Every once in a while its time to open the vault and re-read a few of the posts I’ve read or posted and share them.

This week I am bringing back a post Originally posted on the ServiceNow Community pages by Stephen Mann ” A Future Role for IT: Managing Service Relationships Inside and Outside the Enterprise”.

Thanks Stephen!

I hope you enjoy the post and as always please let me know your thoughts.


@JamesN903 #LearnNow


Every department in the enterprise is a service provider. But while service relationships are well defined and automated within the IT organization – thanks to IT best practice frameworks and fit-for-purpose IT service management (ITSM) products – service relationships in other business functions are often completely unstructured and inefficient.

Savvy IT leaders view this as an opportunity to help their business peers replace inefficient email-based service request and fulfillment processes with a proven IT service model. And for enterprise IT, two main opportunities are front-and-center:

Leveraging existing IT investment to maximum business advantage.

  • Creating new ways in which to better support and enable business colleagues.


Transform IT, transform enterprise service delivery


In enterprise IT, the service model is quite mature. People, processes, and technology work in harmony to deliver against service relationships. But why should this be limited to the IT organization? Enterprises need to recognize that it is also equally relevant to internally sourced services such as Procurement, Legal, HR, Finance, and Facilities. And that the reliance on technologies designed for messaging and personal productivity is not good for effectively managing service relationships:


  • In the 1990s, email started to replace paper flows, but it failed to replace, and in many ways killed, structure. While email was good for messaging, it didn’t work well for handling requests that required service fulfillment in a consistent and timely manner – it lacked control.
  • Additionally, Microsoft products such as Exchange, Excel, SharePoint, and Project have done much to boost personal productivity, but they are now holding organizations back from effectively and efficiently managing global, enterprise-grade service relationships.


Enterprises need to move beyond siloed repositories to benefit from a single system of record for service relationships. There also needs to be a greater appreciation of how what has been learned by the IT organization about managing service delivery can benefit other business functions and ultimately the enterprise. Service relationships should be improved through the use of best practices, service automation, and a single system of record in pursuance of improved business performance. This will also deliver the secondary benefit of improved business perceptions of IT and the business value it delivers to enterprises.


Recognize enterprise service relationships


“Service relationships” exist throughout the enterprise – between IT and lines of business, HR and Sales, Legal and Marketing, Facilities and Operations, and even between internal and external service providers. They connect requesters of a service and the providers of those services. These services include a defined request for a product, a service, information, a change, or assistance with an issue. These service relationships not only need to be managed, they should be facilitated by automation wherever possible (see Figure 1).

managing-service-relationships.pngFigure 1: Managing Service Relationships


To illustrate, taking a single business function view of the above and using a number of common IT service relationships as an example (see Figure 2), a similar set of service relationship scenarios can be shown for Facilities (see Figure 3) or any other business unit.


Figure 2: IT Service Relationships


Figure 3: Facilities Service Relationships


Thus, other business units can utilize ITSM best practices, service automation capabilities, and the internal IT organization’s years of experience managing service relationships to better deliver against the business needs of their internal and external customers. From a ServiceNow perspective, this includes leveraging the Service Automation Platform to think beyond ITSM and, in many ways, beyond traditional shared service operations to emphasize the need to consider service relationships and to grab the opportunity to evolve “ITSM automation” to “service automation across the enterprise.”


Transform IT and create a more efficient enterprise


The challenges for IT organizations are clear; there is a need to:


  • Improve services and reduce costs – not just in IT but also across the enterprise.
  • Create new ways in which to better support and enable business colleagues.
  • Transform the view of the internal IT organization from unnecessary overhead to a valued strategic business partner.


The use of service relationship management – through the leveraging of the internal IT organization’s ITSM ecosystem and experience, and service automation – offers a number of powerful opportunities to:

  • Consolidate and leverage ITSM and service automation investment to maximum business advantage.
  • Be better prepared for the management of cloud delivered services and, where appropriate, outsourced services.
  • Benefit from an enterprise-wide single system of record.
  • Be the IT organization your customers want and need you to be.