Expanding ITSM to ESM via the Cloud


Enterprise service management (ESM) is set to play a pivotal role in revolutionizing the future work environment — whether it’s in-person, hybrid, or remote. ESM builds on the principles of IT service management (ITSM), which aims to help IT teams manage their end-to-end service delivery.


Initially, ITSM principles applied only to IT departments because of their emphasis on automation, self-service, and problem management. However, that’s no longer the case.


We’re way past the point where services created and managed within IT environments remain there. These services have expanded to all departments, prompting a shift from ITSM to ESM. An excellent example is human resources departments employing a specific IT solution, such as payroll software as a service (SaaS).


A critical factor driving this transition is the increasing ubiquity of cloud services. Cloud services enable users to store, send, receive, and manage any process or document across an organization. So, once one team establishes an internal communication tool, other departments can easily adopt it, making it the go-to solution.


In this article, we’ll explore ITSM and examine the digital shift from ITSM to ESM. Then we’ll discuss the benefits of this digital transformation movement and how you can adopt this workflow within your organization.


What’s ITSM?

Information technology service management (ITSM) is the end-to-end management of IT service delivery. It includes all the frameworks and processes to envision, deliver, and support these services.


But ITSM isn’t simply about offering IT support. It’s also focused on the end user.


Using ITSM, you can improve the efficiency of processes within various departments, enabling your company to meet its goals. For example, you might implement a specific onboarding sequence within a department, create a knowledge base for certain employees, or implement a troubleshooting and reporting system for a particular department. These intra-departmental objectives are within ITSM’s scope.


Despite its benefits, not many organizations are leveraging ITSM’s potential as a center for excellence. While some departments might be ahead of the curve, others still struggle with daily operations. And, these departments may rely on too many applications, or might not have the correct workflow in place.


What’s ITIL?

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a library of frameworks supporting IT services delivery. Organizations use ITIL resources as a roadmap to digitally transform their operations. You can consider ITIL as a collection of best practices to guide successful service management.


ITIL has experienced many iterations over the years. The latest version is known as ITIL 4. Its developer, Axelos — a collaborative venture by the British government and Capita PLC — named this version ITIL 4 because it will support the next industrial revolution, Industry 4.0.


ITIL 4 comprises a four-dimensional model and an ITIL service value system. The model focuses on the organization’s internal and external stakeholders. The service value system focuses on activities and processes to improve the organization’s service delivery process. Some say ITIL is the best approach for ESM adoption because of its flexibility in service management.


One reason ITIL has improved service management is that it’s vendor-neutral. This means you can break down, manage, and incorporate your workflows with ease no matter the service provider, removing any complications.


The Cloud Powers Modern ITSM

IT traditionally provided service delivery hardware and software capabilities. By default, ITSM included housing and managing service delivery. But as companies sought to reduce infrastructure costs, the shift to cloud services seemed like the perfect solution.


IT departments no longer housed the equipment, but still managed it. A new term clarifies this distinction: Cloud Service Management (CSM). ITSM and CSM are foundationally similar, but CSM offers additional flexibility through the use of cloud infrastructure. CSM provides the agility of cloud services and delivers flexible IT-related capabilities as a service to the end user.


While most companies are already adopting cloud technologies at scale, CSM changes service delivery. ITSM can still be considered a hands-on approach, using a blend of automation and human intervention, but CSM offers a hands-off approach. This can be observed in software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS) products, all of which are known to enhance agility in business environments.


Cloud technologies also allow the flexibility to adopt upcoming transformative technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. By being agnostic to the tools of delivery, cloud technologies enable a smooth ITSM transition. An example is the shift from on-premise to remote work during the pandemic while connecting service desks, no matter the user’s location.


The Benefits of ESM

The ESM strategy includes applying ITSM frameworks at an enterprise scale. ESM’s primary goal is to execute smooth and efficient enterprise-wide service delivery. IT services are no longer limited to one department, and ESM enables non-IT teams to adopt a better service management workflow.


Departments like HR, accounting, and customer service need an IT service delivery desk of their own. These teams can use an ESM strategy to consolidate their internal systems into a single framework. For example, when HR onboards a new employee, they can send a badge request to the procurement department. Once the badge is approved, IT issues access, and site security provides a new badge for the worker to use for parking, computers, and site facilities. All this can be accomplished using a single portal.


ESM’s benefits are multifold and beneficial to both employees and end users. For example, if an employee needs to consult HR for a specific request, all they have to do is create a request on their employee portal. Using the same portal, HR receives the request and resolves the issue without having to sift through tons of documents. This leads to improved employee productivity and employee satisfaction.


Other benefits of ESM include optimized workflows, automation, decreased conflicts within departments, higher rates of customer success, enterprise-wide access to services, and improved visibility within your organization.


Cloud services help ESM

Cloud services already play a significant role in ESM, as they allow synchronizing processes across the entire organization. These technologies enable remote employees to work with ease — something that’s necessary for the rise of remote working culture. Many organizations have adapted their platforms and tools to help instill a hybrid customer servicing concept, enabling asynchronous collaboration.


You can include all your knowledge resources on one platform, giving your employees a single interface to access this information. Consolidating everything on a single portal enables improved resource management. When you adopt ESM, you more closely consider overall business objectives.


Cloud services also facilitate automation and trouble-free workflows to help employees focus on tasks requiring human intervention. You can use service management tools like Jira Service Management (JSM) to automate activities and implement increased control and governance.


JSM enables every team within your organization to become a service team. For example, previously, accounting departments mainly issued purchase orders and other documents. After adopting ESM, they become a service provider, using a personalized portal with templates for daily tasks like payment requests. JSM also offers features like service request management, knowledge management, and delegated administration permissions.

Using Jira for ITSM workflows

Jira benefits ITSM workflows in several ways. When Jira combines with ITSM, it’s called JSM. But, when organizations use Jira for non-technical purposes, it’s called ESM. In ESM, Jira plays a role in project management, change management, service request management, and facilities management.


JSM acts as a modern solution for implementing ITIL processes. These processes could include IT asset management, incident management, change management, knowledge management, and service management. JSM helps organizations implement innovative workflows through its management capabilities, increasing service delivery efficiency and stability.


Larger teams can adopt JSM using the cloud to start quickly because of its ease of setup and accessibility. It’s an excellent option for organizations who prefer to leave the hosting to an external provider.

Closing Thoughts

Cloud technologies have unquestionably enabled organizations to leverage digital transformation. From ITSM to ESM, cloud services have helped unify organizational processes to improve efficiency and service delivery. ESM empowers people by promoting cross-organizational visibility and gives them more time for work that truly requires their attention.


To begin empowering your teams and digitally transforming your organization through ESM, schedule a call with E7 Solutions today. Also, be sure to check out our webinar with Atlassian and Appfire to learn how we changed the way we work with organizations to solve ITSM challenges and provide modernized processes.

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