In July 2018, I wrote a blog about why your company may not be excited about ESM. Close to a year later, the popularity of Enterprise Service Management has been increasing across all industries as more vendors expand from IT-only solutions into enterprise solutions.
And yet, many CIOs find themselves surrounded by team members and colleagues who remain hesitant to move forward with ESM. It’s no secret that many organizations can be slow to change. But why would business leaders be hesitant to adopt this change, especially, considering the growing number of documented case studies that demonstrate the tangible benefits of Enterprise Service Management?
I believe the hesitation to move towards Enterprise Service Management comes down to control – or the perception of who has control – with Enterprise Service Management. Some executives fear giving up control, especially when it comes to their team and the way it accomplishes its work. If leaders feel embracing Enterprise Service Management means handing over control of their team, systems, and processes over to IT, then they are going to be resistant.
Additionally, ITSM has long had a reputation for being too rigid and forced in its processes and frameworks. Many leaders in the organization may have come to view ITSM as a barrier to productivity instead of an enabler. Given this perspective, it’s no surprise that some leaders are not excited to embrace ESM in their departments.
CIOs are in the unique position to demystify ESM in their organizations. CIOs can help lead the change that enables their entire organization to be more efficient and effective and achieve greater employee and customer satisfaction.
How can you demystify ESM within your organization? These tips can help you begin.
ESM is not extending ITSM processes to every other part of the business
This may be the biggest misconception I’ve seen about Enterprise Service Management, both from those inside and outside of IT.
Let me be clear, Enterprise Service Management is not extending ITSM processes and frameworks into the rest of the business. Instead, it’s about using Service Management best practices to co-create processes and systems that work with every department across the enterprise. Simply put, this is not a hostile takeover. It’s a peaceful merger for the greater good of the organization.
To increase support, IT leaders must emphasize the benefits of Enterprise Service Management for each department. Work with other departments to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their current processes and be prepared to address how Enterprise Service Management can work with those strengths and address any gaps that exist. Ask for real-world scenarios the department encounters so you can provide context for where ESM can fit into these scenarios.
Additionally, demonstrate how the impact of ESM on the end user can increase support among departments and especially among the C-suite. Enterprise service management will help put more tools in the user’s hands, which ultimately can lead to faster responsiveness and a more consistent experience for end users. If, for example, a sales or marketing leader can understand how adopting ESM principles will enable their team to provide better services and bring in more sales, they’ll be more willing to adopt those principles.
2. It’s not about a tool
Contrary to popular belief, ITSM isn’t implemented by purchasing and using a tool – neither is ESM. Some leaders may see Enterprise Service Management as a justification for more investment into expensive tools (that don’t always work).
Instead of leading with the tool, lead with the end goal, which should relate back to the external customer. Follow up with shared processes, increased collaboration and better communication. These are the important pieces of Enterprise Service Management. Tools help improve and speed delivery of shared processes, collaboration, and communication – but they don’t cause those things.
Other leaders will see the investment into a tool as an investment in their team if they are able to see the end result and how their team is a part of that solution.
3. Frameworks are not inhibitors to productivity
We’re back to that “control” piece again. Many leaders and team members see frameworks as red tape, as a barrier to efficiency.
But, good ITSM practitioners know that when roles and processes are defined, there is better accountability which leads to improved efficiency and effectiveness. There is no room for “I thought someone else was handling it.” There are no gaps in productivity because everyone understands who is doing what, when it is being done, how their work contributes to business success, and what is expected of them.
Frameworks open the door for transparency — and this is actually a good thing for every leader. When a process is transparent, a leader is able to:
- Claim credit for the work that their team is accomplishing
- Have a better view of where and how they are contributing
- Be able to articulate their own team’s value
Every leader knows the pain of not getting credit for their work and having to justify their expenses. Frameworks can decrease that pain.
4. True ESM is designed to fit the enterprise, not the other way around
Finally, the most important factor to iterate to the organization is that Enterprise Service Management is not a rigid, IT-controlled process. It’s something that’s co-created. It’s something that every department leader will have a say in, and it will be designed to address the unique goals, strengths, and weaknesses of each organization. Real Enterprise Service Management is flexible and customizable.
What can you do to get started?
If you know that Enterprise Service Management can improve your organization but you don’t know where to get started, I recommend focusing on two areas.
The first is to make sure your ITSM house is in order. This is the opportunity for IT to be seen as a leader in the organization. If you are able to “walk the talk” of Service Management and demonstrate how well it works, you’ll be better positioned to win over other leaders.
The second is to look for opportunities for quick improvement that involve other departments. Identify other departments that are reliant on processes that can be improved by technology, automation and service management practices. Work with these departments to implement smaller service management initiatives. Wins in this area can make the business case for larger enterprise-wide initiatives.
My prediction is that Enterprise Service Management will only become more popular with more organizations adopting it. Now is the perfect time to prepare your IT organization for this shift and to be a leader in this movement.
Interested in making larger strides towards Enterprise Service Management? VeriSM is an ideal stepping stone from your current ITSM practices into ESM. Learn more about VeriSM in our upcoming training class this June or schedule a call to learn more!Share