Enterprise Service Management- from Back Office to the Forefront

The rise of as-a-service digital technologies enabled by the cloud has transformed the role of information technology from a back-office support function to becoming the principal driver of business growth. As enterprises evolve and reinvent themselves digitally, services and processes across departments are being swept up and automated to offer more for less to various business functions.

Traditionally, the IT service catalog focused on handling IT tickets for issues such as laptops, network access, or even ID badges that had developed glitches. That has now evolved to enhance business functions, including customer service management, HR, facilities management, project portfolio management, security operations, cloud management, governance, risk, and compliance.

These business functions need to help the workforce be their best – happy employees, after all, make happy customers. With new-age enterprise service management tools, the workforce can be enabled by providing the right solution or information at the right time, so that they can efficiently perform their tasks without any hindrances. Additionally, this also affords an enhanced user experience, better control, transparency, and maintenance, all on a single platform.

Human-centric experiences to the fore
Take for example, how Human Resources departments are empowered by a human-centric service delivery approach. Employees today are conditioned by slick consumer-world service experiences, which have reprogrammed their expectations for comparable service experiences from their business services. They demand high-quality services and prefer quick self-service to contact support over phone or email that can be time and energy consuming.

The consumerization of employee experience is transforming HR departments into service delivery solutions to realign and automate functions such as recruitment, compensation, benefits, performance evaluation, compliance, legal, administration, and more. The fact that these functions can be accessed in an omnichannel fashion across desktops, mobiles, and virtual assistants, elevates the employee experience. Further, cloud-based service management platforms that enable this also provide HR leadership real-time insights into transactions and a system of engagement for cross-functional interactions.

Being a people-driven department, HR is saddled with repetitive tasks that consume needless man-hours and create issues such as response delays. The automation of information requests and routine issues via self-service, chatbots, and virtual agents in real-time, frees up HR professionals to focus on core human-centric programs that improve the employee experience. Now, imagine the same service management approach across myriad departments, empowered by a single, streamlined, intelligent, and intuitive technology platform.

From tech paradigm to business paradigm
The best part about these enterprise service management platforms is the minimal time and resources required to develop, configure, and customize them to an organization’s needs. For example, Conagra, a leading American packaged foods company, partnered with Infosys to set in motion a broader modernization program, starting with an implementation roadmap of the most important business applications on the ServiceNow platform. This stage was completed in a previously unheard-of 13-day timeframe bang in the middle of a pandemic, following which other crucial business applications were taken live.

Pre-configured process templates for individual departments and industries built on low-code no-code platforms drive adaptability, responsiveness, and agility to overcome disruption and ever-changing customer behaviors. Still, the effectiveness of any technological platform is best measured by how well it supports overall business performance and growth.

In a world transitioning to an era in which user experience can make or break a business, automating enterprise-wide processes such that workflows are streamlined to aid employees' ease of work, is imperative. Measuring intangibles such as experience, which itself is different for different individuals, can be overcome by assessing effectiveness across parameters. These could include user experience, underlying technologies used, process transformation, and eventual outcomes measured on a digital experience index as a way of measuring business value.

The present is AI
Technology innovations using cognitive Artificial Intelligence services such as vision, speech, language, and document interpretation are pushing boundaries towards optimizing the end-to-end user experience for delivering business efficiency outcomes. We are already moving towards all enterprise services delivered by a combination of intelligent automation, virtual agents, and smart humans assisted by AI. This empowers skilled talent – irrespective of function – to focus on innovative, high-value, game-changing work and not be consumed toiling on repetitive tasks. The consequent rise in productivity, innovation, and collaboration is just the injection of resilience that enterprises need in today’s crisis-hit business landscape.

AI embedded into service management platforms also has benefits for the C-suite. Machine learning applied to services-related operations and performance management yields much greater visibility on services performance, improvement insights from patterns and trends, proactive analytics to predict performance and, even preventative automation solutions. Empowering management teams to stay ahead of the curve, plan and prepare for future events is invaluable.

As the urgency to transform digitally grows, businesses can profit from the triad of connected data, shared experiences, and cloud-enabled adaptability. In today’s Darwinian reality exacerbated by a once-in-a-generation black swan event and the uberization of entire industries, embracing an enabling services management paradigm could mean the difference between success or the unthinkable.