Enterprise service management: why reinvent the wheel?

I was reading the minutes of a recent AXELOS© ATO roundtable event held in San Francisco, and a term that came up during the event was ‘enterprise service management’.

Several questions immediately came into my mind. What is enterprise service management, and what exactly does it involve? Googling the term didn’t deliver any results. I also checked in the ITIL© Glossary to see if there was a definition – there wasn’t.

With this being the case, I decided to broaden the scope of my research and instead researched enterprise IT management. According to the various sources I found on the subject, enterprise IT management is a strategy that that can be employed to deliver value from IT investments. It specifically mandates that organisations start operating as service-based businesses.

Knowing this, a definition for enterprise service management is likely to be something along these lines: a strategy that can be employed by organisations to deliver IT services that add business value. If this is the case, how is enterprise service management any different from service management?

The answer is simple: they aren’t different. We seem to work within an industry that is going through a period of soul searching as to where it stands. We have approaches such as ITIL, COBIT© 5 and ISO20000 that we have each used and we are now at a stage where people are finding that just using one approach doesn’t really fit their needs.

People have started this soul searching thinking we need to reinvent service management, which is reflected in the emergence of this term ‘enterprise service management’.

The reality is that service management isn’t broken; we don’t need to fix it.

Want to find out more about an integrated approach to service management using ITIL, COBIT and ISO 20000? Read Pragmatic Approach to Service Management by Suzanne Van Hove and Mark Thomas.