How to choose the right Enterprise Service Management (ESM) software?

Enterprise service management (ESM) is a relatively new process that encompasses all the activities required to design, deliver, operate, and control a service. The goal of ESM is to provide a unified view of an organisation's entire service portfolio and the underlying infrastructure.

According to a study done in 2019, 87 percent of enterprises had some level of ESM
deployed to enhance customer and employee satisfaction.
Another recent EMA study, ‘Enterprise Service Management, It’s Closer Than
You Think’, found that “ESM is the natural next step for organizations looking
to cut costs while improving end-user service and operational efficiencies.”
The C-Suite is leading the charge to adopt ESM in pursuit of the enormous
business benefits it can deliver. (Source)

ESM software is designed to help organisations manage their services more effectively. There are a number of different ESM software products on the market and choosing the right one can be a challenge. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to select the best ESM software for your organisation.


Why is choosing the right Enterprise Service Management software important?

A piece of software alone cannot solve all your service-related problems, but using the right tool in tandem with other processes and technologies can make it easier to identify and resolve issues as they occur. This means that you need to consider not only what the software does but also how well it fits into your overall business strategy.

Types of ESM Tools

In the early stages of operations, most organisations rely on conventional tools such as shared mailboxes, spreadsheets, and shared folders to manage and track their processes related to providing service. But as the organisation scales up, this workflow can become chaotic and unmanageable. The result is slow, cumbersome processes that lead to inefficient and unsatisfactory service. This is the point where most organisations consider buying ESM tools. 

What factors should you consider when choosing Enterprise Service Management software?

Here are a few things to consider: 

Your expectation from the ESM tool and desired outcome

Before you choose an ESM tool, you should have clear expectations regarding what you want to achieve with the tool. For example, up might want to ask yourself: 

  • What processes do you want to tackle with the software?

  • What are your desired outcomes? 

Identify your organisational needs

Once you know what you want to achieve, you should then look at the specific requirements of your organisation. For example, if you are planning to use the software to improve customer experience, you may require features like real-time monitoring, a self-service portal, etc.

Your current state of affairs

What tools are you already using now? And how well-prepared are you to adopt a whole new system or integrate your current processes with the ESM tool? Or, for that matter, can your existing systems even be integrated with the new ESM tool?

Do you have an adoption team?

To make ESM successful in your company, you need to have an adoption team to facilitate, monitor and support the transition. The team may consist of a mix of executive leadership, strong mid-level management teams — architects, site reliability engineers (SREs), and DevOps and analytics specialists.

Organisational Maturity

Organisations can fall into three categories based on their maturity level:

  • Those just starting out with ESM

    • If you are a beginner, it's better to opt for a basic non-IT workflow to make your organisation familiar with ESM. 

  • Those with a basic level of familiarity with ESM

    • If you have some level of acquaintance with ESM in your organisation, you may want to look for a tool that takes you to the next level of process automation. For example, you may want to get started with chatbots for faster and better service delivery. 

  • Those with an advanced level of familiarity with ESI

    • If you are  experienced with ESM, you might want to look at a product that offers additional features and capabilities such as:

    • Integration with analytics

    • Robotics and robotic process automation (RPA), and workflow automation

    • AIOps


Here is a selection of criteria that you might want to consider: 

1. Does the tool have all the core features such as the following?

  • Workflow engine

  • Configuration management database asset registry

  • Incident and change management

  • Service Portal

  • Modules that fit your requirements

2. Is the tool designed to suit your needs?

If you intend to use a tool for specific purposes, you should purchase one that is designed for those use cases. If it isn't designed for your use cases, it won't be a good match, no matter how well it works. 

3. Do you need to make any changes to your existing environment in order to use it?

You should check if the tool you're considering can be seamlessly integrated into your existing systems. For instance, the ESM tool under consideration should have the capability to be integrated with all your existing toolchains, such as DevOps.

4. Will the ESM vendor be able to handle your workload?

Another criterion is to make sure the vendor has the capability to meet your workload expectations. 

5. What other value-added services does the vendor bring to the table?

Ask whether the vendor offers a holistic service package that includes training, consulting, implementation, maintenance, etc. 

6. How much will it cost?

The price of the tool is not the only factor to consider. You also need to take into account the total cost of ownership (TCO). This includes the initial investment, ongoing costs, and support.

7. Who else uses this tool?

Find out if there are any similar tools already being used by your competitors. 

8. Can I test-drive the tool before buying?

It's always best to try out the tool before committing to buy it. You can do so by downloading the trial version from the vendor's website or requesting a free demo.

Summing Up

The entire process of finding the right ESM tool can be summed up in the following ways:

  • Defining your needs

  • Researching vendors

  • Narrowing down on potential providers

  • Requesting demos

  • Implementation

  • Training

  • Support


If you need any assistance or have any questions regarding ESM tools, feel free to email us at -

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