This is the second in a series of articles that came out of an hour-long exploration of the current and developing status of enterprise service management (ESM).
In a session sponsored by Freshworks, I asked Clifton Butterfield CEO Roy Atkinson, Infotech Research Group Principal Research Director Valence Howden, and Freshworks Senior Director, Product Marketing Ken Gonzalez to talk about some of the changes IT service management and delivery teams might expect when they are tasked with supporting service management across the enterprise.
According to the folks who have lived part of the ESM journey, service management practices give rise to more uniformity of experience where they are applied, Atkinson said.
“It makes sense because people know what to expect and, whether they're working with HR, with Finance, or another line of business, there are similarities in how the interface appears and how it works,” he said.
How do the benefits that employees derive from that familiarity show up?
“One of the things that HDI has found is that a whopping 75 percent of respondents said that productivity had gone up,” as ESM practices took hold, Atkinson said. “And, in over half, employee satisfaction had increased. Those are two very positive impacts regarding the workforce.”
Valence Howden added that this drives home the importance of experience, especially at the employee level, across the entire organization.
“I think we lose a lot when we don't understand that,” Howden said. “I don't know if it's just the ESM aspect of it, or just a change in the thinking in the organization, but [the process of] value provision through my teams is going to be different [because of those changes].”
Howden said we have to look at those chains of value very differently, as that may change the composition of teams, how involved people are, their understanding of their own work, and how that work fits into the larger organizational effort.
Organizational change and cross-functional thinking
Ken Gonzalez of Freshworks suggested ESM adoption may require an examination around change management skills throughout the organization. If we don't do that, he believes, we run the risk of creating disruption for employees and customers but ending up at, “Well, the product installed properly. Why are we not getting the benefit?”
A second imperative, from Gonzalez’ perspective, is cultivating cross-functional thinking, so that, “we're able to listen to what our business consumers need.” He believes service management collaborators, wherever they work, must be able to, “think about it from the perspective of, ‘What's my part of what we're [all] trying to help deliver?’”
Also, employees working together to realize an ESM strategy must speak the same business language or, at least, understand each other. Many times, someone is looking to IT for a tool or a capability they need to deliver value, but the need – or how they deliver that value - isn’t understood. Because of this, they might not get what they need, and this can create frustrations and delays that cascade through the enterprise value chain.
ESM is expanding IT’s responsibilities
As research from HDI and other research organizations clearly shows, support organizations are simultaneously taking on more work to fulfill their traditional obligations and adding less familiar responsibilities. With service development and delivery teams busier than ever, the extra problems Gonzalez alluded to are stealing time that’s needed for working with other departments. That work is critical to build a common vision of how and where value is created in the organization, and to constantly improve how IT delivers the applications and services needed to support that value creation.