January 23, 2024

5 minutes read

Going Beyond IT – How to Implement Enterprise Service Management


Andrew Graf

As more and more companies look to level up their service and project management, many are turning to Enterprise Service Management. While there are numerous benefits to taking an ESM approach to service and projects throughout your organization, moving to ESM can be a large undertaking with a lot of organizational change. And as we all know, organizational change can be daunting.

However, with the right approach to change management (and the right ESM tool to support your organization) moving to ESM doesn’t have to be scary. Recently, Info-Tech Analyst Sandi Conrad and TeamDynamix Chief Product Officer Andrew Graf sat down to discuss the benefits of using ESM, how to get organizational buy-in and presented a simplified roadmap for businesses and organizations looking to adopt ESM.

Understanding ESM and Its Benefits

Enterprise Service Management (ESM) is a holistic view of services within an entire organization that focuses on improving service and project outcomes. ESM usually starts within IT (as IT Service Management and ESM share many of the same concepts) and extends similar service and project management strategies to departments outside of IT including HR, facilities, finance, marketing, legal and more.

There are many benefits to ESM including:

  • Improved visibility of workloads
  • Improved collaboration across departments
  • A reduction of repetitive work through the use of automation
  • Improved service design and accountability
  • The elimination of task management through email requests and spreadsheets
  • Improved resource management

According to research presented by Conrad, 34 percent of organizations are using ESM for better project management and prioritization; 36 percent use ESM to drive faster responses to inbound requests; 42 percent of organizations use ESM for improved collaboration across the business; and 46 percent of organizations use ESM to establish more simplified workflows.

“Once you start using ESM you’ll find you work more efficiently, you’re able to easily job-share and improve services and you’ll see a number of additional benefits like an improved visibility into workloads across all of the different groups,” Conrad said. “With ESM nothing gets lost in emails, work orders and requests get queued up properly and closed when completed, and there’s better collaboration between departments.”

For your customers and end-users, there are benefits as well including:

  • One service portal for the organization
  • Quick access to documents, FAQs, request forms, etc. through self-service
  • Access to the right resources as they need them
  • Greatly improved experience for multi-departmental service requests
  • Faster resolution on work orders and requests

“The prevailing sentiment among department stakeholders using ESM to process tickets and work orders is positive,” Conrad said referencing her research. When addressing the percentage that has a negative view of ESM, Conrad said that’s likely due to how the organizations’ ESM rollouts happened.

“That sentiment isn’t necessarily because of the practice of ESM, but quite often because the various departments aren’t getting the value they are looking for,” Conrad said. “That lack of value could be from the way they designed their ESM implementation, it could be lack of governance, lack of resources and support, lack of expertise or the tool isn’t configurable to their needs.”

To avoid these issues, Conrad recommends a phased implementation approach to ensure the departments get the support they need, with strong organizational change management to support the planning and rollout of a new ESM tool and strategy.

5 Elements of an Effective ESM Strategy

For an ESM strategy and implementation to be successful, you must consider the following 5 elements:

  1. Governance
  2. Culture
  3. People
  4. Capabilities
  5. Technology

“While having a fully mature organization and service management can really help you move to ESM, it’s important to know that you don’t have to have every single one of these elements fully mature in order to start with ESM,” Conrad said.


According to Conrad, governance is critical with it comes to ESM. ESM usually starts as a grassroots project in areas like facilities or operations, but to be successful it needs the support of leadership. With governance, you need someone (or a group) to create the service vision for your organization, communicate the benefits of ESM to the business, set a direction and start to identify use cases and opportunities to streamline with ESM.

Ideally, this person or group can support each team in identifying quick wins as well as a longer-term roadmap. Leadership needs to also fund the ESM initiative and be sure the right ESM tools and resources are available.

Finally, the roll-out needs to be tracked and measured so improvements can be identified, and successes can be celebrated. As ESM is a framework for service, the governance group or individual should encourage continual improvement and innovation.


 Organizational change can be scary – this is why culture is such an important element. Any organization looking to implement ESM should start by encouraging everyone to think about their tasks as part of a service, and their roles as service providers. This perspective can help motivate people to want to innovate.

Next, identify services delivered by multiple teams and/or departments and map out the customer journey so you can see the customer perspective. Once you have that, work with a team or department that is ready for innovation and change. Once they start to see success, other departments will be more apt to make the switch to ESM.

Finally, look for any opportunities to solve pressing problems quickly and efficiently with ESM. This can help reduce complaints and meet team and departmental goals – encouraging positive ESM momentum throughout your organization.


 More often than not, your people are your culture and KEY to any big organizational change. For an ESM roll-out, Conrad recommends you find and engage with your innovators, encourage collaboration for problem-solving and innovations and teach these employees how to do customer journey mapping so they can gain perspective on the customer experience.

By doing this you can better identify opportunities and prioritize which ones need to be tackled first within your organization. These innovators can also help you to better communicate the service improvements employees will see by making the switch to ESM.


“This is where gaining all the buy-in is crucial,” Conrad said. Here, you want to identify the resources within the business and IT to provide training and support. Start by prioritizing the areas that can provide high value in a short period of time. Define your desired outcomes and assess how things are done today. This gap analysis can help you figure out where to start for maximum impact.

Once you’ve completed your gap analysis, identify where solutions need to be built, where they need to be improved and where they need to be integrated with existing tools (an HRIS system, for example). Finally, start a capability map for each department to plan longer-term opportunities.


The technology you choose for ESM will make a significant difference in your ESM outcomes. This is a critical component of a successful ESM roll-out.

“Having the right ESM technology in place is going to be a major factor in your organization’s success so you do want to make sure that it’s fit for purpose,” Conrad said.

Low-code/no-code ESM platforms are great for creating service tools, integrating with other solutions and for creating content specific to departmental needs without having to go back and rely on IT to make changes.

In addition, you want the ESM tool you pick to be one that’s easy to use so that departments can spin up and configure their own portals, knowledge bases and other content and can segregate assets as well as tickets/cases/work orders.

In addition, you want a tool that supports granular access controls. Additional features like virtual assistants, chatbots and generative AI can be nice to have in the longer term or for organizations that are starting from a mature ESM foundation.

While some organizations might try to deploy their existing ITSM tools for ESM – this isn’t always the best fit. You need an ITSM tool purposefully built with ESM in mind, otherwise you’ll run into issues.

According to research from Conrad, when organizations try to use ITSM tools for ESM 42 percent find their ITSM tools lack integration with departmental systems, 31 percent can’t set up departmental-specific workflows and 26 percent say their ITSM isn’t user-friendly for departmental stakeholders trying to process tickets.

When selecting the right ESM tool for your business or organization consider:

  1.  Pricing Model: ESM tools come with various pricing models. Some are subscription-based, while others offer a one-time license fee. It’s important to choose a model that aligns with your budget and expected return on investment.
  2. Scalability: As your business grows, so will your service management needs. Ensure that the ESM tool you choose can scale up as needed without compromising performance or usability.
  3. Ease of Use: User-friendly interfaces and intuitive functionalities are crucial. If the tool is too complicated, it may hinder adoption and efficiency.
  4. Integrations: Your ESM tool should seamlessly integrate with other software and tools used in your organization. This ensures smooth data flow and process automation.
  5. Compliance and Security: Depending on your industry, you may need to comply with specific regulations. Look for tools that meet these standards and provide robust security features to protect sensitive data.
  6. Customer Support: Reliable customer support is essential. You need a provider who can quickly resolve issues and provide guidance when needed.

To get more tips, best practices and valuable insights, check out the full webinar on-demand here.  

Andrew Graf

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