Building a Strong ESM Model: A Best Practices Guide

Organizations are complex structures with multiple moving and evolving parts. These parts include your teams, organizational hierarchy, and the technologies that support them.

If you want to have an efficient organization, these parts need to communicate appropriately. Without an organized process for inter-departmental communication, and clearly defined workflows, everything can quickly devolve into chaos.

Thankfully, modern technology provides an innovative solution with service management tools.

This article will discuss two kinds of service management tools: IT Service Management and Enterprise Service Management

Learning about these popular methodologies and how technology supports them will help your organization decide which one is better for your path to greater efficiency.

What is ESM?

ESM, or Enterprise Service Management, is essentially the process of streamlining back-end organizational processes to become self-serviceable, highly efficient, and organized.

The larger an organization grows, the more essential it is for its inner parts to work together, ideally without the need for a lot of manual intervention, which can cause delays, bottlenecks, and inefficiencies. 

What is the difference between ITSM and ESM?

ESM is a practice directly derived from ITSM, a highly-innovative principle that changed how IT was being used.

The latest ITIL Glossary defines ITSM as “the implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business.”

This is because, in any establishment, the IT department’s responsibilities encompass nearly every aspect of the organization. Every department, from marketing, legal, Human Resources, and so on, relies on some form or another in IT services. 

This means that IT services and ITSM tools within the organization are constantly in-demand. As technology advances and organizations become more complex, requesting these services has also evolved.

Therefore, ITSM was born.

An ITSM platform streamlines inter-departmental communication into a self-serving package, which helps save time and resources and increases end-user satisfaction. Both inside and outside IT, different departments can use it, including internal teams such as DevOps or maintenance.

ESM follows the ITSM principles applied to non-IT processes and even has a similar method of execution.

How does ESM help?

To illustrate this principle, we first must examine a basic organizational process.

Without an ESM strategy, even something as simple as requesting a repair or replacement for a broken laptop or desktop computer would have to be done by hand. 

Typically, the employee would contact IT to request a new unit. They may also need to loop in other managers to approve expenditures. 

Once the employee submits their request, often through email, it will be filed and await the attention of whoever is in charge of responding. However, this tedious process can be far more optimal with an ESM service delivery strategy in place. 

With an ESM system, when an employee wants to ask for repairs or replacement, they would go to the service desk or help desk portal, select the service they need, submit a ticket, and be routed to a service manager who could give them an estimated ETA or further information about the ticket. 

Additionally, an ESM system could be configured to automatically notify the appropriate parties responsible for approvals before service begins, resulting in far less back and forth, waiting, and headaches.

What can ESM do for your organization?

As you can see, ESM has a lot of potential use cases to streamline and optimize your service workflows and the way your departments communicate with each other for services.

In essence, however, ESM serves the following purposes:

  • Creates easy access to critical knowledge
  • Eliminates the need for manual follow-ups
  • Automates ticketing and reporting procedures
  • Manages problems and issues quickly and effectively

Additionally, these purposes can be applied to an ESM program in several ways, including: 

  • Service requests. Any employee can access the self-service portal and access the services necessary for their continued function without hassle.
  • Ticketing, reporting, and feedback. Automation can be employed when gathering feedback as it can be quickly disseminated through the platform.
  • Process integration. Whether it’s incident management, change management, information security management, SLAs, or whatever service/delivery-oriented process your company has, it can be integrated into the ESM tool and streamlined.

What are the benefits of ESM?

Now that we know exactly what ESM is and how you can apply it to your business, we now need to answer the question: why incorporate ESM into your organization? What benefits do implementing ESM and ITSM solutions bring?

More effective service delivery

Your company can save some serious resources by streamlining service requests and delivery from within.

Repetitive operations take up a significant amount of time and include things like collecting feedback, generating reports, delivering services, and more. Additionally, the inefficiencies associated with manual service systems will also cost your organization productivity.

An ESM initiative will create a service desk and service catalog for the most common services that your departments perform so you can:

  • Reduce the time it takes for the end-user to receive the services or help requested.
  • Improve the quality of service carried out.
  • Free up time for service providers to focus on higher-level tasks.

Reduced Operational Costs

Although ESM onboarding might initially be an investment for your organization, your cost and efficiency savings will far exceed it in the long run. Not to mention, you’ll be saving both old and new employees on headaches.

ESM reduces your operational costs in two ways.

  • Timely service delivery. When a department has an issue threatening its productivity, every second wasted costs money. The sooner you fix these issues, the more resources you save and the more productive your employees. You can also continually improve your processes, enhancing user experience and increasing employee satisfaction.
  • Improved asset management. Instead of an unreliable manual inventory system, with ESM, every ticket you report about an asset will pass through an ESM, allowing you to compile inventory data based on the requests handled by the platform. 

Aligns departmental operations with business goals

Another closely-associated benefit of an ESM system is how it aligns specific operations and services with your organization’s goals.

When the most common and repetitive services that your company provides are organized and efficient, you can better track metrics around how these individual services impact your organizational goals.

Minimizes silos

Organizational silos occur when teams or departments restrict the flow of information and become blind to other organizational priorities. This can happen more often to legacy or manual organizational systems and remote teams.

Using ESM brings all those organizational walls down because each department becomes compelled to interact on one centralized platform.

Moreover, the automated nature of the platform makes it so that each request, whether it’s for IT, legal, marketing, etc., will be sent right where they are needed. This ensures that every individual in the organization has an official and highly-efficient method to request any service from any part of the company.

Improved customer experience

With all of that said, it’s now easier to see how ESM improves customer experience.

By improving your service request system, your customer-facing employees now have a system they can rely on to provide quick, accurate, and detailed information about any questions that your customers might have.

For example, Jira Service Management for ESM, along with a Confluence integration, allows you to link articles from your organization’s knowledge base to customers’ tickets. This empowers them to self-serve and reduces the overall number of tickets your service managers are fielding daily.

Tickets are easily tracked across workflows as well. Managers can pinpoint bottlenecks and resolve the issues, greatly lessening the life cycle of tickets and significantly improving customer relations.

How do you implement ESM?

Your company’s ESM platform will revolutionize how you operate for the better. But implementing this strategy requires planning. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of five key steps you need to take to implement an ESM strategy and technology.

  1. Identify company goals. Determine the most crucial company goals that your services will directly impact.
  2. Determine KPIs. Key performance indicators are the bridge between your initiatives and your goals. Determine what KPIs you need to measure to determine success in meeting an organizational goal.
  3. Catalog your services. Do an inventory check of all the services required to meet the KPIs you determined, and more besides.
  4. Utilize ESM software. The right ESM solution provides a painless way of creating a unified portal for all your organization’s services – all you have to do is choose the most suitable one for you.
  5. Design customer-centric platform. With ESM software and data in hand, you can now start crafting a unified and reliable platform designed for customer satisfaction.

How Coyote Creek Can Help You Implement ESM 

Enterprise Service Management can drastically improve your organization’s value stream; it can be a powerful tool when implemented with enough planning and will.

However, a digital transformation takes comprehensive and challenging planning to pull off.

Just like how ESM helps you solve problems within your organization, Coyote Creek can help you implement ESM.

As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner and veteran IT professional, Coyote Creek is an expert in integrating technology with agile working methodologies. 

We can equip you and your teams with the proper knowledge and best practices to create a strong ESM program backed by powerful Atlassian technology like Jira Service Management.

Ready to learn more? Contact us now to discuss how Coyote Creek can support your Atlassian goals.