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How to Grow ESM in Your Organisation: Or Why You Will Want To By Tuan Vu

Enterprise Service Management (ESM) is called upon by organisations to help them to provide a unified approach to service delivery. But statistics show that this way of working is still relatively unknown within UK businesses. In fact, 46% are unfamiliar with ESM.

With this in mind, many organisations are likely struggling to:

  1. Prove why their business should be investing in ESM.
  2. Grow ESM within their organisation.

If you’re an advocate for ESM in your company, it may feel like you’re fighting a losing battle or wasting your time on an impossible task. But I’m here to tell you that ESM is worth all your effort and belief, and some simple methods will help you on your journey.

The worth of ESM

Before you can begin to grow ESM within your organisation, you’ll need to prove why this is a worthy cause for investment. And this is where ESM is at its strongest. Eighty-nine percent of businesses who use ESM say that it brings value to their organisation. But what does this value look like?

Firstly, it comes in cost savings – 95% of businesses say ESM saves them money, and not just a bit, between 11 and 30% of their annual costs (according to 57%)! Then there’s the impact it has on our employee’s happiness. Seventy-two percent of business leaders recognise that cross-departmental working benefits employee engagement and experience. And when our staff are happy, they’re driven to making our customers happy too. Also, ESM makes us efficient. Departments working in sync means were sharing process and knowledge, which ultimately saves us time and resources.

Putting ESM into practice

Knowing the benefits of ESM and realising the benefits of ESM in your organisation are two completely different kettle of fish.

It is often a daunting and difficult journey to implement this way of working, with hurdles along the way and forces trying to hamper our success. But the journey is well worth the effort. And through the experiences of those who have succeeded before us, we have some tangible methods to ensure success is on our side.

Let’s dive into some tips:

  1. Start small and work in bitesize chunks

The key thing to remember when it comes to ESM is that this is a long-term solution, not something that we can implement overnight and then see the benefits from the next day.

It’s a bit like running a marathon – you can’t just wake up one morning and decide to run the 26.2-mile distance without any training or preparation. Instead, it takes months of incremental steps to allow our bodies to adjust to the challenge. For example, we might aim first to run a 5km and spend a few weeks building up to this. Only once this distance is achieved can the next milestone be considered: 10km.

Tackle ESM with a similar mindset. Our organisation is not immediately ready to abandon the processes ingrained in the way it works. But by starting with a small goal (implementing ESM in one department) and then continuing to work in manageable bitesize chunks (onboarding one department at a time), our business will slowly but surely adjust to a point where we have a unified approach to service delivery.

  1. Choose your first implementation wisely

The first department which implements ESM is key to success. Choose a team that is open and willing to experiment, one who will embrace and understand the new technology being brought to them.

If the journey begins with a department that is resistant to change and scared of making mistakes, it will likely fall at the first hurdle. The IT team is often a great place to start. With their tech-focused knowledge, they will quickly pick up the nuances of ESM. Plus, they’re likely to be the ones who will be troubleshooting future issues with the system, so they need comprehensive knowledge and experience.

  1. Understand the landscape

Whenever you enter a new departmental implementation, take time to understand the landscape that you are working in. It’s vital to use the diffusion of innovations theory to identify the innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

This can be used to our advantage to target members of the team likely to embrace the new system from day one (innovators and early adopters). It’s also key to recognise the champions of the group (advocates of the project). The more people we can get on board, the easier it will be to prove to the laggards (the last to adopt innovation through reluctance) the value of ESM.

  1. Leverage current resources

ESM is there to help us work better together, to stop the duplication of processes and resources; Embrace this approach from the start.

Leverage what you already have, for example, knowledge and processes that can be easily transferred. Don’t look to fix things that are not broken but elevate these things so that they can be utilised by the entire organisation.

An ideal place to store relevant resources is in a knowledge base, any skills, processes, and documents can be uploaded to this area which will be a single source of truth for the business.

  1. Commit to a flexible approach

Implementing ESM is a long-term project. Commit to a flexible approach throughout the journey, one where you can adapt to the changing needs of the business. Because things do change.

Take the events of 2020 as an example, none of us could have predicted how the worldwide pandemic would affect the way business operates. Organisations had to adjust to a remote workforce, and when restrictions lifted, they had to navigate an office with social distancing. During this time, businesses adapted their ESM solutions in unexpected ways, such as creating a workflow for users to book hot desks, ensuring that office capacity is not breached and that cleaning protocols are adhered to.

Achieving unified service delivery is possible

The benefits associated with the adoption of ESM far outweigh the difficulties it may take to implement this way of working. After all, what organisation isn’t looking to save costs, make their employees happier (in turn, attracting the best talent around), and work more efficiently.

But the fact remains that 46% of businesses are unaware of ESM. If you’re an advocate that’s been staying silent due to not having the tools to implement and grow ESM, take this as a call to action.

You now have the facts to answer the why and you can use the five simple steps listed above to successfully grow ESM in your organisation. Fear not, achieving unified service delivery is possible.


Statistics in this article come from a 2020 survey: Transforming the Norm.

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