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This blog, written by itSMF UK leaders and guest contributors, offers service management thought leadership and discussion of industry trends. Please feel free to comment on these posts (you will need to be logged into the website as a member). We look forward to hearing from you.


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New challenges and solutions - new faces, new energy and enthusiasm

Posted By Barclay Rae, 27 November 2015

I was delighted and proud of our achievement this week in delivering a new and invigorated ITSMF UK conference. The team worked tirelessly – including our contractors and the hotel. So far at an anecdotal level our  delegates, exhibitors and sponsors have delivered positive and energised feedback on the experience of the event and the overall quality of content.


If you were not able to attend, there are 20+ short discussion interviews recorded and posted on the AllThingsITSM website and YouTube – these are worth a look and cover a variety of topics. Our presentation sessions also provided a mix of familiar and contemporary topics for the delegates.  These ranged from practitioner stories of change processes to topical themes around SIAM, IT4IT, DevOps and of course new ITIL content.  


This has been a positive event for the continued development of what ITSMF is, what we do and how well we do it.    


Collaboration and community stood out for me as key issues from the event – we need to share and work together, using a variety of tools, techniques and frameworks to achieve success. There is no single one-size-fits-all approach or set of tools that can deliver everything for our whole industry. There are many different options – tools, frameworks, standards, practical guidance – that are available and our community is there to help provide the glue to direct and point our people in the right direction.


My task going forward is to pick up on the great momentum from the conference and to get out and work together with as many complementary and supportive organisations as I can, in order to develop positive and constructive collaboration.


I look forward to hearing from as many of you as possible – particularly if you have ideas about ways to work more closely and effectively together…!

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SFIA’s worldwide domination!

Posted By Matthew Burrows2, 20 November 2015
Updated: 19 November 2015

I have just returned from Edinburgh, which marked the last event on a month long promotional tour of SFIA (the Skills Framework for the Information Age). From IEEE in California, ISACA’s Cyber Security conference in Washington, the itSMF USA Fusion Conference in New Orleans, ISACA’s EuroCACS Cyber Security and Risk Management Conference, and finally the IT in the Park conference in Edinburgh, I was pleased to see so such a renewed interest (across the globe) in SFIA and its benefits.   I also had the pleasure of being part of the SFIA Version 6 launch events in both the UK and in Australia back in July and August.  The Australian conference in particular provided a number of real life case studies of how SFIA is being used in practice – you can view these presentations by visiting and selecting the Australian conference. By the way, if you’re not sure what SFIA is, you can visit the SFIA website and download the SFIA version 6 manual at

In the last week, I have taken some time to take a breath - giving me the opportunity to reflect on the last few months and note just how far we have come in not only understanding the benefits of SFIA but actually implementing them and realising the benefits.  Organisations with as few ICT professionals as 6, right up to organisations of staff in the thousands (and tens of thousands), SFIA is being used and implemented in around 200 countries.

Now that Version 6 has been released, the area that has seen most interest has been the Cyber Security world.  Version 6 brought the framework up to date with the massive advances in Cyber Security, and not only added two new skills, but also a number of skills were updated, for example, adding a level 7 description for Information Security, and level 1 and 2 descriptions for Security Administration. There’s heaps more I could tell you about Version 6 and the updates, but I’ll leave you to visit us at the ITSMF UK conference next week!

Speaking of the ITSMF UK conference, I will be delivering a session on Monday at 3pm entitled “SFIA V6: Using Skills to Leverage your Biggest Asset – People”.   This presentation will take attendees through some of the changes in V6, but more importantly, shows HOW having an understanding of the skills in your organisation can ensure cost savings in recruitment, better decision making on the “right” training, more productive performance review discussions…. I could go on!

I look forward to seeing you at my session – or if you can’t make it, you can also catch me on the BSMimpact stand in the exhibition hall.

Matthew Burrows



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Internet of Things… coming to your business soon (if it’s not already there)!

Posted By Robert Stroud, 17 November 2015

As most technologists are already aware, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is here and it’s here in force.  Not only are we seeing smart sensors and devices used for wide-scale applications like logistics, municipal applications (e.g., smart parking, traffic and air quality) and numerous other use cases, but we’re also seeing consumer applications as well: things like intelligent household appliances, automobiles, smoke detectors and thermostats.  There are even some more “fanciful” applications like a smart fork that monitors your eating habits to alert you when you’re eating too quickly.


These advances have received – and are likely to continue to receive - quite a bit of industry attention. IoT is literally everywhere: analysts are covering it, it’s in the daily headlines of the trade media, people are discussing it near-continuously in peer networking and industry conference events, and entrepreneurs are right now building businesses around it. 


It’s huge.  But there’s an elephant in the room: how to support the IoT!


Support is not covered with anywhere near the regulations that surround the other aspects of IoT.  That said, when you scratch the surface, it is as important to enterprises as the usability and functionality considerations that are getting all the attention.


Support (and security) considerations not only have far-reaching implications for IoT now, but, as these devices and usage scenarios continue to proliferate, they’re likely to become even more important.  As enterprises see more and more network-connected devices come into the technology ecosystem – these two overlooked elements are paramount to ensuring that organizations stay productive and protected in the IoT world. 


