How to Get Started with Enterprise Service Management

IT Service Management (ITSM) originally proposed several ideas and principles to optimize technology services. Enterprise Service Management (ESM) extends these ideas to optimize service delivery across the organization.

With a robust ESM program, you can streamline the management of many kinds of services and functional units, including Marketing, Sales, Human Resources, Customer Service, Procurement, Cybersecurity, and Facilities Management. 

So how can you get started with Enterprise Service Management?

Does Your Organization Need Enterprise Service Management?

To determine whether your organization needs ESM, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does any business function repeatedly receive similar service requests?
  • Do staff members provide approvals by manually checking each request?
  • Could workflow automation save time and improve the efficiency of internal operations?
  • Do we need a way to enhance collaboration, reduce costs, and deliver better results to internal customers?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, you will benefit by adopting ESM practices and tools.

ESM provides a service delivery model where each service provider in the organization functions as a service domain. One of the benefits of ESM is that it can streamline workflows to improve operational efficiency, save time and costs, and boost the productivity of those departments.

An ESM program can also facilitate information flows between departments to eliminate internal silos and improve collaboration. The right ESM tools can also strengthen process controls, and improve customer satisfaction, customer experiences, and employee experiences.

Service Request Management in Enterprise Service Management

Service request management is the practice of managing service requests from users who may be internal employees or external stakeholders such as clients. When a user makes a service request, they ask the service provider for help or support with their day-to-day work.

Under ITSM, service requests included requests to reset passwords, access a particular system, troubleshoot an issue, etc. But since ESM has a broader mandate than ITSM, it allows for a much wider range of service requests, such as:

  • Expense reimbursements (Accounting)
  • Laptop requests (Procurement)
  • Leave approvals and employee onboarding (HR)
  • Price approvals (Sales)
  • Document reviews and approvals (Legal)

Regardless of the type of request, ESM always incorporates three key aspects:

  • End user: Provide a user-friendly portal to easily create service requests to access the business services they need 
  • Service Domains: Create a service catalog of all business use cases that can benefit from automation and a single service request portal
  • The IT Department: Sets up and customizes the ESM portal and coordinates with each service domain to automate and streamline their service execution workflows

Key Features of Enterprise Service Management Tools

ESM tools capture, manage, and facilitate the flow of information between users and service departments, between various service departments, and also between customers and the organization. With the right tool, you can:

  • Get an integrated view of all service processes
  • Streamline service delivery throughout the organization
  • Better manage the enterprise service portfolio
  • Automatically manage tickets and service workflows

A self-service knowledge management portal is one of the key requirements of an enterprise-wide ESM program and tool. Authorized users can access the portal to get the help they need. Further, its knowledge management module enables them to get quick answers to common questions or issues.

Some ESM solutions provide codeless setup and configuration so any non-IT service domain can easily spin up new services on-demand, maintain the tool, and access their service tickets. Some platforms include a customer portal with workflow rules to address a wide range of business use cases and problems.

The best tools, like Atlassian’s Jira Service Management for ESM, also include capabilities such  as:

  • Customizable form builder: A no-code/low-code form builder with multiple pre-built templates to collect and validate relevant information about a service request
  • Conversational ticketing: Employees get help via chat tools without disrupting their work
  • Delegated admin permissions: Project owners with admin permissions can maintain visibility and control over their domain’s service requests
  • Asset management: Service teams can manage and optimize their domain’s assets and practices

Some ESM tools also incorporate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities. These technologies can take ESM to the next level with features like smart search which enables users to find answers quickly and data analytics that allows managers to analyze ESM data to optimize workflows.

How to Choose the right ESM Tools

Before purchasing an ESM tool, make sure your organization has adopted a service-centric approach based on key ESM/ITSM principles and practices. Also do a self-assessment to understand your ESM objectives, tool requirements, and desired business outcomes.

To choose the right ESM tool, ask yourself questions like:

  • What is our current state of service?
  • What challenges can ESM help address?
  • What is our service management maturity level?
  • What are our ESM goals?
  • Are there any factors that could inhibit ESM adoption?
  • Who will drive the ESM initiative? Do they have a team to support them?

How to Get Started with ESM + Best Practices

To implement ESM and increase your chances of success, here are some best practices to follow:

Start with one department

Start ESM by implementing it in one progressive service department. Select a department that’s open to experimentation and willing to try out new technologies and practices. Assess how these practices are working and then extend the ESM program to the wider organization.

Select an ESM tool with built-in templates

A tool like Jira Service Management provides numerous purpose-built tools and workflows for all kinds of business teams. Departments can easily leverage these out-of-the-box capabilities to create, update, and maintain their service desk. This simplifies service request management for the department and for their users/customers.

Look for “low-hanging fruit”

Straightforward service request fulfillment workflows are particularly suited to ESM practices and continuous improvement. These workflows would typically involve repeated requests of the same type that can be automated. Such requests are fairly common in HR (e.g. leave request approvals), IT (e.g. password resets), and facilities management (e.g., new workplace equipment).

Implementing ESM in these areas will replace manual workflows and email/phone communication, and make it easy to log service requests, track progress, and close them quickly.

Choose low-risk projects

Whenever possible, choose an area or project with limited risks. These are usually internal departments where you can experiment and learn from mistakes. Avoiding starting ESM with customer-facing departments where even a small mistake can be catastrophic.

Create a knowledge base to support self-service

Create a knowledge base of useful articles and FAQs to common issues and questions. It will enable users to get quick answers and allow service departments to deflect some requests and reduce their burden.

Integrate chat tools with the ESM platform

For effective conversational ticketing, integrate chat tools with the ESM platform. Integration will allow users to log and track their requests without having to open a new tool or disrupt their existing workflow.

Implement ESM Quickly and at Low Cost with Coyote Creek

Want to implement Enterprise Service Management in your organization? Coyote Creek can help! As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, we can help you deliver exceptional ESM results across your organization. To get started with Coyote Creek and Jira Service Management, contact us.