Leadership Strategies

Should You Replace Your Facility and Maintenance Request System with Enterprise Service Management?

Learn How You Can Improve your Organization's Request System and Streamline IT Services.
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What does your organization really gain from using separate apps for each type of internal service request?  Many companies have a siloed service management approach with discrete systems for facility management, IT, HR, and workplace service requests.

This means employees usually have to navigate multiple systems depending on who is fulfilling the request on the back end. The burden is on the employee to decide where to go, traversing a hodgepodge of emails, ticketing tools, and mobile apps. People often forget how to submit requests because they use the systems infrequently or they are too complicated. Perhaps it is time for your organization to provide employees a more uniform internal service experience?

A new category of application is evolving, known as enterprise service management (ESM). ESM provides one place for service requests across IT, HR, facilities, and more, combining multiple employee-facing functions to deliver a streamlined experience. ESM applications originated from applying IT service methodologies and tools to other business disciplines that provide internal services of some kind.

Today, ESM software vendors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including IT service management (ITSM), human capital management (HCM), enterprise asset management (EAM), and even customer relationship management (CRM).

This probably sounds familiar. ESM harkens back to shared services, centers of excellence, and many trends and practices before those. The employee concierge concept is not new. The COVID-19 pandemic is fast-tracking the trend back towards simplified employee experiences as companies strive to serve a nimbler hybrid workforce.

As with any centralized versus decentralized technology decision, there are trade-offs for either model. Here are some of the key benefits and challenges of an enterprise service management model for facilities teams.

Benefits

  • Delivers a more uniform employee experience by providing one portal for any request, issue, or question
  • Eliminates multiple channels, reducing software duplication and wasted time
  • Better transparency into service delivery performance
  • Consistently apply automation and AI innovations to improve service performance

Challenges

  • Change management process to get each department to “give up” their own service request system
  • Potential loss of customizations and localizations useful for particular teams and regions
  • Concern over misrouted, incomplete, or lost requests
  • Overcoming inconsistencies in data management, policies, and processes
  • Maintaining security and compliance across functions in a shared model

Despite the challenges, some organizations are realizing that it makes more sense to modernize the front end of the process and automate away some of their service ticket hassles. With progress in artificial intelligence, ESM solutions can learn to interpret and act on service requests in more dynamic ways outside of pre-programmed logic statements.

Taking it one step further, ESM could also join with external service applications like salesforce automation and field service management (FSM). Think about it – perhaps in a short 18 months, an organization might finally be able to work with a single vendor for a majority of their internal and external service workflows when tied to field, customer, sales, and employee service automation.

IDC is already seeing some organizations use their facility management, maintenance, or workplace management (i.e. CAFM, CMMS, IWMS) as back-office tools only. With today’s APIs and integration capabilities, an organization can adopt ESM and still let each department use the solution that works best for them to manage request fulfillment. Maintenance teams are free to select the best possible application for facility managers and technicians without sacrificing features for an employee-facing interface.

For a deeper discussion of the vendors in the market and advice on deciding whether to consider replacing your facility management and maintenance request process with an enterprise service management application, see IDC’s latest research on the topic.  It is time to optimize your technology tools, and what better and quicker way to do it than with an ESM solution. 

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Juliana Beauvais

Research Manager, Enterprise Applications