A few years back, IT services started going online supported by web applications with capabilities to receive, monitor, and track the progress of a customer request. By automating a physical queue at a service desk into the digital space, the performance of IT service delivery was streamlined. The tasks of managing the service queue and providing the technical support were decoupled and handled separately which greatly improved the performance of IT service delivery.
Over the years, many organizations have adopted the learnings from automated IT service management and applied them to other business processes. Consequently, many business processes switched from hard physical documentation to a lean digitized web application-based control. By breaking down business operations into processes and looking at each process as a service to be delivered, it became feasible to digitize the entire process and leverage IT tools to streamline it. Enterprise Service Management (ESM) is the philosophy of viewing business processes as services that can be delivered and tracked across the organization. But what makes such a view attractive for businesses?
Enterprise Service Management or ESM is the application of digitization of business processes by utilizing IT capabilities. It involves breaking down an organization's business processes into a workflow, weeding out the irrelevant steps, digitizing that workflow in the form of an enterprise-scale application, and creating databases and systems to retain and retrieve information. ESM is increasingly being deployed in many business functions as it brings a standardized, integrated, and holistic approach to business operations. ESM also ensures that all steps are completed diligently in a business process to meet the quality objectives of the business.
Take an example of HR attendance processing in an organization. Employees use access cards to log the in/out timestamps in a database. If an employee opts for leave on a particular day, he or she can access a web portal on his or her work desk, apply for a leave request online, notify the manager, enter the leave record. Upon receiving the leave request from the employee, the system takes over the task of channeling the attendance information to all relevant people and logs. Compare this to the traditional roster of employee attendance where employees physically enter their time log. The log then needs to be manually transferred to the payroll records, all calculations are manual, and records kept in physical form. The digital workflow for HR attendance records is scalable, accurate, and efficient.
ESM enhances the business value stream by tapping into the latest technology and automation capabilities. Digitization of business processes eliminates human factors that become a bottleneck in smooth operations and standardizes the approach. Let's look at a few advantages that ESM brings to your business:
Business operations are often cluttered and difficult to monitor. It is nearly impossible for workflow managers to monitor the progress in large organizations. Consequently, work often piles up in a queue and disrupts the process. ESM addresses this concern in an elegant way.
There are the twin tasks of managing the queue while servicing the customer in the front of the line, at any physical service desk. The task becomes challenging when the queue becomes long, and the only option is to add more service desks. ESM takes the task of managing the queue away from the people providing the service. ESM takes requests and moves them through the predefined workflow for seamless delivery. By focusing on the task at hand, the service delivered improves significantly. Digitization of the business process often eliminates redundant steps in the business process that do not add value. ESM also offers real-time monitoring capabilities to streamline service delivery. To summarize, ESM directly improves efficiency and the bottom line.
ESM standardizes the business process that brings predictability and uniformity to the business operations. Many aspects of business processes that would require immense physical documentation and record-keeping are simplified by ESM. Digitization of records and data renders it easy for retrieval and monitoring. Routine monitoring of workflows can improve the delivery of services and drive efficiency. Feedback mechanisms in ESM help in recording non-compliance or complaints that help in process improvements. ESM is a one-stop-shop for quality improvements for an organization.
Scalability is a critical factor for business growth and in times of market uncertainties. ESM improves the scalability of business operations significantly. Leveraging on the latest technologies like Cloud, ESM can handle a wide range of work volumes that can stretch itself effortlessly with business operations.
ESM can be coupled with AI and machine learning capabilities to tap into the organizational knowledge to deliver better services and products. Organizational knowledge management and dissemination is a key function that can be handled by the automation capabilities of ESM.
ESM offers immense potential to improve business operations. However, like any tool, it needs to be crafted and wielded correctly to produce the desired results. The development of ESM for business functions requires an integrated approach by the IT teams and the personnel from the particular business functions. Every business function should adopt a continuous improvement mindset and work with the ESM developers seamlessly to deploy a system that achieves the business objectives. ESM, when done right, delivers business improvements and competitive advantage.
ESM presents an immense opportunity to streamline business operations and drive efficiency improvements for growth. At Wolken, we have been enabling this vision for the last decade for our clients. Starting with a passion for delivering the best customer service, we have grown into a world-class service desk catering to big names in various industry segments. We provide ESM solutions to a wide range of businesses across different sectors. If you wish to collaborate with us, please get in touch with our team, and we will be glad to help your business.