Last week the IBM attended the UKI itSM Forum and what a great event it was! Some really thought provoking and motivating sessions, as well as some truly interesting conversations with our clients and prospects.
Below are a few of the highlights from the sessions attended - would be great to hear anyone else’s thoughts on what their key take-home messages were from the event.
Session 1 – Introduction by Barry Coreless – Chairman of the itSMF
Barry talked about how he sees the future of ITSM – the growing automated and ever more complex tool sets, and an ever increasing bewildering array of devices. The main take home message for me was that he believed that organisations that linked best practices and industry disciplines are the ones that will truly succeed.
Session 2 – Keynote from Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson DBE
A fantastic motivational speech from Tanni – including memorial statements like “if you are going to spend time thinking... then think BIG!” She spoke about why it is important to think about how you can be the best you can be and how individual success if not always about the individuals themselves, but about the team they have around them. Tough times call for tough choices, she continued, and it is how you deal with these, improve and move on that is what will make you successful.
Session 3 – our own Ivor Macfarlane – Can IT people be Service Managers?
Ivor was introduced as a man whose middle name was “ITIL” and clearly his reputation preceded him, as we had a full house with over 60 of the 300 delegates in the room. Ivor spoke about how Service Managers generally have a low profile, and are orientated to achieving another person’s hopes and desires. He carried on the debate by saying that the best attribute a Service Manager can have is to be invisible! Continuing that if management don’t empower you as a Service Manager then your stuffed! A final take key message was then given, “Go to the board – change the change process!”
Session 4 – An interactive panel session hosted by Don Page
Some really interesting stats came up in this session to the questions asked to the delegate audience my favourite 3 below:
1. 1. Cloud Computing is here to stay – what effect will it have on ITSM?
Major – 43%, A bit – 36%, A little – 17%, No Opinion – 4%
2. 2. Your business now understands and is taking seriously the importance of ITSM as an essential business enabler?
Very Seriously – 12%, Lip Service – 42%, We don’t talk to them and they don’t take us seriously -20%, Don’t Know– 9%, Don’t Care – 17%
3. 3. Should organisations encourage Social Media to facilitate communication between IT and end users?
Actively encourage and support – 45%, Natural Course – 37%, No -13%, Don’t Know – 2%, No Opinion – 4%
Session 5 – Stephan Mann – Forrester Research - “Anyone questioning your value?”
One of my favourite sessions from the event, very interesting to hear an analysts point of view. He started by stating that Service Managers can’t deal with the value because we don’t understand the cost, there is little transparency IT costs and the value it brings. He continued saying that costs are continually being cut, whilst the demand for IT continues to grow. He told delegates to take an honest look at their ITSM capabilities and short comings, in context of what business needs, then link IT services to business outcomes. Final message for me was “Cost is important but value is more important... if we could demonstrate the value they would be encouraging us to spend more”.
Session 6 – Martin Neville – Flattening the Curve
In the last session of the day, Martin discussed what companies should be looking for from their tool providers, and that the best tool providers are proactive not reactive. He set out ground rules for both sides – be honest from the start, early efforts pay interest in the long term, perception is reality – stats do not lie, the time to innovate is at the start – not when things are looking desperate, short term contractual wrangling will damage the relationship long term and most importantly KEEP talking!
Session 1- Nigel Mear –Solid Air Consulting - Answers on a postcode
Nigel spoke about how vision is our most valuable asset and leadership is an act, rather than a position. We need to show up and engage! It needs to be a progressive improvement, baby steps are ok, and it needs to be realistic, achievable and practical – don’t aim for perfection, do something practical. His take home message for me really was for success, we have to acknowledge the reality of uncertainty.
Session 2 – Christian F Nissen – CRN People, Denmark – Acquisition and Implementation of ITSM Tools
Another really interesting session, starting with the question should organisations use a SM suite of tools from one vendor, or best of breed tools from various vendors and attempt to integrate them. The answer is not as simple as it seems! He emphasised the importance of running a Proof of Concept before ever fully implementing a new tool. Organisations need to ask themselves, is this vendor that is sleeping or evolving and improving?
Session 3 – Dennis Shields - The 2010 Machine
My final session of the day, Dennis opened the session by explaining people like direction, but believe their managers are out of touch. Bad management however means the unit will not function properly. People need to be given clear and fair directives, otherwise efficiency plummets and costs escalates, we need to take a long term perspective if the company and its infrastructure is going to be successful.
In summary, fantastic event, and can’t wait till next year!