Simplifying access to IT services by building on platforms for IT workflows and beyond

ServiceNow, over the past few years, has emerged as one of the leaders in the ITSM (IT Service Management) market and beyond to what today is named ESM (Enterprise Service Management). In fact, the evolution of that market has helped ITSM leave the bunker of IT, and become a strategic element for businesses.

ESM today is much bigger and more important than ITSM ever was

The reason is that ESM supports organizations in business process optimization, based on central platforms with centralized data management and workflow capabilities. ESM is way bigger and more essential than ITSM has ever been, because it is business-centric and user-centric, instead of the technical, IT-centric approach exemplified by ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library), one of the foundational principles of traditional ITSM. Yes, ITIL still plays a vital role for the IT core of ITSM and thus ESM, but it is just a small piece of the puzzle today.

For a seamless experience, Identity and Access Management must be integrated with ESM

Essentially, ESM combines the ability to automate and improve processes with the workflow capabilities on common platforms that allow customers as well as partners to extend the reach. While there is the potential risk of lock-in to such a platform, the advantages outweigh this risk for many buyers (or are buyers just ignoring the lock-in risk, e.g. to ServiceNow?). ESM provides (relatively) user-friendly access to IT services. This is of ever-increasing importance, driven by trends such as Cloud Computing and Cloud first, Work from Home, and Citizen Development.

Cloud Computing: With more and more services procured from the cloud, and a higher rate of change in the use of services, managing these services and making them accessible to the users becomes of ever-increasing importance. Managing access and the identities of users, must integrate with the ESM platforms for a seamless experience.

Work from Home: We’ve all learned over the past 15 months that the delivery of new services must become seamless. Walking to the desk of the user and administering the local machine does not work anymore in the age of WfH. Seamless procurement of services is essential in today’s dispersed work environments.

Usability is not only a matter User Interfaces but of ubiquitous digital identity thinking

Citizen Development: Low-code and no-code platforms are changing the way of developing solutions. Many solutions are built by the business. They still need management. Platforms that unify initiatives and that help in getting a grip on all services, become essential.

ESM is an approach that helps address many of the emerging needs of businesses in delivering their services, where IT is not IT anymore, but ubiquitous across all parts of the business. Strategic platforms can help here, despite the lock-in risk. But they will only work with the context of the user: Who can do what, who is allowed to access which service, etc. Usability is not only a matter of UI, but of ubiquitous digital identity thinking across these platforms – and the platforms might also serve as an element or even the foundation of the IAM infrastructure.