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Stephen Mann | March 16, 2021

How Enterprise Service Management Provides the Platform for Your Organization’s Digital Transformation

There’s no doubt that the global pandemic has accelerated corporate digital transformation strategies, with a need to respond to both new operating and market conditions. Whether it’s that employees are no longer working together in the same office or that customers need new and safer ways to engage with companies.

If you think that this is simply media hyperbole, the results of a recent enterprise service management survey by AXELOS and ITSM.tools show that 80% of organizations have accelerated their digital transformation strategies due to the pandemic (versus the 16% that haven’t).

It’s great news for the CIOs who have been pushing the digital transformation agenda for what seems forever, but what does this mean for your organization’s ITSM capabilities and their use by other business functions, i.e. enterprise service management? To help, this blog takes a look at digital transformation through an ITSM and enterprise service management lens.

Understanding the Varied Needs of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has long been viewed as having three elements that all exploit technology and data:

  1. New products and services (and revenue streams)
  2. Improved customer engagement mechanisms
  3. Optimized back-office operations and outcomes

For the first two, ITSM teams have a critical role to play in IT service delivery and support terms across two dimensions – dealing with increased corporate demand for IT services and responding to the higher importance of technology to business operations and success.

However, the ITSM response to the third element is different, given that it already has a proven solution for the business, and business function, need for digital workflows – enterprise service management. This is the use of ITSM thinking, principles, and capabilities (including the corporate ITSM tool) by other business functions to improve operations, services, experiences, and outcomes.

Enterprise service management is not only being used to improve back-office operations and outcomes in business functions such as human resources (HR), facilities, legal, security, and procurement. It’s also being used for business operations and in front-office business functions such as customer service/support, sales, and marketing. The creation of digital workflows via enterprise service management marries digital transformation and optimized operations – replacing the traditional manual operations by exploiting both technology and data.

3 Ways to Take Service Management Beyond IT

The ITSM Tool Capabilities That Can Be shared with Other Business Functions

It’s important to remember that enterprise service management is far more than the sharing of the corporate ITSM tool with other business functions. However, as with ITSM, the ITSM tool provides a platform for the required processes with additional capabilities that facilitate their more efficient and effective operation.

To help with the digital enablement of business function operations, ITSM tools offer a variety of capabilities that can be employed as a platform for digital work and workflows. These include:

  • Service management best practices
  • Workflow automation and orchestration
  • Knowledge management
  • New technology exploitation including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
  • Omnichannel service and support capabilities – from self-service portals to newer AI-enabled engagement mechanisms
  • Reporting and analytics capabilities

The combination of these capabilities provides the digital workflows that business functions now need as they seek to maintain and improve upon their operational practices and the outcomes they deliver.

The Service and Support Goalposts Have Moved Too

Pre global pandemic, employees were already seeking better service and support experiences from their IT service provider and the other business functions that allow them to be productive. With these expectations at least in part influenced by their often-superior consumer-world experiences of service and support.

However, since the pandemic forced remote working on employees, and the teams they work within, the need for better service and support services has increased – given the inability of now-remote employees to maintain productivity levels when internal service providers let them down. Something that had a lower impact when employees were office-based with the environment’s alternative support and contingency arrangements.

Fortunately, enterprise service management helps with this too, offering “better, faster, cheaper” operations. With the survey results mentioned above highlighting that the top three drivers of enterprise service management strategies as process standardization, digital transformation enablement, and employee productivity improvement (employee experience improvement was fourth).

So, what does the use of enterprise service management for digital transformation look like?

The short answer is that most business processes can be digitally enabled, at least in part, through the use of enterprise service management and the corporate ITSM tool. Some might be simple, and others complicated.

For example, what has long been the “poster child” for enterprise service management – employee onboarding – is a great way to see the breadth of enterprise service management capabilities in action. Here, digital workflows can be used from cradle-to-grave and across business functions to ensure that a new employee has everything they need to be able to work on their first day in the job.

It can start with a manager needing to hire a new employee – with the digital workflows encompassing the start of the recruitment process, perhaps after using knowledge management to identify how to do this, then a self-service portal to submit the request. The resultant workflows might also include recruitment approval (from various approvers), job description validation or creation, the advertisement of the vacancy, candidate screening/sifting, interview scheduling and execution, candidate selection, making the job offer, benefits negotiation, and job acceptance. And this is all before the real onboarding starts, i.e. getting everything the new employee needs in place in time for their commencement date.

Much of the above only involves the recruiting business function and the HR department. However, what then follows encompasses many other back-office business functions. For example:

  • Gathering employee data (HR)
  • Employee background checks and contracts (legal/HR)
  • Employee benefit set up (HR)
  • Pre-start company education and training delivery (HR)
  • IT equipment, service, and access provision (IT)
  • Work environment provision (facilities)
  • Physical access permission provision (security/facilities)

These are just some of the employee onboarding processes/tasks that will benefit from digital workflows and other ITSM-tool capabilities such as approvals, notifications, automation/orchestration, work progression monitoring, and escalation. Importantly, the workflows can be configured such that they are all started with the initial request to recruit the new employee.

How much easier is this than relying on manual practices and email exchanges to ensure that an employee has everything they need from day one? Especially during these times of distanced working.

Let enterprise service management provide the required platform for your organization’s operational digital transformation and make everyone’s life both easier and better.

If you would like to find out more about how enterprise service management can help your organization’s digital transformation strategy, then please request a demo today!

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Stephen Mann

Principal Analyst and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm ITSM.tools. Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals. Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.