Why is there a rapid expansion of embedded computing and networking elements now more so than in the past? IoT isn’t new. In fact, the concept was discussed as far back as 1982 when a soft drink machine was integrated into the internet.[1]


Consider a hospital for example: the diagnostic equipment (like MRI machines and other imaging devices) are IP-connected – as are biomedical tools like patient monitors, lab equipment, medicine dispensers and most of the rest of the clinical environment. In manufacturing or energy, it’s industrial control systems. In retail, it’s points of sale.  All throughout the corporate world, there are purpose-built “utility” devices that have embedded computing and network capability. 


What’s different now is scale! In the past, adding these networking and computing elements to a device was comparatively expensive and difficult to engineer (for example due to size and power considerations). From a cost perspective alone, integration of these capabilities could raise the purchase price of the device enough to make that integration impractical. What’s happening now? Costs are coming down and quickly!


So what are the opportunities and implications for your organizations and your role as a service manager? To find out, you will need to join my session at the ITSMF UK conference.  In my session at #ITSM15, I will not only introduce you to the IoT; in this session we will embark on a journey, not of your imagination but rather of the realities for your organisation and more importantly your role.


Are you ready? Is your organization ready? Join me at the ITSMF UK Conference on Monday November 23 at 2:15pm – the details are here - where we will embark on our mutual journey to the IoT!


PS If you cannot attend the session or can and would like to undertake a pre-session review,  take a look at the ISACA guidance and research into nine key questions to ask to improve IoT risk management. This includes questions about support considerations, responsibility for monitoring, risk management, etc.




Robert E. Stroud, CGEIT, CRISC, (@RobertEStroud) is the immediate past international president of ISACA and serves as the Principal Analyst with Forrester Research, Infrastructure & Operations




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Only a week until ITSM15

Posted By Administration, 16 November 2015

It’s now only one week until our annual ITSMF UK Conference & Exhibition - #ITSM15. I look forward to seeing many new and familiar faces there – members, delegates, visitors, exhibitors, industry folk…

There is still time to book delegate places – two-day, one-day and exhibition passes – please contact our office ( or 0118 918 6500) if you haven’t yet booked and would like to join us.

The Conference schedule is available and features a number of excellent, compelling speakers, keynotes and topical subjects including IoT, SIAM, DevOps, Agile, IT4IT, people, Collaboration, Customer Experience – there will even be stuff about ITIL…!

Of course these topics will drive conversations in the coffee and bar areas and the great value of these events is the networking. The event venue is nicely set up for that, with our exhibition and session rooms all in one close and convivial area. We are delighted that the exhibition is fully sold out and there are a variety of different, new and familiar vendors and industry experts that can be found in the exhibition area.  

Our awards dinner is also fully sold out. For those who have not been able to get a ticket, the hotel has 2 excellent restaurants, plus 2 bars. These are all suitable for entertaining, team dinners or simply for more private dining and socialising (booking is advised). The awards and dinner area will also be open to all for music and socialising once the formal part of the evening is concluded (about 10.30).

I am impressed with the venue and am very positive about this being a really memorable and engaging event.

From my perspective, as new in this role, I want to talk to as many people as possible about how we can develop the industry, the value proposition around ITSM and how ITSMF UK can be a positive and essential part of that. If you want to have a chat about moving ITSM forward please contact me before or at the show – I look forward to seeing you there.

Barclay Rae | CEO

@barclayrae (twitter)

barclayrae (linkedIn)


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Profile, engagement and effectiveness at ITSMF UK

Posted By Barclay Rae, 28 October 2015

I’m delighted to be taking on the role of CEO for ITSMF UK for the next six months. Since this was announced I’ve received tremendous support from across the industry, with hundreds of positive messages. Thanks for all of these - I appreciate the sentiments and expectations and so there’s a job to be done…

I will try to share messages and information about plans and activities as much and as transparently as possible – the initial short-term focus is on the conference, which I am really looking forward to and where I hope to see as many of you as possible. Whether you opt to attend both days or you choose a one-day conference or exhibition pass, please do try to join us for what is always a sociable and rewarding event.

As an organisation there have been a number of changes recently – we are now a relatively new Board and can forge a new and positive direction. It’s also great to have some C-Level representatives joining the Board from member (service delivery) organisations – their input will be invaluable.  

My focus will be on three areas – (1) managing and supporting the ITSMF UK office and team to be as successful as possible, (2) looking at new ways to deliver value, including new products from ITSMF, plus (3) reaching out to as many potential partners and industry organisations as possible to widen the ITSM debate and achieve more as a unified industry.

Work has already commenced to follow up the recent Leadership Council initiative, with some research commissioned to look at how to develop our skills framework. We will also start to look in the next week or so, again with the support of the Council, at new ways to promote and market the industry and the ITSM value proposition. I will also be talking also to a number of other membership organisations about how they manage and maintain their services.

So initially I’ll be making myself available for conversations on collaboration and synergy – please contact me directly if you would like to engage. I’ll obviously be available at the conference and I hope to see you there.

My goal is to raise the profile, engagement levels and effectiveness of ITSMF UK – I look forward to your continued support in getting there.    

Best regards

Barclay Rae 



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