Most of us have interacted with an IT department in our daily life, whether it was as an external customer or an internal employee. When you have an IT issue or need, you follow the typical steps that include sending in a request, an automated response, and so on and so forth. This well-accustomed process is just one part of an established IT strategy called IT Service Management (ITSM). This process can be found in almost every agency – but what if this process was adopted in every department? What are the benefits of scaling this capability? This is how Enterprise Service Management (ESM), an evolution of ITSM, came to be.
IT Service Management – the Predecessor to ESM
ITSM is a deliberate way of managing and delivering service within an IT department to its enterprise’s users. ITSM can incorporate one or several frameworks, most of which are the detailed practices inscribed in the ITIL (formerly known as the IT Infrastructure Library).
The main goals of ITSM include:
- Service design: the creation and deployment of a service catalog that is offered to relevant internal teams. The catalog defines the processes, resources, and delivery standards required to implement the services.
- Service transition: the implementation of change in a controlled way, such as modifying or adding services, processes, systems, or infrastructures.
- Service operation: the management of daily operations, including how requests flow in order to best solve problems, deliver services, and provide information most efficiently.
ITIL is a standard that organizations can use to establish integration within their overall IT strategy while delivering value and maintaining a standard minimum level of competency. ITIL also demonstrates the importance of planning, implementing, and measuring in a way that supports continuous improvement (CI).
Now imagine applying the ticket system example to other departments – Human Resources for leave requests, Purchasing/Procurement for managing purchase orders or quotes, Security for access changes, security checks, and audits. This could easily alleviate overloaded departments and bring order and efficiency to current processes. However, ITSM strategy does not inherently apply to organizational processes beyond IT – this is where Enterprise Service Management steps in.
Benefits to Applying ESM to Additional Agency Departments
Inspired by ITSM’s service goals of design, transition, and operation, ESM expands on ITSM by emphasizing on the processes or mandates that may not be necessary within IT service management to more broadly support agency needs and increase overall satisfaction.
Common ESM benefits for departmental processes include:
- Improving productivity: Easy ticket tracking process enables teams to respond to requests quickly and keeps inboxes uncluttered.
- Eliminating waste: Mapping and defining common processes helps define the valuable activities and resources, and eliminates the non-valuable surplus. This can evolve into a continuous improvement process, allowing for long-term improvement to operations.
- Enhancing visibility and control: Once reporting techniques are established, reliable metrics offer a high level of visibility, easily identifying successes and problems.
- Increasing user satisfaction: As processes help define roles and responsibilities, internal users and constituents will become more satisfied with request expectations and deliverables.
Why ESM Makes Implementation Easy
Since ESM is based on the verified principals of ITSM, IT departments are ideally well-suited for adopting this strategy across various departments. Here are some key points to share with your IT department when beginning ESM Implementation within a new department:
- Proven Benefits: ITSM processes are well established, supported by comprehensive tools, and when properly implemented are proven to provide greater accountability and control, and increased capacity and efficiency.
- Simplified Buy-In: Since IT departments already understand, use, and maintain these systems daily, buy-in from IT stakeholders is more straightforward. IT will also already have a detailed analysis of the benefits gained from ITSM processes, making it easier to create a robust business case for change for other departments.
- Latest Technology: IT departments depend on the latest technology. ITSM technologies are already evolving to provide additional benefits outside of exclusively IT use cases.
- Integration: Using a common tool eliminates the expense and time required for integration between various systems and tools. The stumbling block for many IT projects, and often the cause of costly disjointed legacy systems, is a lack of integration. This acts as a barrier to adopting new technology, prevents the development of a cohesive and overarching mission view and prevents much needed growth.
Everybody’s On Board – Now Where to Start ESM Implementation?
Non-core Business Units are a good place to start ESM implementation. Examine your agency’s departments and teams, and identify good candidates to start small with. Follow this checklist to determine if a department is a good fit:
- Receives a high volume of requests with the same topic/concern
- Delivers time sensitive requests that need tracking and management
- Acts as a gatekeeper within processes such as providing approvals
- Frequently provides standard reports or fields requests for information
For more information on the benefits and applications of ESM – check out my podcast on Enterprise Service Management, where I go more in-depth on ITSM, ITIL, and ESM. If you’re ready to get started with an Enterprise Service Management tool, please contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-833-JIRA-GOV to discuss your agency’s needs and how we can help.