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There are many definitions and uses of the term Enterprise Service Management in our industry. It can be confusing but it's worth defining because Enterprise Service Management is a powerful framework you'll want to leverage extensively in your digital transformation. So, what is Enterprise Service Management or ESM?

Is it even called "Enterprise Service Management" now?

Let's start with the first word of this phrase, Enterprise. Earlier this year, Praecipio Consulting conducted a survey on the state of Service Management. One of the questions we asked attempted to get right to the heart of this particular debate:

Is it called "Enterprise Service Management"?

Responses Percentage
Service Management 39%
Enterprise Service Management 29%
Digital Transformation 12%
ITSM 11%
Digital Workflow Enablement 4%
Other 5%

Source: Praecipio Consulting 2021 State of Service Management Survey.

Service Management originated within IT organizations (and is often referred to as IT Service Management, or ITSM). Enterprise Service Management then was often used to describe the application of Service Management's principles and practices for teams outside of IT.

Service Management in Practice

A good way to get a feel for Service Management is to look at some examples of how it can help various functions within an enterprise. We've seen customers use Service Management to level up across their organization with amazing results.

Whether the customers are internal or external, every organizational function is in the business of providing service. The facilities team provides well-maintained, functional physical spaces. The accounting team provides financial record-keeping and reporting. Human resources provide talent recruitment, employment policy, and wellness programs. The IT helpdesk and customer support teams are also classic examples, and the list goes on.

While all of these teams serve different purposes, they all deliver services to customers. In that light, they share the practices and capabilities of Service Management. Each team needs to manage these common attributes in order to deliver an exceptional service experience Some examples include:

  • Request intake
  • Resource workload
  • Incidents (when things don't go quite as planned)
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Metrics and improvement
  • Change

Each team often has a variety of use cases for some or all of the list above. Problems arise when each team or department is using its own customized program or solution. For example, when teams try to work collaboratively, having siloed tools creates friction and slows down processes.

This is what Service Management was designed to address.

Frameworks Guide Us

The most effective way to adopt Service Management is to work from a comprehensive framework, like ITIL 4. Looking at the highest levels of ITIL, the practices, we get a sense of how it can be used to define and improve service delivery.

The largest ITIL practice area, Service Management, is comprised of 17 practices, including Service Desk, Availability Management, Change Control, Incident Management, and Validation/Testing.

Managing your organization’s service delivery using these practices produces an upward spiral of improvement and capability. As consultants, this is where we spend most of our time, designing and configuring the Atlassian Service Management tools to enable these critical practices.

In Conclusion

While it's tempting to start with tools as a solution to service delivery challenges, you must first begin with the practice and treat the tool as a supporting component. This enables you to define critical policy and strategy decisions that align the entire organization instead of losing focus and having to constantly reinvent the wheel. Additionally, this mindset will set you up for success in preparing your teams for the ever-changing business landscape of our digital future.

To read more about Service Management, check out our blog on how Service Management is More Than an IT Service Desk. 

There's a big wide world of Service Management out there and it can be a little confusing to navigate! Let us be your guide! Get in touch and let's determine how Praecipio Consulting can best help you adopt and accelerate Service Management throughout your organization.

Kye Hittle

Written by Kye Hittle

Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Platinum Partner

This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

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