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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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ITSM16 Q&A: Matt Hoey, Transition SIG Chair

Posted By Matt Hoey, 24 October 2016

In the lead up to ITSM16, we'll be posting blogs from various people answering a simple Q&A about ITSM16 and why they'll be attending this year.

Matt Hoey, Chair of the Transition SIG, follows Richard Horton and Anthony Oxley.

What are you most looking forward to at ITSM16?
It's got to be the networking, meeting old faces and new, and the range of presentations on offer this year.

What have you got out of attending previous ITSMF UK conferences?
Not wanting to go all British Cycling or Team Sky, but it's marginal gains! Whilst we've got established Service Management processes and I've never come away thinking I must re-write my Change Management or Incident Management processes, the opportunities to get tips, tweaks and good advice through the presentations and networking provides a wealth of invaluable improvement opportunities.

Why are you attending the conference this year?
I'm presenting on the ten things you should know about service transition with the Service Transition SIG which should be a great, fast moving presentation and going solo presenting advice on building services in an agile manner.

 I'm also looking to get lots of takeaways from the other presentations, recruit new SIG members and celebrate reaching the Thought Leadership award finals with the Service Transition SIG.

What’s been one of the biggest changes in the ITSM industry in the past 25 years?
Can't comment on the full 25 years (sadly ITSM hadn't made it on to the school National Curriculum back then), but within the recent years it has definitely been the expansion of agile frameworks beyond the traditional use in software development.

What are you most looking forward to in the future of ITSM?

Seeing how the best practice frameworks evolve to take on the challenges of lean, agile, DevOps and cloud. Also seeing the new ideas and movements that will arise from the younger generation as they move into the industry.

What excites you most about companies embracing PSMF?
I agree with Tony - proper recognition for the ITSM professional. This'll surely provide motivation to those in the industry and appeal to those outside to join it.

In ten words or less, what does being an ITSMF UK member mean to you?
Access to help, advice, resources and fantastic like minded people.

ITSM16 is less than a month away. Book now, or call us on 0118 918 6500.

Tags:  ITSM16  Q&A  Service Transition 

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ITSM16 Q&A: Anthony Oxley, SLM SIG Chair

Posted By Anthony Oxley, 20 October 2016

In the lead up to ITSM16, we'll be posting blogs from various people answering a simple Q&A about ITSM16 and why they'll be attending this year.

Anthony Oxley, Chair of the Service Level Management Special Interest Group follows Richard Horton.

What are you most looking forward to at ITSM16?
Finding about more about PSMF and Enterprise Service Management

What have you got out of attending previous ITSMF UK conferences?
The breadth of knowledge at conference always astounds me. Picking up on trends and what other IT professionals are doing in their respective industries proves that ITSM is more relevant than ever before and extends far beyond traditional IT

Why are you attending the conference this year?

Presenting, volunteering, and taking the opportunity to catch up with colleagues old and not yet met. (oh and the dinner - some well deserved R&R)

Someone who hasn’t been to a conference before asks you what they’d get out of it. What would you tell them?
You will get the chance to mingle with your peers, pick up new ideas that you can take back to your workplace and benefit from in a practical sense. You will also find you are not alone in the challenges that you face in all aspects of Service Management.

What’s been one of the biggest changes in the ITSM industry in the past 25 years?
The industrialization of Service Management and a move away from strict rules and procedures to a more fluid and dynamic approach focused on the experience and not just the physical IT.

What are you most looking forward to in the future of ITSM?
The extension of best practices in ITSM in to other areas of the business such as facilities, HR, and finance, and the opportunity to enhance and improve service management best practices by making use of best practice frameworks in other areas, as we have done with Project Management and Enterprise Service Management.

What excites you most about company’s embracing PSMF?
At last, proper recognition of Service Management as a profession and not just a role. Standardisation of Service Management standards across the board.

In ten words or fewer, what does being an ITSMF UK member mean to you?

Share ideas, develop new ways of thinking, learn from others.

Now is the perfect time to book your place at ITSM16.
Book here, or call us on 0118 918 6500.

Tags:  ITSM16  Q&A 

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ITSM16 Q&A: Richard Horton, itSMF UK Board Member

Posted By Richard Horton, 17 October 2016

In the lead up to ITSM16, we'll be posting blogs from various people answering a simple Q&A about ITSM16 and why they'll be attending this year. 

Richard Horton, itSMF UK Board Member and Service Delivery manager at the NIHR CRN (University of Leeds), is the first to respond.

What are you most looking forward to at ITSM16?
The presentation of and dialogue about PSMF.

What have you got out of attending previous ITSMF UK conferences?
Practical insights that I've been able to take back into the workplace, apply, and still find relevant.

Why are you attending the conference this year?

To be part of our showcase event. With all that's been happening this year and the 25 year factor, it feels like it should prove a memorable event.

