ESM and the Future of ITSM Software: How to Accelerate Enterprise Service Adoption

For many years now, organizations have come to understand that IT service management (ITSM) can and should be expanded to enterprise service management (ESM). However, to do this, the software must be able to easily morph – for instance, instead of calling the request a ‘ticket’, it may become a ‘work order’ in facilities, or a ‘creative brief’ in marketing. While these may seem like nuances, the nomenclature matters. Equally, the platform must be truly an enterprise solution which means that the care and feeding cannot require IT resources. If marketing wants to create a new request type, a user in marketing should be able to create a new form, add their own fields and create a workflow – all without any need for development resources or back-end programming knowledge. 

We decided to take a closer look at how organizations are progressing toward true enterprise service management during a recent market study conducted together with Information Week. 

ITSM Software has Evolved to Enterprise Service Management

As IT organizations plan for the future of service management, the overwhelming trend they’re preparing for is digital transformation. Approximately 51% of survey respondents report this as the most critical trend barreling for them in the next couple of years (Figure 8). This indicates that ITSM leadership will need to be cognizant of how their service platforms and workflows integrate with user technologies and, more appropriately, tie data and services together on the back end. This will be crucial in creating seamless digital experiences that drive transformation investments. 

Critical ITSM Trends

This push for end-to-end service is echoed by the next two critical trends, each named by 38% of respondents. Those are integrating ITSM and project management on a single platform and extending ITSM software to other departments through broader enterprise service management (ESM) initiatives. Like the digital transformation trend, these two trends are also driven by the more tightly coupled and complex technology platform relationships needed to build digital ecosystems that enable critical business functions. ITSM groups must ensure that disparate platforms like Salesforce and DocuSign are well integrated to provide valuable functionality across numerous groups like facilities, marketing, and human resources 

The State of ITSM Software and Enterprise Service Management

Currently, only about three in ten organizations have a formal ESM program to leverage ITSM principles outside of IT. However, work on this front is clearly underway. Even though many of them may not have an ESM program on the books, half the organizations have extended their ITSM or ticketing platform for use in managing work in other departments. Approximately a quarter of organizations say they’ve deployed ESM in more than two departments outside of IT.

State of ESM Deployment

Integration of IT Service Management and Enterprise Service Management

In addition to expanding service management across the enterprise, organizations are looking to integrate service management with the broader tech stack in each department. According to the Information Week market study, approximately 52% of organizations handle these requests manually, another 38% have implemented automation, but only through a patchwork of scripts and APIs. Just 10% of organizations say they’re able to leverage an integration and workflow platform to handle these tasks automatically. What if you could automate basic, repetitive tasks, like the following, to reduce the drain on the IT service desk as well as key groups such as human resources: 

  • Onboarding/offboarding employees.
  • User and group management.
  • Round robin ticket assignment. 
  • Password resets. 
  • Name changes. 

Why Integration and Automation Matters for ITSM

By using an ITSM tool that includes integration and automation, you can free up your resources by automating the everyday, mundane tasks they normally have to complete before working on bigger projects – things like system name changes, resetting passwords, or granting certain permissions to software. All of these, and more, can be automated using iPaaS with ITSM.

By combining iPaaS (integration platform as a service) with ITSM/ESM and PPM on a single platform you can automate both complex and simple tasks, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization.

If you chose a codeless platform for this, you get the added benefit of anyone being able to use these tools – not just IT. By allowing lines of business to create their own workflows you can free up your IT resources to work on larger projects and eliminate the logjam when it comes to integrations within your organization.

Here are a few other ways iPaaS with ITSM/ESM can help reduce IT drain on an organization:

  • Facilitate enterprise integration by using a single hub with pre-built connectors to systems that you use every day as well as a connector concierge for the creation of specific connectors. (Imagine being able to automatically change a username, add someone to a distribution group, onboard an employee)
  • Expedite creation of automation and workflows with a visual flow builder (codeless) that is easy to use, own and operate; reduce IT backlog of integration and workflow requests.
  • Optimize resources across IT to allow for improved output and a higher level of service delivery to your internal and external customers by removing redundant data entry and manual processing.
  • Reduce API risk with a single connectivity platform that will offer increased oversight and control

Relieving Ticket Volume with Automation

When contemplating the use of automation and integration as part of a broader enterprise service management strategy, it’s important to consider the different ways a tool like iPaaS can be used to extend ESM even further using automated workflows across applications.

At Winston-Salem University Derrick Hargrove and his team in the Office of Information Technology, are using iPaaS to automate processes throughout the University that directly impact service resolution times whether in IT, the Office of the Registrar, the financial aid office or human resources. Hargrove said the university started building iPaaS workflows to address various challenges they had with both system access and access to various apps and software provided to students, employees and faculty at the university.

“By creating these workflows within iPaaS we are able to save a significant amount of time,” Hargrove said. “Previously we’ve had situations where system access has held up a ticket so having the automated approval and access granted through iPaaS has helped us avoid those issues. And when you have people who need certain access or software to do their jobs, it’s nice to be able to provide that almost instantaneous resolution. It’s been a big win for us.”

The university has flows in place to grant system access based on different groups within Active Directory. Those same groups are utilized to run flows to grant access to things like Microsoft Teams and Adobe Creative Cloud.

Want to learn more about automation and enterprise service management? Check out our latest eBook: Automate IT – A Playbook for Supercharged ITSM

This article was originally posted in January 2022 and has been updated with new information.

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