An IndustryVoices article.
As we move further down the era of remote and hybrid work, the definition of ‘the office’ is radically changing. Working as we are from home, remote locations, and just about anywhere, organizations can no longer rely on a physical office space to boost employee experience.
Workplace technology is emerging as a key differentiator for organizations to improve work experience and productivity. Organizations have undertaken a few initiatives to improve work tech but they still have a long way to go. According to The State of Workplace Technology, 61% of business leaders predict their technology will not be able to meet the demands of the business in 12 months.
While IT service management can help deliver uninterrupted service delivery and maximize the uptime of business-critical applications, a compelling case can also be made to extend service management to other business functions. ESM or enterprise service management is the practice of applying principles of ITSM to other areas of an organization to improve performance, efficiency, service delivery, and overall employee experience.
The new era of service management
Today employees expect consumer-grade experiences in the workplace. We no longer live in the ‘traditional’ era of ITSM, where IT teams were solely focused on delivering technology services.The goal of the IT function today is much more strategic, focused on employee-centric priorities, minimizing digital friction, enabling effective internal collaboration, and providing flexible workplace experiences. With the power of choice, employees’ location and work schedule preferences are constantly changing, leaving very little space for predictability. Without a consistent and uninterrupted service delivery engine in place, organizations will find it challenging to equip employees with the resources they need to do their jobs well.
According to The Hackett Group’s 2022 Key Issues Study, 68% of organizations have enterprise digital transformation on their agenda. This goes to show how businesses are starting to put employee productivity at the core of technology decisions.
Here’s how to leverage ESM for organizational transformation:
Break down internal silos
Organizational silos with minimal information flow across departments make business processes complex, manual, and error-prone. For example, while onboarding a new employee into an organization, the HR department needs to work seamlessly with other departments, such as IT and facilities, to provide a delightful employee onboarding experience. New employees require a laptop, an onboarding kit, and access to a plethora of services and software to be productive. With a strong service management platform, processes that involve a sequence of tasks and the collaboration of multiple departments can be automated for greater efficiency. Thus, all the new employees can have a consistent and smooth onboarding experience, irrespective of where they work.
Putting this concept into action, implemented an employee onboarding module. With this implementation, they were able to achieve a 100% adoption rate. They successfully experienced the transformative effects of ESM by extending service management to their HR department. When a new employee joins, the module auto-triggers an email to ask for key information (social security number, emergency contact info, etc.). The new hire’s manager details their job title, start date, and laptop preferences. With effective stakeholder mapping, tickets like laptop requests and email ID creation are auto-raised to the IT team.
Deliver consistent service
Working through and resolving employee issues multiple times requires teams from different departments to come together and find a solution. Going through this process and getting a resolution can become frustrating for employees if they have to move from department to department to get the problem resolved. A unified service management platform, where an issue is managed right from the time it is reported to when it is resolved, can help in providing quick resolution to all employee issues - be it IT or payroll or travel in a consistent manner.
For example, hosting a marketing event can be tedious, with multiple vendor payments, invoice approvals, travel requests, branding materials, and internal communications. Enabling the marketing team to raise all requests through a central portal, track requests, and get resolution can be stress-free and seamless. Approvals can be automated, payments can be tracked through transparent service desk operations, and Facilities, Finance, and HR can collaborate easily on the requests with complete context.
Empower agents to focus on high-value work
Self-service and end user-enabled capabilities can go a long way in reducing the resource burden on help desk staff. Today, end-users/employees expect access to support services from wherever they are, 24/7, across multiple devices. A service management platform that can deliver omnichannel experiences through mobile tools and web-based interfaces ensures employees receive a great experience in dealing with their support issues. Whether it is facilities receiving requests for workplace entry or finance receiving queries on reimbursement processes, self-service can provide a quick resolution to common and repetitive employee issues. It also can improve agent efficiency by enabling IT to focus on high-value work and strategic priorities.
Improve the quality of services and efficiency
According to the Hackett 2022 Key Issues Study, general and administrative leaders have predicted that 82% of their staff will be working hybrid or remote by the end of the year. With this major shift in preferences, the need for digital collaboration and digitization of business processes and assets arises. ESM leads to greater responsiveness, and understanding of service gaps, and provides the consistency to support a more diverse business/IT ecosystem.
Offer transparent and integrated service delivery
Greater operational visibility enables management to make more informed decisions. A unified service management platform allows transparency in service delivery, thus proactively identifying roadblocks and challenges that impede them from providing a consistent service experience. With a stronger ESM software, the result is more impactful leadership guidance within the organization.
There are, of course, more benefits to implementing ESM in your organization. According to the Forrester Wave report on Enterprise Service Management, ESM platforms have enjoyed a surge in usage throughout the pandemic. They also have helped organizations manage remote environments and facilitate complex processes, such as return-to-office initiatives. With efficient enterprise service management, organizations can bridge silos and unlock operational efficiencies.
Applying ITSM best practices across business functions has elevated the IT function to a digital change agent, steering enterprise productivity.
Deepthi Nagarajan is a seasoned Product Marketing Leader at Freshworks. She has extensive experience in B2B SaaS Product Marketing, Demand Generation, and GTM Consulting initiatives. Prior to Freshworks, Deepthi has worked with global organizations, including IBM, STMicroelectronics, and Wipro Technologies.