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How Enterprise Service Management Can Power Intuitive and Collaborative Experiences


To make good on the promise of aesthetically pleasing and engaging user interfaces that deliver hyper-personalized and anticipatory experiences, IT organizations must embrace the tenets of enterprise service management. Here’s how …

For years, IT service management (ITSM) has been considered a purely IT function, far from the sight of business leaders. Today, however, businesses increasingly understand they can’t shift into the digital economy without it. In fact, many businesses we work with now consider it a crucial first step in their digital strategy.

This is because enabling enterprise-wide operational excellence, high-quality customer engagements and IT agility — all of which are needed to function as a digital enterprise —requires a holistic approach rather than applying technology in bits and pieces. As customer expectations of technology services change, so should the underlying processes that manage these services. This calls for a complete revamp of the archaic back-office systems that are slow, risk-prone and lack transparency.

With this approach, service management is poised to break out of the IT department and become an all-encompassing feature across the organization. Forward-looking organizations are exploring the full potential of service management platforms to drive quality engagements and elevated experiences across the enterprise.

Transforming IT Service Management into Enterprise Service Management

Organizations that aspire to drive better business results should adopt an enterprise-wide service management strategy that blends operational excellence factors with experience management. They should expand the scope of service management beyond IT to business functions across the enterprise. The new service management mantra — from user interface design and omnichannel communications to systems of engagement — allows organizations to deliver superior user experiences.

Figure 1

This is known as enterprise service management (ESM), and is a crucial step toward achieving digital goals. According to Forrester, ESM is critical for enterprises to keep up with the scale and speed of business change. Applying ESM practices, capabilities and disciplines into other business areas such as human resources, field services, finance, legal, facilities and customer service can help organizations reap greater benefits.

Key Imperatives for Enterprise Service Management

A well-architected ESM strategy can help organizations eliminate complexities by simplifying process flows and modernizing systems to offer an enriched customer experience. The strategy should be infused with intuitive processes, seamless workflow automation and predictive operating models, without which even well-defined processes will fail to deliver desired results.

The key imperatives for an ESM strategy include:

Elevated user experience.

Providing positive and meaningful user experiences by going beyond basic user needs enhances loyalty and creates a culture of trust in the organization. Technologies such as virtual assistants, chatbots, artificial intelligence and machine learning can bring about process efficiencies, higher productivity and cost savings, but it is equally important to broaden the scope of service management to design solutions that address specific user pain points via personalized self-service and virtual agents. By leveraging the power of ESM tools like ServiceNow’s Now Platform, organizations can turn business processes into digital workflows or build new applications to deliver a smart, intuitive, high-quality and consistent experience.

Seamless collaboration.

Achieving the highest degree of collaboration across the organization requires breaking down silos to automate, consolidate and modernize enterprise-wide operations. ESM intersects with other organizational capabilities, such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, project portolio management, IT financial management, legal case management and so on with a DevOps-specific business service workflow that delivers high-quality services quickly and predictably. This creates new convergences that firmly position an organization to deliver transparent and efficient service experiences to their customers.

Intuitive processes.

Reimagining processes with a human-centered design approach — processes that are intuitive and simplify tasks with built-in intelligence powered by AI and machine learning — can significantly transform the way businesses work. In addition to reducing costs and delivering workforce and process efficiencies, ESM can also open the doors to automation across the organization, with solutions based on self-learning systems and decisions that go beyond basic process automation.

Predictable operations.

Predictability in operations can go a long way toward fostering a culture of innovation by enabling employees to focus on providing high-quality products and services. Beyond creating a system of seamless collaboration and intuitive processes, ESM also offers AI and machine learning capabilities that provide predictive intelligence to remediate projected risks before they impact service delivery. By cultivating an environment in which the organization can easily predict the outcome of its business operations, the business can create a culture of trust and consistently high-quality employee and customer experiences.

Where ESM’s Rubber Meets the Road

We worked with Loblaw, one of the largest Canadian food retailers, on an ESM initiative. Using a single ServiceNow platform to connect previously siloed business and functional units, the grocery retailer achieved seamless collaboration and improved the experience of its customers and employees.

The new system supports employee onboarding and off-boarding, HR case management, and enterprise risk and compliance. Automation of manual tasks and processes has reduced costs by 33%, improved efficiency and elevated employee experience, freeing up 25% of support staff to focus on more important tasks. Meanwhile, large-scale self-service adoption has contributed to a 20% decrease in call volumes. ESM has also empowered Loblaw to deliver future innovations that matter for the business, creating connected business processes that reach far beyond IT.

Staying relevant in today’s digital-driven world requires IT systems o address the larger needs of an organization — beyond just processes and technology. Today’s systems need to transform the experience of end users and create sustainable competitive advantages through speed and quality. Organizations that are well prepared to make the leap from IT to business technology can expect a big payoff down the road.

To learn more, visit the Infrastructure Services section of our website, read “Weaving the Digital Fabric with Enterprise Service Management,” or contact us. You can also visit us at ServiceNow’s Knowledge19 event.

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How Enterprise Service Management Can Power Intuitive and Collaborative Experiences