2024 IT Predictions: Driving More Efficiencies with Automation, ESM

There’s been a lot of evolution in the last few years when it comes to IT Service Management. From pivoting to systems to support remote work and learning during the 2020 pandemic to the ongoing support of hybrid and remote workforces post-pandemic – ITSM has had to evolve quickly to meet demands. Now, many organizations are opting for Enterprise Service Management vs traditional ITSM to transform service management and delivery throughout the entire business, not just in IT. And the results are overwhelmingly positive – especially when combined with increased automation capabilities.

Leveraging Automation, Integration for a Connected Enterprise

Traditional IT Service Management (ITSM) doesn’t cut it in today’s world. The employees and customers you support expect fast, reliable service and don’t want to jump through a bunch of hoops to get it. To achieve these service levels (without further draining IT resources and budgets), many organizations are turning to low-code/no-code IT Service Management tools that offer Enterprise Service Management (ESM) baked in with Project Portfolio Management (PPM), and that include robust integration and automation capabilities. This enables both IT and departments outside of IT to engage in smart service management.

With smart service management, the entire enterprise is connected and interacting in real time – all supercharged by integration and automated workflows.

The Power of ESM in Digital Transformation

Implementing an ESM solution for smart service management can help businesses overcome challenges (including siloed processes, lack of transparency, inefficient project management and more) and unlock numerous benefits including:

  • Operational Efficiencies – ESM automates and streamlines processes, reducing manual tasks and saving valuable time and resources.
  • Enhanced Customer Service – Implementing ESM can improve response times and customer satisfaction by centralizing service requests and providing data-driven insights to departments and key leadership.
  • Optimized Collaboration – ESM breaks down departmental silos, promoting collaboration and ensuring a unified approach to problem-solving.

When looking for an ESM vendor, it’s important to consider features and functionality. You’ll want to find a vendor that offers an ESM platform that’s complex enough for IT’s needs but is simple enough to use outside of IT. No-code ESM platforms that combine ESM with Project Portfolio Management and integration and automation (through iPaaS) all on a single platform are ideal.

At Pima County, for example, they are using TeamDynamix to facilitate an ESM approach to service management and delivery using TeamDynamix ITSM, PPM and iPaaS on a single platform.

When it comes to onboarding new hires, the county’s goal is to have new employees arrive on day one with everything they need to get to work, “You don’t need to waste so much time when it comes to onboarding,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader, said. “It really is such a sour experience for a new hire to come in, in this day and age, and sit around for three days waiting on their computer to show up. We need to get out of that mode and iPaaS is going to help us do that.”

In addition, using iPaaS to automate offboarding will save countless hours for a process that is normally very manual and heavily audited as Pima County is a government entity.

“As a government organization we get audited by the state every year and they want to know what these stale accounts are doing sitting here,” Hayes said. “Offboarding is currently a very manual process – having to review the list from HR of people who are no longer employed with us and manually revoking their privileges from all the different systems and software and disabling their accounts. There’s absolutely no reason for that to not be automated. iPaaS is going to help us a lot with this and save us time.”

Improved Service Delivery

One of the core benefits of ESM is the improvement in service delivery. With ESM, services can be delivered faster and more efficiently, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction. This is achieved through automation, standardization and integration of services, freeing up resources and allowing teams to focus on strategic initiatives.

Just think about how your current processes are set up. We’ve all worked at places where they still rely on emails, phone calls or merely stopping and chatting in the hallway to communicate project requests and more.

Sure, these approaches can provide a certain degree of effectiveness in handling service requests. But let’s consider what is missing from that type of scenario – one where formalized service management processes are not in place.

  • Accountability: Who is responsible for what? Are requests being completed on time? Without proper assignment and tracking processes, answers to these questions get very blurry.
  • Visibility: Staff members seem busy and appear to be meeting responsibilities. However, it is challenging and time-intensive to stop and precisely identify what is complete and what is still outstanding or even past due.
  • Clarity: Decision-making and promises are likely going to be dictated by a hunch unless there is a big-picture view of where and when resources are allocated. Lack of clarity can lead to over-committing and, ultimately, disappointing stakeholders.
  • Paths Toward Improvement: The status quo stands a high chance of going on unchanged when there is not a clear view of what is working versus what is not. It often takes highly visible process breakdowns to identify areas of improvement, leading to a perpetually reactive environment.

