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Weaving the Digital Fabric with Enterprise Service Management


Today, most enterprises operate under a mandate to leverage technology competitively to create high-quality customer experiences, increase process efficiency, and automate and operate at scale. This change has pushed IT to the forefront of business, making it a critical success factor in the quest to digitize operations.

As enterprises grow in scale and complexity, IT services are being integrated into core processes across various business units. Consequently, traditional IT service management (ITSM) struggles to address the demand to manage service delivery in a function-agnostic manner. Increasingly, organizations are adopting enterprise service management (ESM), which applies concepts and capabilities across the business to improve transparency, business continuity, and productivity, while reducing costs.

The rise of enterprise service management

At its core, a move to digital involves reimagining and reinventing the business to better sync with the digital economy. With high stakes and little time, many organizations are managing their efforts by deploying across business functions the same IT infrastructure library practices that have successfully revamped the IT organization. This cross-function adoption has spawned the rise of ESM.

ESM can be viewed as an extension of ITSM. However, where ITSM focuses on service delivery across the IT function, ESM plays the same role across the expansive business. By digitizing processes and coordinating efforts across the business, ESM drives innovation, collaboration, agility and scalability. This positions the business to meet ever-increasing customer and employee expectations. By applying ESM, organizations can create well-defined operational processes, deliver enhanced end-value, and allow tighter integration of data and processes.

Forward-looking businesses are going a step further by using ESM as a key component of their enterprise-wide digital initiatives. These organizations understand the value of cross-department teamwork, and enlist ESM to break down internal silos by creating a model that guides collaboration.

ESM offers many other benefits to digital revitalization, including:

  • Improve service delivery. ESM compels enterprises to track service delivery across the organization, not just within IT.

  • Make process improvements more efficiently. By tracking services and identifying value chains, organizations use ESM to spot and correct bottlenecks that are slowing processes, thereby increasing process efficiency.

  • Support enterprise-wide collaborative governance. As the ESM platform facilitates services that are delivered by and to different business functions, it identifies and organizes roles and responsibilities. This information helps break down silos and supports enterprise-wide governance through an enterprise workflow automation framework.

  • Advance with automation. With ESM, organizations can more effectively find and act on process automation opportunities, as the platform identifies and documents processes.

Delivering device management reassurance to an insurance major 

A large insurance provider in North America with more than 500,000 devices under IT management faced the challenge to migrate and catalog its 2,000 knowledge articles as well as deploy and customize core service management modules in ServiceNow. We met the challenge by implementing ServiceNow using an enterprise workflow automation fabric that helped migrate and catalog the knowledge articles. This helped reduce incident resolution time by 25% and improve the customer experience through the self-service portal.

Considerations for ESM

A move to digitize processes through ESM comes with a few considerations:

Data accuracy

Enterprise-wide data accuracy assumes greater importance under an ESM approach, with information stored and shared across the organization. The call for a “single version of the truth” is often answered by adopting an ESM platform, such as ServiceNow, which leverages information from IT Service Management (ITSM), Configuration Management Databases (CMDB) and other IT and business systems.

Intelligent automation

ESM will usher in new opportunities for added automation and machine intelligence across the business. By leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques ESM can help resolve service issues more effectively, increase help desk performance, reduce tickets, facilitate self-help and self-service, and reduce human intervention. With AI- and ML-driven service operations combined with predictive analytics, enterprises can access highly actionable insights, make better decisions, and increase efficiency.

Enhanced user experience

ESM can bring a more consumer-like feel to the employee service experience. By adding a knowledge base and service management platform, organizations can offer users personalized service portals accessible at any time from any device. Self-help features reduce administrative overhead, as users appreciate effortless access to all the services that they need to perform their duties.

A platform-based framework

To reap the full benefits of ESM, organizations should establish a framework and workflow fabric that encompasses many new technologies and capabilities. In our experience helping companies embrace ESM, we have found that a platform approach is generally more successful than weaving together a variety of “off-the-shelf” tools. We recommend adopting a framework that includes advanced workflows as well as capabilities for data mining, predictive analytics, AI, ML and DevOps. The framework should offer tested methodologies, accelerators and blueprints, as well as ready-to-deploy business applications in a modular architecture that supports process digitization and business transformation across the enterprise. Such a framework will help organizations reduce risk, enhance performance and bring greater agility to service delivery.

Weaving your way to ESM

ESM serves as a harmonizing and accelerating force for most any major digital initiative that extends beyond the confines of the IT department. The practices are well proven, having spawned from the mature world of ITSM, and include the latest technologies, such as predictive analytics, AI and machine learning. In our experience, organizations that adopt an ESM framework achieve more profound value by first identifying operational gaps and then applying metrics that align business objectives to the expected outcomes. Only then is ESM ready to do its best work to drive higher operational excellence.

To learn how we can help your enterprise reinvent, transform and future-proof your business through ESM and ServiceNow, please contact us here.

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Weaving the Digital Fabric with Enterprise Service Management