Business predictions can be tricky to get right. At the turn of the last century, investors heard this advice: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty — a fad.”
To stay competitive, companies must make educated guesses about how to budget for services, tools, and technologies over the next 1-5 years. This is no easy task in a fast-changing technology landscape.
As Chief Customer Officer at Cherwell, I spend a lot of time deep in the areas of customer experience and data mining/data analytics. From this perspective, I created the following five predictions for the evolution of enterprise service management (ESM). I hope these will help your company plan effectively for a successful future.
1. ESM will waste less brainpower on work processes, while enhancing the customer-centric focus.
ESM technology is starting to do the thinking for organizations. It’s rescuing valuable brainpower from repetitive problem-solving. This enables companies to focus their energy, attention and critical thinking on the customer experience, and away from workflows and processes. This benefit only increases as ESM practices expand throughout the organization
2. Companies will design workflows from the outside in.
Too often, companies buy technology and build processes primarily based on how things work inside their organization — rather than looking outward. Increasingly, processes and workflows will be designed around the users or recipients of the process. This will require a new vision for service management. For instance, when designing sales workflows, instead of focusing on how the company sells, the guiding perspective will be flipped to consider why customer buy.
3. No more purchasing technology for technology’s sake.
Companies still often buy systems, hardware, and software which fail to add value to the customer. This is becoming unacceptable. ESM will help companies avoid such waste by clarifying which services and applications add value for each customer — and which do not. For example, many cloud or cell phone providers offer packages that require customers to pay for several services that they don’t use. But customers are starting to demand streamlined services and applications that align with what they want and need.
4. Integration is not optional
ESM adds value by connecting previously disparate, standalone technologies and services. As service management principles proliferate beyond the scope of IT, integration with a vast range of tools and systems is absolutely essential. Bridging silos is what will allow processes to be streamlined, understood or assessed more efficiently and effectively.
5. Younger workers will set the tech agenda.
Millennials, who are poised become the largest living generation by 2019, are accustomed to integrating and customizing the processes and services they use. They are already deciding where to work, and who they do business with, based on how companies operate — as well as how they train their employees. ESM helps attracts the brightest new employees by creating a workplace that works with them.
…I’d like to also predict that I’ll lose weight, win money, and grow more distinguished with age, but alas, I can only make predictions based on data and previous experience.
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