10 Tips for Getting Started with Enterprise Service Management

InvGate February 27, 2019
- 3 min read

More and more organizations are appreciating that what they currently use for IT service management (ITSM) is also applicable to other business functions such as human resources (HR), facilities, legal, security operations, and even external customer service. And that it’s not just the use of the corporate ITSM tool by these other business functions. To help your organization to get started with enterprise service management, here are our 10 tips – starting with a definition.

1. Understand what enterprise service management means for your organization.

If you look at Wikipedia – which is often a great source for information – you might get the wrong understanding of what enterprise service management is. Instead, simply think of it as: “The use of ITSM principles, practices, and technology by other lines of business.” And thus, it’s not just the lift-and-shift of an ITSM tool into another business function (although this does work for some organizations).

2. Quantify the benefits of enterprise service management as early as possible.

And as an extension of this, don’t try to sell enterprise service management as a “good thing to do.” Instead, be very clear about how it will help across all three of “better, faster, cheaper.”

3. Differentiate between a tactical and strategic approach to enterprise service management.

As with the phrase “We use ITIL” meaning a variety of things in terms of scope and approach, enterprise service management can be either a tactical or strategic approach. The former is where the tool and perhaps best practices are used to solve a particular business function need. The latter is instead a formal strategy designed to systematically share, and exploit, ITSM best practice (including the technology) across the organization.

4. Appreciate the links between enterprise service management and digital transformation.

Digital transformation requires the improvement of back-office operations to support both new products and services and superior customer engagement mechanisms (leveraging technology and data). What’s needed, by many business functions, can be fulfilled using enterprise service management. Plus, using the term “digital transformation,” rather than “enterprise service management,” is likely to make the selling of, and buying in to, the extension of ITSM to other business functions easier.

5. Approach enterprise service management as a business, not an IT, project.

Recognizing that it’s as much – if not more – about organizational change as technology change. Importantly, enterprise service management isn’t about implementing ITSM technology outside of IT (in the other business functions); that instead, it’s ultimately about improving other business function service delivery and the service experience.

6. Don’t try to share suboptimal ITSM practices with others.

Say, for example, sharing self-service capabilities that have achieved a very low uptake in the IT use case. It might seem obvious, but it still needs saying – ensure that everything you plan to share (across the organization) is going to deliver the expected benefits.

7. Don’t assume that IT has all the answers.

While IT should be proud of what it has in ITSM, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t also things to be learned, or practices to be taken, from other business functions. For example, external customer support’s investment in customer experience can be leveraged to help improve employee experience across all internally-facing business functions.

8. Don’t be afraid to seek external help.

This is likely to be the first time your organization has tried to do something like enterprise service management, which involves the management of very-different business stakeholders as well as bringing new ways of working. So, look elsewhere to discover what’s best to do, and what not to do. Start with your ITSM tool vendor and their customers who are willing to share their enterprise service management journey. These customers might also recommend third-party consultants who can help you to deliver the benefits of enterprise service management as quickly as possible.

9. Ensure that your ITSM tool is suited to your enterprise service management needs.

Thankfully, most fit-for-purpose ITSM tools are now designed to cater for multi-departmental use. In fact, HDI research states that only 9% of survey respondents think that their current ITSM tool couldn’t be used outside of IT.

10. Start small and celebrate successes as you go.

As with ITSM initiatives, “big bang” approaches are both difficult and lengthy (plus, potentially risky). So, instead focus on the improvement of a single business function or the delivery of just a few new capabilities across multiple teams. And the identification and pursuit of “quick wins” will definitely help enterprise service management’s cause as it grows.

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So, that’s our 10 tips for getting started with enterprise service management. What would you add? Please let us know in the comments.

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