To continue with the theme of Enterprise Service Management (ESM), this week we look at the opportunities it presents to IT.
The IT department is a center for service management excellence within the business. IT is the most complex service domain, responsible for tens (or hundreds) of thousands of assets and how they interact to create services and business value. Effective IT operations are founded on solid processes and process automation, so the IT department knows a lot about managing activity to deliver value. In more mature IT organizations, service management is a proven methodology for delivering value to the business, based on:
Service-oriented strategy, design, transition, operations and improvement.
Effective demand management using the latest technologies.
Process-driven activity management.
Deep understanding of complex value networks.
Balancing cost against value.
Efficient, business prioritized support structures that solve problems when things go wrong.
The opportunity for IT is to leverage this knowledge and experience in other areas of the business. But it’s not as simple as mapping what IT does directly over other departments. Each service domain has its own way of doing things. They have their own internal customer demands, services and execution processes. They have their own people, culture, language and attitudes. Success in ESM requires a shift in perspective within IT: from the traditional “inside-out” silo mentality (where IT has something of a “them-and-us” attitude) to a more holistic business perspective that takes into account the specific challenges and needs of each service domain.
When we examine the common challenges that service domains face, the scope of Enterprise Service Management emerges and the full extent of the opportunity which IT now has (to deliver transformational value to the business) becomes clear. The task is to apply specially-tailored best practices to other service domains, and tie it all together with an enterprise-wide service portal. IT already has many of the tools (people, processes, technology) that business functions need to make their operations work more efficiently and effectively. The primary challenge lies in adapting what IT does to fit an array of different departments.
It is undeniable that technology is a key driver for businesses today. The use of technology transcends departmental, geographical and hierarchic boundaries. Enterprise technology, once the domain of people in lab coats, now lives out in the business. There isn’t a single corner of a modern enterprise organization where technology hasn’t been put in place to automate and streamline at least some of the core work being done. But although manytasks themselvesare automated, the processes that thread these tasks together to create value are often handled manually – which means requests often get lost, dropped, or executed in first-come-first-served order that doesn’t mesh well with actual business priorities.
ESM is an opportunity for IT to apply effective service management and process automation across the business to move the tide-mark of technology up once more - from the level of task automation to business process automation.
You can read more about Enterprise Service Management in this whitepaper: