USM arose from developments in a facility domain that, due to its extremely important role for the business, simply had to develop into a reliable support function: the processing of information (IT). Most organizations are so dependent on the processing of information that they sometimes hardly survive a limited disruption. The conditions in that IT domain simply had to lead to a thorough control over the management of services.

Over the past 3 decades, IT has developed into a reasonably stable facility function. However, IT is strongly driven by technological developments and opportunities at the very same time. As a result, too little attention has been paid to the development of easily controllable management systems. The insight into such management systems only emerged at the beginning of this century, when it became clear that the extremely rapid developments in technology did not contribute much to an easily manageable service. "Technology first!", to speak with Trump.

The tension between, on the one hand, the desire to utilize all technological opportunities and, on the other hand, guaranteeing excellent support for the business, has led to very different results in terms of maturity, costs, customer satisfaction, continuity and, above all, complexity. Organizations that are primarily guided by that technology have deployed the finest applications, but often pay a high prize in terms of costs and complexity. Organizations that focus more on efficient support of the core business with adequate information processing facilities, can reduce that complexity, improve the value delivered, and limit their costs. The second group focuses more on sustainable principles than on the ever-changing practices.

With the increasing integration of IT and other facility functions, an easily controllable management system quickly becomes a decisive feature for successful integral support of the business. And that integration is the forefront of all organizations, in a world that is increasingly dominated by technological opportunities. Under such conditions, it is no longer justified not to be in control of those integrated support functions, especially if you have outsourced them to a large extent. The same applies to the relationships between organizations, in supply chains and networks: if those organizations do not cooperate effectively and efficiently, all kinds of problems arise with the joint result. Their interoperability has become a matter of live and death. This means that for supply chains and networks, too, the concept of integrated service delivery is crucial.

The USM method was explicitly developed to support this future, with an easily learnable, standardized and universal management system that acts as the link for supply chains and networks. The idea was born in the early nineties in a large telco, with the first deployment of ITIL in the Netherlands - but in a way that proved to be very different from how others tended to apply best practices in later years. Their approach was the first step towards a pure management system, based on a management architecture, perfectly aligned to the theory of Systems Thinking. It took more than 20 years to develop this idea further and to test the waters with a commercial product. And it was only in 2015 that the last step in the evolution of this idea was completed: an enterprise service management architecture that specified a simple enterprise service management system, to be used in any line of business of any size: the concept of the link for supply chains, networks and ecosystems.

Due to the simple and pure structure of USM, the method is now applicable to all primary and secondary service domains. USM is ideally suited for integration of multiple domains, for example in mergers or in shared service centers, for nationwide supply networks that share a common goal - think of national health data or national data on civilians, or for any organization that is seeking an enterprise service management strategy.

Once you've experienced USM, there is no turning back on it.