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How to extend IT service management to the whole business

Elina Pirjanti Senior Manager, ITSM Consultant Lead, Cognizant

Business decision makers are not interested in enterprise service management per se, but they are interested in digital services. To connect the two, you need to articulate the opportunity in business terms.

IT service management (ITSM) is a familiar discipline for handling service desk and other service management functions within IT, but services are everywhere in the enterprise. Service management is about how to deliver services—any services—efficiently and effectively.

Still, other services in the enterprise are not usually managed with the same rigor that IT applies with ITSM. Employees are constantly burdened with ineffective administrative tasks. HR, facilities, legal, sourcing, and other departments should serve their customers and manage their services equally well. And leaders need to know exactly what is going on so they can make good decisions based on data.

Here's how to extend ITSM beyond the IT department.

The business case to focus on enterprise services

If you start thinking about how inefficient it is when an organization's employees can't find or receive services, and about how delivery teams too often manage requests via paper, emails, and spreadsheets, you'll quickly understand why it makes sense to digitize those enterprise services.

Here are two examples.

Employee on-boarding

When a new employee starts, HR must set up company and employee records, and IT must set up the employee with a laptop, mobile phone, subscriptions, software, accounts, and so on. And the new hire needs a desk, business cards, and other office supplies.

How long is that new employee unproductive, waiting until everything needed is delivered? Let's say it takes a week to get all of that done. If you hire 1,000 employees over a year, that's 5,000 unproductive person-days. At $500 per person per day, your cost would be $2.5 million.

Material requests

You want to request business cards. It takes you 30 minutes to find out how to order, place the order, and answer questions from the delivery team. In a 15,000-person organization, if each employee spends 30 minutes to complete such tasks six to seven times a year, then that 30 minutes is expended as much as 105,000 times per year, which adds up to over $2 million in unnecessary costs from lost productivity—and that's just on the requestor's side.

It all adds up to a big pile of money.

Technology is an enabler of an enterprise service management

This is where IT can help. Do you know what people are searching for, how many orders come to different departments, who is working on a request, and how long it takes to get the requested service? You probably don't, because that information is often hidden in emails, calls, and different IT systems. So how can you start managing these services when even basic information is missing?

First, you need to capture what's going on. After you have gathered the relevant data, you can start planning, forecasting, optimizing, and using other service management practices and processes.

How to begin managing enterprise services

Here are two options for managing enterprise services.

Start small and build demand by business decision makers

  • Create a simple request-management system around, for example, the most popular HR services. This doesn't have to be complex. Just build a site where employees can find and place orders, a ticketing system for following up on requests, an email notification system, and a simple dashboard to track the volume and workload. Then you'll need to teach departments and their employees how to find and use the new system.

  • Deploy it and see how it goes. Collect data and help HR see the benefits of its new tracking system.

  • Let everyone know about this success story. Measure key performance indicators (KPIs), both before and after, from different perspectives—customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, delivery time, delivery costs, employee productivity, number of complaints, etc.

  • Be prepared to deliver. If the job is well done, everyone else will want it too. In that case you'd better be ready with the right resources, architecture, licenses, governance, business consulting skills, and so on—all planned out.

Make service management a strategic choice

  • This is more difficult, but it's your best option if you can pull it off. If you can get business leaders to understand the business value of applying enterprise service management digitization across the organization, it can become a powerful tool for the business to become more user- and customer-friendly and to manage its internal and external services better.

  • Think about who can make it happen. Is there a person in charge of all shared enterprise services, from IT to HR to facilities? If you have a certain tool in mind, you also need to convince your enterprise architects about the tool's capabilities.

  • Start small, to deliver benefits quicker.

  • Think about the right order and roadmap to extend service management.

  • Take the time you need to define the foundations. The most difficult parts are defining the enterprise services and service owners and having the right organization and operating model in place. The technology part is easy.

Put the customer first

Before you get started, think about why you want to manage enterprise services and who your customers are. What do they need? What is their biggest pain point? If you don't have these answers, you risk digitizing something that doesn't add value, implementing a legacy process that's too cumbersome, or over-engineering the technology. Keep it simple, and put the customer first.

For more about enterprise service management, attend my presentation, "Myths and Legends of Enterprise Service Management," at the Fusion18 conference in St. Louis. The conference runs from September 30 to October 3, 2018. TechBeacon readers receive a $200 discount by registering with promo code TECH18.

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