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Enterprise Service Management

A panacea for uncertain times?

Complexity and chaos surround us, requiring an ever-increasing rate of change to remain current. This comes at a cost, including at times making the wrong decisions, with some organisations struggling to keep up.

The pandemic feels a long time ago, and the discourse has shifted from seeking cures for our health, to seeking cures for our economic woes. One of the solutions has to be to make organisations more efficient; to use limited resources in a more sustainable way for the benefit of our society and planet. Throwing more technology at our problems is not a sustainable way to solve them. Our ways of thinking and working need to adapt. But what does this look like? How can you do this and where should you start?

Understanding how to keep up

There are a plethora of good practice frameworks and methodologies around to help, but if not used wisely they can create more overhead and confusion. Do we ever ask why these frameworks work? What’s behind them?

Enterprise Service Management (ESM) was discovered around 4 years ago, out of frustration with the burdensome IT Service Management frameworks at the time. From this has emerged a versatile and pragmatic model that has created a step change in our thinking around how organisations operate. While the answer to the titular question raised is likely to be ‘no’ (panacea; cure-all?), the fact that we’re even asking this is exciting. A framework like ESM that provides common and natural ways of working could be the key to unlocking the productivity puzzle and overcoming the complexity inherent in exponential change.

Figure 1: ESM is a holistic framework allowing understanding to turn into action

Out of the complexity of IT, ancient ways of working are discovered

The discovery of ‘Service Management’ has given departments structure and common ways of working to cope with the seemingly overwhelming complexity of modern IT systems. We know that IT is becoming more integrated with the rest of the organisation - a number of clients report that IT is now a direct customer service provider. This means IT ways of working need to be aligned with the rest of the organisation, and vice versa, under a common framework.

There is currently no accepted framework for doing this, and we can’t simply re-brand IT guidance as “enterprise” and expect our business colleagues to run with it. As the boundaries between business and IT continue to blur, we need to think holistically and develop a common language and a framework that works across the whole organisation. We need to think Enterprise.

Figure 2: Showing the evolution of Service Management within IT. Organisations have realised that IT ways of working can be applied across Facilities and HR for example to create Enterprise Shared Services. We propose the Enterprise Service Management goes much further and should be taken to mean a holistic framework

To do this we will step back in time to ancient Rome, before IT, to see how their organisations operated. It is remarkably similar to today: each seeking to provide services and making use of assets or resources to do this. Using our ancient example, we can build a framework independent of IT for a modern enterprise: an organisation in pursuit of value.

We can build up a common understanding of a service and see that what we end up with is a multi-dimensional model of the organisation. This provides a much more compelling explanation for modern good practice which can then be derived from the model.

Please reach out if you’d like to discuss how Enterprise Service Management can help your organisation and watch our video here