American entrepreneur Robert Half once said, “Convincing yourself doesn’t win an argument.” You might be well aware that you need to invest in new software that will make your company more productive (such as an enterprise service management solution). However, while you might be convinced of this need, decision-makers may have yet to see the light.
How do you convince them of the necessity for Enterprise Service Management (ESM)? You have to build a compelling business case. ESM becomes more persuasive when you can demonstrate that the solution increases efficiency, makes employees more productive, increases user morale, creates greater accountability, improves visibility, and delivers higher ROI on ITSM solutions.
ESM: Increasing Efficiency
Think about how your organization delivers services at the moment – how would you describe it? Does the word “efficient” come to mind? For most organizations, it sadly does not.
What’s the problem with corporate service delivery? For a start, it’s highly manual. You might send someone an email, call them, or even visit someone’s office to request a service. That’s not an efficient way of accomplishing tasks.
“A 2015 survey from SDI reported that 55% of respondents are planning on implementing ESM”
Manual processes waste time. Moreover, they don’t ensure that needs are met. For example, if you send an email about booking a room, but no one replies, that necessitates a follow-up phone call. And if no one picks up, the room might be booked by the time you make your way over to the office to find out what’s going on in person.
ESM solutions increase efficiency by automating the service request process. Instead of sending an email, you can open up a chatbot or navigate to a self-service portal into which you type your request. We’ll use the room-booking example, as it’s quite popular – the solution can check an internal calendar to see whether the desired room is available on the desired date, saving time and effort.
ESM: Making Employees More Productive
ESM has a significant role to play in making employees more productive. We’ll use the example of employee onboarding to demonstrate.
It’s Samantha’s first day on the job. She shows up, ready and eager to work, only to discover that IT and HR haven’t completed the processes required to get her up and running – Samantha doesn’t have a login for the platform she needs to access, and HR still needs to enter her information into the system so she can get paid. Not only is it frustrating for Samantha, but her lack of access to the systems she needs also renders her unproductive.
“If it takes a week to complete the onboarding process, and you hire 1,000 new employees over a year, that’s 5,000 days of non-productivity”
How could ESM make Samantha more productive? The HR and IT teams could quickly and easily request services through a self-service platform. An automated solution works with downstream systems to ensure that logins can access necessary applications as well as assuring that employee data is properly entered in systems of record so they can get paid and receive any benefits.
ESM: Improving Employee Morale
By adopting ESM, you can actually improve employee morale. We’ll go back to the previous example.
Because Samantha couldn’t start working on the first day of her new job, she feels like she’s wasting her time. Samantha feels frustrated – she no longer feels excited about this new opportunity. Experiences such as that lower employee morale.
“Ten percent of workers have left a job because of technology frustrations”
The effect of low employee morale isn’t anything to ignore. When employees have low morale, they become disengaged from their jobs. In turn, disengaged employees work less, which costs companies money; Gallup estimates that 22 million disengaged employees cause firms to lose as much as $350 billion per year.
Imagine what that situation would look like if it was easier for employees to do their jobs because they had technology such as an ESM solution. An ESM solution would make it simpler for employees to request services such as Facilities and HR. As a result, they could complete work much faster, which would make them feel productive and increase their morale.
ESM: Creating a Sense of Accountability
The way that ESM works will generate greater accountability within your organization. Requests can no longer fall through the cracks – the days of people claiming that they didn’t get this email or missed that phone call are over.
An ESM solution increases accountability because there’s a record of a request being made. To go back to our earlier example of booking a room, you’ll have proof that you made a request on a certain date at a certain time.
“According to an HDI survey, 25% of companies have implemented ITSM principles outside of IT”
Moreover, ESM solutions can shed light on who is actually responsible for fulfilling requests. At some organizations, there can be confusion as to which person or department is in charge of what. ESM clarifies this so that people understand who does what once and for all.
ESM: Improving Visibility
Accountability and visibility are tightly linked. You can’t have one without the other, and an ESM solution delivers both.
How do ESM tools enhance visibility? As mentioned in the previous paragraph, you can see exactly what request was made, when it was made, and by whom. Additionally, you can see whether requests have been fulfilled and how long it took to fulfill them.
“In a 2017 KPMG study, 20% of businesses are moving towards a global business services model”
Having greater visibility into what requests are being made gives you the power to transform your operations. You can measure how many requests are being fulfilled and how quickly those requests are being fulfilled. If those rates are low, you can launch an investigation into why.
Thanks to the power of visibility, you can better satisfy your end-users. In the Age of the Consumer, your employees are no longer satisfied with poor service delivery. They demand more, and if they don’t get it, they’ll become disengaged and lose their morale.
ESM: Increasing Your ITSM Solution’s ROI
Another reason to implement an ESM solution is that you’ll get even more ROI out of your ITSM solution. That kind of logic is music to decision makers’ ears – they will love the idea of getting even more use out of a solution that is highly useful already.
How can an ESM solution boost the ROI on your ITSM solution even further? An ESM solution can be tied into an existing ITSM solution. Instead of navigating to a separate ESM solution, employees can make requests in the same place that they submit help desk tickets.
“Gartner’s researchers note that 50% of work handled by ITSM solutions is non-IT-based”
Adding an ESM component to your ITSM solution will increase the usage of your ITSM solution. The more a software is used (and the more it delivers on its promises), the higher ROI you’ll see.
Moreover, people are accustomed to using your existing ITSM solution. Learning to use new standalone ESM software would create a learning curve, which costs time and ultimately money. Because they’ll be using something they already know, that will save time and money.
Bolstering Your Business Case
The arguments above are compelling. However, you still might need even more to convince decision makers that ESM tools are the right fit for your firm.
Decision-makers need a clear understanding of what the problem is that you’re trying to solve. You might see gross inefficiencies, low productivity, poor morale, and practically zero accountability and visibility as negative qualities. But not everyone sees those things, let alone realizes that they’re leading to an undesirable state of affairs.
“Sixty-five percent of high-maturity organizations use ITSM tools or suites outside of IT”
Show how exactly these problems are hurting your firm. Explain what you could accomplish if these hurdles were overcome. Decision makers want to see that an investment will pay off.
Next, you need to show where ESM tools fit into your organization. If you have an existing ITSM solution into which ESM would easily integrate, make sure decision-makers know that. It will show them that the investment won’t create an added burden, and that it will actually boost the ROI on your ITSM solution.
“Seventy-seven percent of respondents to an HDI survey said they implemented ITSM tools beyond IT to improve the customer experience”
From there, spell out what resources you need to put ESM tools in place. This includes manpower, hardware, and software. After reviewing what resources you need, explain what benefits ESM tools will deliver to your organization to make it leaner and more successful.
There is a multitude of advantages to implementing ESM tools. You can make arguments for it based on tangible factors (it will increase efficiency by a certain percentage) as well as intangible factors (it will boost employee morale). Understanding all that ESM solutions can do for you helps you make a more persuasive case. To learn more about ESM, download From ITSM to ESM: The Evolution of the Digital Enterprise.