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Digitally Transform Your HR Operations with Enterprise Service Management

By | May 19, 2020 in ITSM

HR Operations

The use of IT service management (ITSM) principles and capabilities in other business areas to improve performance, service, and outcomes – i.e. enterprise service management – is nothing new. However, there’s no doubt that it’s seen significant growth in adoption in recent years. Often on the back of corporate digital transformation strategies that require back-office improvements to better enable the front-office digital transformations related to:

  • The introduction of new products and services, and
  • The improvement of customer engagement mechanisms.

With this digital transformation activity recently accelerated in response to the COVID-19 crisis – as many organizations look to better support employees and customers in a world where both are self-isolating or even locked down.

One business area that has seen significant traction for enterprise service management, including the non-IT use of ITSM tools, is human resources (HR). This blog explains why and the how. But first, I’d like to share a few enterprise service management statistics.

One business area that has seen significant traction for enterprise service management in light of #COVID19 is HR. This blog by @Doronywood explains why and the how. #ITSM Click To Tweet

The current state of enterprise service management

The use of ITSM principles and capabilities outside of IT has grown significantly in recent years. Our Q1 2019 Future of ITSM report found that two-thirds of organizations either have, or are planning to develop, an enterprise service management strategy:

Does your organization have an enterprise service management strategy or approach?

ESM Strategy

HDI research offers greater granularity into where enterprise service management is being adopted. In their Q4 2018 “The State of Enterprise Service Management” report, HR is highlighted as the #1 non-IT use case for the corporate ITSM tool:

In which non-IT areas will your ITSM solution be implemented?

In which non-IT areas will your ITSM solution be implemented?

Source: HDI, “The State of Enterprise Service Management” (2018)

And these enterprise service management adoption levels will only increase as organizations seek ways through which to improve back-office operations in HR and many other parts of the business. Both in response to the COVID-19 crisis and longer-term.

Back-office digital transformation is automating HR work

So, industry stats show that enterprise service management is definitely happening within HR departments but why is this?

While the benefits of enterprise service management alone are enough to justify its adoption by other business areas such as HR, it’s the needs of digital transformation initiatives that have really raised the stakes (and adoption levels) for the approach. With organizations looking to replace inefficient manual processes, activities, and tasks with technology-enabled solutions.

You might be thinking “Hold on, we already have a perfectly good HR system, why do we need enterprise service management?” And it’s a fair question. The answer relates to optimizing the flow of work through the HR department (and with other business functions in some cases). That while HR departments – along with other parts of the organization – have introduced technology to improve their operations over the decades, it’s been to help with the effective handling of data rather than process and workflow optimization.

Industry stats show that enterprise service management is definitely happening within HR departments but why is this? This blog explores. #ESM #ITSM Click To Tweet

Whereas workflow automation solutions such as SysAid Workflow Designer and Automate Joe give HR process managers the ability to easily design, create, and modify digital workflows that are further enabled by service orchestration capabilities. Allowing them to recognize the changes to traditional ways of working caused by factors such as homeworking, enabling previously disparate teams to work better together in driving up end-user productivity as well as their own.

Workflow Designer

Handling HR workloads more effectively

Think about your current HR system, does it hold employee data effectively but still leave your HR personnel managing employee requests for advice, help, and service via their email inboxes, spreadsheets, and potentially Post-It Notes? It’s what IT did before service management best practices were adopted to optimize work handling.

Plus, when there’s no technology-enabled structure for work management, not only is there no automation to help speed things up and to reduce human errors. There’s also limited insight into performance relative to volumes and backlogs, handling times, process and policy application, and service-level achievement.

The manual HR processes work, of course, but are likely suboptimal due to the level of human-dependent operations. More importantly though, are they unable to adequately support the front-office capabilities related to the new products and services and improved customer engagement mechanisms born out of digital transformation? And are they currently buckling under the pressure of the COVID-19 crisis?

The new digital front-office requires a digital back office

New digital capabilities are unfortunately being held back by the errors, delays, and other issues caused by manual back-office operations. This has been demonstrated by World Economic Forum (WEF) research data. In particular, in a 2018 Insight Report called “The Digital Enterprise: Moving from experimentation to transformation” which advised organizations that “…better back-office operations are vital in being able to support the new product and customer-engagement enhancements.”

Importantly, it’s the many enterprise service management capabilities, including the enabling technology, that allows back-office functions such as HR to fill the workflow and automation-related gaps found in many traditional HR systems and the accompanying manual processes. These result in better employee-support operations and outcomes such as:

  • Faster request/case handling
  • Omnichannel support capabilities
  • A better employee experience
  • Lower operational costs
  • Greater insight into operational performance and improvement
  • Higher employee satisfaction scores
  • Better business-level results thanks to a better-enabled workforce.

Enterprise service management and HR in action

So, I’ve explained the “why.” What about the “how”?

Here @Doronywood looks at the enterprise service management capabilities that transfer well to HR departments to optimize HR operations and outcomes. #HR #ITSM Click To Tweet

Enterprise service management capabilities that transfer well to HR departments are very much about optimizing HR operations and outcomes. Specifically:

With the AI-enabled capabilities ranging from chatbots and cognitive assistants to machine-learning-based advanced automation that reduces the manual effort in high-volume, low-value tasks. For example, the classification, prioritization, and routing of employee requests for help and service.

Example HR enterprise service management use cases

There are many possible HR use cases for enterprise service management. These include:

  • Talent management – new employee recruitment, on-boarding and off-boarding employees (including mandatory training), job changes and promotions, and performance management
  • Employee queries and complaints
  • Learning and development management, for both internal and external training requests
  • Payroll and benefit administration
  • Vacation and leave management
  • Travel management and expense processing
  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Temporary employee development moves
  • Contractor hiring and management
  • Whistleblowing procedures
  • Health and safety/ergonomic aspects of work
  • Employee and labor relations
  • Demand planning/forecasting

The work of HR and IT is more similar than you think

While the HR and IT departments are very different in terms of their immediate focus, there are two key similarities that shouldn’t be overlooked. The first is that they’re both supporting and enabling employees in being the best that they can be. The second is that they’re both working towards common corporate goals, and needing to optimize their operations to do so. This is where enterprise service management comes into play, providing a consistent service and support capability that better enables an internal service provider and the employees it serves, which ultimately contributes to improved business results.

Want to learn more? Listen to our podcast on how every department – not just IT – needs service management in its lives. You can also take a look at our Service Center – a free service management tool that enables HR teams to ditch their inboxes and better manage incoming requests and queries. Check it out here.

Doron Youngerwood

About Doron Youngerwood

Doron has 15 years' experience in managing global marketing for unified communications, enterprise mobility, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. As SysAid's Director of Product Marketing, his responsibilities include developing the go-to-market strategies for SysAid's products, with a strong focus on automation, analytics, and AI. A regular speaker at AI events, Doron’s expertise in this domain means he is frequently asked to brief analysts, journalists, and customers on new developments in this industry. Doron was also on the AI Advisory Board for TM Forum. Outside of the office, you’ll find Doron on the football pitch (soccer field), playing drums or spending time with his kids.

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