Enterprise service management – the use of IT service management (ITSM) principles, practices, and technology by other business functions, such as HR – is a growing corporate trend. But it’s also applicable to educational institutions whose functional departments have similar pressures to those in any business sector; having to provide services and support to customers – students, faculty members, and other employees – in line with the classic “doing more with less” mantra.
There are, however, a number of things that make enterprise service management effective for educational institutions.
1. There’s greater scope to improve service
Businesses have opportunities to leverage enterprise service management across their core business support functions such as HR, facilities, finance, and legal. Educational institutions have these, but they also have a number of other opportunities to improve their services and support.
Educational campuses can, for example, use enterprise service management within their:
• Admissions office
• Alumni office
• Faculty services
• Medical centers
• Research departments
Where, in each use case scenario, enterprise service management and the enabling technology will help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations, provide a better service (or customer) experience, and provide better insight into performance and the opportunity for improvement.
2. Better meeting customer expectations
Educational institutions by their very nature need to meet a spectrum of customer service and support requirements, and one could argue that they in many ways need to be ahead of corporate organisations in terms of the customer expectations curve. As, while corporate organisations are still attempting to address the impact of the increasing numbers of millennials in the workplace, educational institutions already have a large millennial customer base by default – the student population.
These customers have heightened expectations across the services they use, support, and customer service – driven by their consumer-world experiences and the fact that they don’t know anything other than their “perfect” personal-life experiences. There is the opportunity, therefore, to use enterprise service management thinking, processes, and enabling technology to deliver a better customer experience across the campus. In particular, one that is keeping up with consumer-world levels of service and support.
3. Proactively addressing cost pressures
While the first two points are very much focused on improving service and support, and better meeting customer expectations, it would be wrong to avoid the need for educational institutions to “do more with less” (or even to “do more with the same”).
Here enterprise service management – through the use of ITSM best practice and technology – will help on a number of fronts:
• Optimised processes, workflow, automation, and alerting will remove unnecessary manual effort and rework, and of course the associated people costs
• Self-service will allow customers to get to the solutions they need more quickly. This and the ability to log issues and requests via self-service will means fewer calls – again saving time and money
• The use of ITSM technology (for enterprise service management) will give insight into potential improvement opportunities, some of which will save costs, plus the value that each department provides to its customers
• Standardisation will offer the ability to provide not only a common way of working, but also a common look and feel, and a common service model for customers. With the potential to provide a lower cost single point of service, no matter the department, across the campus.
These are only 3 reasons why ITSM makes sense for educational institutions, the benefits of implementing a system like ServiceNow go far beyond a great customer experience and increased efficiency helping educational organisations transform and move towards the future.