are also available today, they become ESM only when these separate solutions are combined in a single portal or service package designed for easy management of the entire organization.

With prior knowledge and experience in implementing and managing robust ITSM solutions, IT teams are perfectly positioned to help organizations adopt an enterprise service model and implement ESM software. Switching to enterprise service management is the fastest way to make a valuable contribution to the business, especially with rapidly changing needs, while the relevant IT teams do not shift towards a simple existence of being a manager for outsourced solutions.

A few examples of enterprise service management that reflect personal life expectations (and often mimic ITSM features) include:

Search - The ability to quickly find answers to common problems and / or questions

Knowledge - Access to collective knowledge and knowledge

Service Catalog – Providing the services provided by the business unit by creating a standard

Case Management – Getting help quickly when needed for an issue encountered

Request Management - Fast response and automation to common processes and requests with fully controllable monitoring.


Other existing service management solutions other than IT are also separate elements of a complete ESM model, such as:

  • HR Service Management

  • Project and Portfolio Management

  • Information Security Management

  • Facility Management

  • Administrative Affairs Management


While all of these solutions provide undeniable value to an organization, they are missing fixes for a larger (and growing) challenge at this point. With ESM, these individual approaches are centralized in a single solution with a much broader impact, easy to manage and use.


Comparison between ESM and ITSM

While enterprise service management and IT service management are similar, there are basic details that distinguish the two processes. One of the main differences can be found in the basic meaning of ESM and ITSM.

ITSM specifically aims to improve the way organizations approach, provision and manage IT services. ESM applies similar service management practices and goals to almost all aspects of the business providing services, not just IT. When fully implemented, ITSM is part of the larger ESM solution (although it is a very large, basic part).

There are many benefits of adopting a larger enterprise service management strategy (beyond just ITSM): to simplify and reduce processes, reduce costs and bring different departments and teams together in a single portal. It also helps clarify final goals and organizational needs when evaluating the approach to individual services (such as project management or HR), allowing smarter decisions about future growth.

How the two management processes are implemented is another distinguishing factor. ITSM is usually implemented using a defined framework and processes, most commonly ITIL, but there are others. While the popularity of ESM is growing, there is currently no widely accepted, clearly defined framework for implementation and management. However, there are ESM tools to help. At the tools level, ESM software is similar to ITSM solutions, but enterprise service management tools also include functionality and services for HR, facilities, security, project management and other enterprise level needs.

It is important to remember that ITSM versus ESM is not a simple or a decision. ITSM is an essential component of overall enterprise service management and is often the foundation on which more robust ESM approaches are built.


Relationship Between ITSM and Enterprise Service Management

While ESM covers more than IT service management, the two have a particularly close relationship. Both are built on the concept that users can make requests that are monitored, prioritized, directed, and fulfilled. IT is at the center of this process and is almost always the one that implements the broader ESM, meaning ITSM is often the starting point for a larger enterprise service model. This is shaped in two noticeable ways.

First, the vast majority of companies are turning to ESM, mainly using an already implemented ITSM solution. Most ITSM tools currently offer catalog or portal functionality, very robust customizable process flows, and powerful integration capabilities. These features are equally useful within ESM and should be key features organizations look for when evaluating ESM tools. In addition, ITSM solutions designed as a platform are well positioned for expansion into more comprehensive enterprise service management. This is valuable because many organizations already have successful, robust ITSM solutions. If this is the case for your organization, adopting ESM might be simpler than you first thought.

Secondly, since ITSM and ITIL are very well defined and there is not yet a unifying framework for the ESM, many organizations are expanding the overall processes of ITIL towards the ESM. This approach provides guidelines on what should be included in the ESM solution and how to best achieve the desired efficiencies. This, among many other factors, helps IT teams go beyond ITSM (but without abandoning it!) And it makes it natural for them to increase their corporate relevance by advocating, implementing and managing corporate service management solutions.


Who Can Benefit From ESM?

Almost everyone is used to finding and implementing technology solutions that fit their personal life needs. Business lines have become more comfortable choosing business solutions that are offered as services or hosted elsewhere. Many departments now choose these solutions without including IT in the decision-making process. After a while, this can lead to weaknesses, disappointments in application support, and other unwanted consequences that affect the entire organization. But no matter how hard IT or organizational leadership tries to fix this self-service mindset, the tide is unlikely to change. This is where ESM comes in. It is an enterprise-wide solution that unites the organization that provides value to everyone in the organization.


Benefits of ESM

ESM has a particularly positive effect on IT overhead and, consequently, on the profitability of the business. Unifying processes, catalog and automation across business units allows IT to be affordable across the entire enterprise, while eliminating solutions, maintenance, vendors and ultimately costs. It is important that IT organizations support employees by serving them in the way that best suits them and by promoting productivity. The best way to do this is to take steps to move to an enterprise service management strategy.

Together with ESM, organizations can provide operational visibility. In this way, the value added by each unit to the business becomes visible. Essentially, ESM allows you to see where value is being created in your organization and to find and eliminate bottlenecks and inefficiencies by providing a map of the processes that support it.

Value conversion is provided with ESM. By streamlining the execution of internal business services, business units can reduce their daily operational overhead and devote more time and resources to change and improvement projects that increase value creation. In this way, they realize that they need to be more proactive and agile. ESM is an important factor for interaction management. These interactions can be measured, managed and optimized by converting the interactions between business units into records. The deployment of a digital interface reduces incoming phone calls and e-mails, reducing operational overhead, and requests are automatically routed to the right teams. ESM is a good strategy to reduce "inbox overload" and remove staff's e-mail system from using it as a job queue.

ESM, by its very nature, can be an antidote to the nature of many large organizations in silos. Together with ESM, a more transparent, integrated and collaborative mindset transformation can be achieved. By transforming barriers into interfaces, the walls between business functions become windows and departments become more adaptable to the broader business ecosystem. It is inevitable to increase end user satisfaction and productivity with ESM. The availability of a single point of access to all offered services and information resources means employees have faster access to the tools they need to be most productive.

Implementing successful enterprise service management can position IT as heroes that help the business and individual departments solve problems, resolve frustrations, and streamline productivity. An enterprise service management solution that offers a single portal for all services offered by an organization is no longer difficult. Only the thought and willingness of IT to start a broader service management initiative will be sufficient.

ITSM & ESM Business Solutions Director


What is enterprise service management (ESM)? ESM is the ability to manage processes across multiple lines of business from a single application with the flexibility to handle them all.

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