The future of ESM and ITSM according to Forrester

Marina Lammertyn December 20, 2023
- 9 min read


A new year is right around the corner and it’s a great time to look back into what Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) achieved in 2023 and what’s coming for the industry in 2024. 

Julie Mohr, Principal Analyst for Enterprise Service Management at Forrester shared an article on the industry’s future and highlighted how the ESM and ITSM mature market is guiding organizations through innovation, focusing on the importance of having a single platform to handle all business operations.

But that’s not all. At the same time, in our IT podcast Ticket Volume’s December webinar, we addressed the topic of ITSM trends for 2024 with experts Rob England, Mark Smalley, and Claire Agutter, who provided valuable insights into what lies ahead.

In a nutshell, a unified platform, budgeting challenges, sustainability, and artificial intelligence (AI) are some of the upcoming trends, according to both Forrester and Ticket Volume experts. 

Keep on reading to learn more about what’s coming!

Enterprise and IT Service Management Predictions from Forrester

Forrester’s report focuses on the benefits of expanding Service Management beyond IT and embracing ESM. This means that areas like the HR help desk or Maintenance could also benefit from ITSM practices united in a single platform. 

However, the analyst firm also lists a series of future challenges the industry could face, such as complex implementations and higher costs. 

Let’s take a closer look at both the predictions and possible difficulties to look out for.

ITSM to ESM: One platform for all

Forrester’s analysis indicates that consolidating all operations into a unified ITSM and ESM platform offers various benefits, “from enhanced reporting that provides better insights to an overall understanding of value streams critical to stakeholders.”

Beyond just insights, a tool that enables collaboration between teams will improve how knowledge is shared. “Instead of information locked in functional silos, teams can query across the value stream to identify delay gates and new ways to innovate,” Forrester affirms.

Another way ESM platforms improve collaboration is through additional functionality, including chatbots and integration with applications such as Teams. They automatically collect information shared in a chat and link it to a related record, such as an incident or change.

This should not come as a surprise if you are a regular reader of our blog. InvGate’s CEO and Founder Ariel Gesto mentioned ESM as a key player in the future of service, and he highlighted the importance of providing a centralized communication platform among 2024 service desk trends.



The transition to a single, unified platform for interdepartmental communication is not just a trend; it's a movement. (...) By consolidating communication channels, teams can streamline collaboration and enhance help desk metric control, fostering a culture of continuous improvement that resonates through every level of the organization. 

This move towards centralized platforms is a game-changer for service managers, who will now have a more cohesive view of operations, leading to better informed decisions and a more synchronized team."

Ariel Gesto
CEO & Founder of InvGate


Some challenges ahead

Another take from Forrester is that companies encounter complexity in the implementation of some ITSM platforms mainly due to the amount of time they can take to have a positive impact. This is an issue that doesn’t seem to apply to InvGate products, as our implementations take an average of 4-8 weeks. 

The article also mentions that, as ITSM keeps growing, the expanding capabilities of platforms including IT operations, enterprise workflows, IT Asset Management (ITAM), and automation with AI/ML could raise vendor costs.

An additional challenge addressed by Forrester refers to budgeting. Organizations often allocate ITSM costs solely from the IT budget even if multiple business units utilize them, making platforms look pricier than they are.

To resolve this issue, the author poses that budgets must be distributed to business units as services are consolidated on a single platform.

From our experience, though ESM challenges can be related to budgeting and implementation times, they are not the only difficulties organizations can face.

A limited budget can influence a decision, but as a result, organizations might end up with not only hard-to-implement but hard-to-use tools, which leads to a lack of utilization despite all efforts.

In this sense, looking for fit-for-purpose solutions should not only contemplate available budget but also pricing structure, as well as adaptability to multiple departments and ease of use to increase adoption rates.

All these can be found in the market (we know for a fact), and guarantees that your expenditure doesn’t go south.

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5 other ITSM trends for 2024

As we mentioned, during Ticket Volume’s December webinar, experts Rob England, Mark Smalley, and Claire Agutter discussed some hot trends for ITSM, including AI, sustainability, community, and more.

AI meets the human element

Of course, AI is still on top of the list of new developments in 2023 and what’s coming next year. The consensus among the three guests is that, following the initial hype, a balanced approach integrating AI and human input is more sensible for effective IT support and enhanced customer satisfaction. 

Sustainability in ITSM practices

The second prominent trend discussed was sustainability, with experts advising ITSM professionals to stay informed about the global context. This includes navigating complex political landscapes, where cybersecurity takes precedence, and addressing environmental concerns by incorporating sustainable ITSM practices.



Learning from other industries

The importance of curiosity and a continual desire to learn across various industries –even seemingly unrelated ones– emerged as a crucial skill emphasized by all three guests during the episode. This trend was positioned as a huge differentiator for future professionals in the ITSM industry. 

Rigid frameworks vs. principles

Another trend mentioned in the webinar is a shift from more rigid ITSM frameworks into principles. Rob, Mark, and Claire marked how IT has historically centered on discipline and control, while it should be focused on humanity and value creation. 

The bigger ITSM community

Finally, the experts emphasized the enduring significance of the ITSM community which grows through constructing and sustaining platforms that unite people. They noted that the key to a brighter future is nurturing the community through forums, blogs, conferences, books, and webinars, providing a supportive space for discussions on integrating new technologies, practices, and frameworks.

In conclusion

Looking back at the major advances made in 2023, the ESM and ITSM industry are poised for a dynamic 2024, as outlined in Forrester's analysis. The maturity of the market is driving innovation and leading organizations toward the adoption of a single platform for comprehensive Business Operations Management. 

At the same time, Ticket Volume’s December webinar special guests noted that technology keeps moving forward. While the place that AI will take was a mystery, experts now know that the key to extracting value out of AI relies on combining with the human factor to provide the best customer experience for Service Management’s  customers.

If you want to learn more about Service Management, ITSM, and ESM industry trending topics, we have a bunch of episodes on our podcast! Just go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast platform, and pick the one that interests you the most.

Read other articles like this : ITSM, ESM

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