Enterprise Service Management platforms can fill in the gaps by addressing these areas, leading to higher efficiency, lower operational costs, improved service levels and increased satisfaction. Additionally, ESM provides a platform for users to search for information and resolve issues on their own using customized portals for each department. Each time an employee gets an answer or fixes something through self-service, that is one less request for service personnel to fulfill.

As we head into 2024 – many organizations are looking for new ways to improve operational efficiencies using technology that’s flexible and resilient. ESM provides a framework for continuous improvement and empowers organizations to be able to quickly adapt to changing business needs. For CIOs looking to drive business success and enhance customer experience, embracing ESM is an invaluable strategy. Not only does it offer immediate benefits in terms of improved service delivery and streamlined processes, but it also positions the organization for long-term success in the ever-changing landscape of the digital age.

How the Right ESM Tool with Automation Can Improve Efficiencies

While there are many benefits to using ESM – you need the right tool in place to ensure ESM success.

At Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort ESM has always been a priority, but it wasn’t until they switched to a new ESM tool that they were able to fully realize all of the benefits ESM can have on an organization.

Independently owned and operated by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona, these casino and resort properties employ about 3,500 people altogether. They had been using ESM for a number of years, but the legacy tool could no longer support the needs of the organization.

In looking for a new ESM platform, Casino Arizona and Talking Stick Resort wanted the ability to configure the system easily and make changes flexibly and dynamically. “We looked at a number of systems,” Adam Dunn, program manager, said. “In TeamDynamix, we found the one that was most user-friendly.” 

With its “low-code, no-code” design, TeamDynamix is highly configurable, allowing organizations to create personalized service categories (both simple and complex) and build customized workflows for managing multistep processes.  

In addition, the platform’s enterprise Integration and automation capabilities allow IT staff to create customized integrations between TeamDynamix and other software programs using a simple, drag-and-drop flow builder. As a result, TeamDynamix customers can build workflows for automating almost any service function to fit their needs. 

Finally, because TeamDynamix is easy to use and configure, it lends itself nicely to ESM and can be easily adopted by departments outside of IT. 

Phase one of the properties’ implementation of TeamDynamix has involved the IT and AV departments. Phase two includes housekeeping and security.  

In housekeeping, for example, one of the areas the tool will be used to help with is resource capacity planning around events. 

“We have an event space where we host a variety of different things,” Dunn said. “We’ll be using the tool to get out in front of these and schedule housekeeping for room cleanings before and after these events. All of these housekeeping requests can be scheduled and managed through a ticket. This allows our housekeeping department to see what events are upcoming that they need to plan for and staff appropriately. And if we have a performer coming into our nightclubs, a lot of times housekeeping is tasked with clearing space, so they can see when those requests come in and make sure the right resources are available.” 

With TeamDynamix, users can easily track the status of requests from the convenience of their phone and resend a request as needed. The system also can be configured to resend a request automatically after a certain amount of time has passed without a response.  

“Being able to see requests in real-time and resend notifications as needed has been a huge asset to our department,” IT Support Manager Jonathan Vorndran said. “It helps move the approval process along faster.” 

“I would say we averaged four or five days to obtain proper approvals with our previous system,” Dunn added. “Now, we’re looking at one or two days. We’re talking about a 70-percent decrease. If you need access to an application, waiting four days for all the approvals to take place and get you into the system keeps you from being able to do your job. Getting that down to just a day or two has been critical for us.” 

To learn more about smart service management, check out this eBook: Reducing Manual Toil with Smart Service Management

To learn more about the state of ESM check out the latest market study from TeamDynamix and InformationWeek: State of Enterprise Service Management.

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