What’s been one of the biggest changes in the ITSM industry in the past 25 years?
Not sure I can comment on 25 years — I wasn't aware of ITSM as a concept then, let alone as an industry. So maybe breadth of engagement would be one perspective.

What are you most looking forward to in the future of ITSM?

There's a recurring theme about same challenges/mistakes/weaknesses recurring and it would be good if through PSMF or otherwise we can see better generally adopted practices... especially if they can cater for emergent ways of working.

In ten words or fewer, what does being an ITSMF UK member mean to you?

Working with dedicated volunteers, seeking common good, ITSM challenges embraced.

Don't hesitate, book for ITSM16 NOW!

Tags:  ITSM16 

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Automation and Self-Resolution – Are we up to the challenge?

Posted By Robert Stroud, 06 September 2016
Updated: 05 September 2016
With our growing dependency on IT, we need to start delivering services in the way that our customers really want them.
I was recently shopping in a store, something that I don’t enjoy doing. Whilst waiting in the long line the announcement echoed over the store intercom that sales were temporarily suspended due to a computer failure. Now, instead of abandoning my trolley and leaving the store, I thought that I would wait this one out and see how IT and the business interacted to resolve the problem. As I watched, the store manager worked on the phone with the ‘help desk’ to isolate and remediate the problem. The triage and resolution took for what seemed hours but actually was only a matter of minutes.
Especially interesting to me during this entire incident was the reinforcement that technology was a single point of failure in the company’s business process and the assumption that ‘IT’ will always be on and will work. 
After the shop had reverted to business as usual, I asked the manager why his staff couldn’t simply use calculators to process the customers’ orders. He explained that it was company policy to suspend transactions in these circumstances due to the total interconnectivity of inventory systems, differing tax rates and so on for which the staff had not been appropriately trained.
For me this was a stark reminder of the growing dependency on technology that we all face in our lives, a situation reinforced by a number of changes:
  • Mobility – no longer a fad but business as usual.
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere; just look around you at the moment. Today, enterprise applications are being delivered in ‘fit for purpose’ apps on mobile devices, threatening to make desktops and even laptops irrelevant. Think for a moment about the growing number of virtual stores where cameras on smartphones are used to scan barcodes, and then the associated app interfaces with the inventory system, processing orders and credit card transactions and emailing receipts. This represents only the beginning. Apps will proliferate and even be integrated into a constructed business process that can be developed within the organisation by a business analyst. Mobility is no longer a ‘fad’, it’s the norm.
  • Complexity across the service value chain 
IT services are becoming increasingly complex. This is partly due to the way that third parties are used for selected functions, while older technology retained at the heart of the organisation is required to do unnatural acts! This added complexity makes it more difficult and expensive to address issues with these services, which means that IT must become more proactive. This can be achieved with the integration of IT infrastructure tools that monitor all aspects of the service topography, including partner interfaces, and then aggregate the outputs of these tools – metrics, alerts, etc. – related to the services. The goal is to understand potential performance issues or failures and to deal with them before they recur or become a problem.
  • Self-resolution the norm 
I, like many others, regularly network with my virtual peers and community to seek answers to questions. My daughter-in-law, for example, was recently trying to resolve a problem with some software she used for her work. Instead of calling the service desk, she posted a question on Facebook and the community pointed her to an update to the software application and she self-provisioned the solution, without any interaction with the IT organisation.
Today we trawl the internet for great travel deals and book our travel online. Only a decade ago we used a travel agent. Now, if there are problems with our reservations, we can resolve them quickly on our own, instead of having to queue or contact a service desk. Today, if my plane is cancelled, I am notified almost instantly of my new arrangements on my wireless device and I only need to call if I am not satisfied. The airline is acting proactively, not waiting to react when the phone rings.
Self-resolution is clearly becoming the norm and will become more pervasive.

  • Automate everything 
IT organisations must focus on the automation of service creation, delivery, resolution and escalation. This is not just to provide better customer service; forward-thinking organisations are automating in order to make resources available for value-added activities such as building new services or proactive problem management.
It is not enough, though, just to automate the IT process. We must ensure that relevant audit checkpoints are maintained and automated restoration is available in case of failure. Automation is critical!
  • Deliver services, not resolve incidents
The accelerated business cadence is all about delivering service to the organisation’s customers with speed, quality and differentiation; but to achieve this requires more than automation and slick technology.
The service desk team must also transition. The team must shed the image of waiting for the phone to ring, documenting and passing the issue to the next step in the chain. The team must focus on building and delivering in order to increase both their real and perceived value within the organisation; otherwise they will quickly become irrelevant.
Many people tell me that service management is dead. Not true! What is true is that the role of service management is evolving - from one of support to one of focus on delivery and proactivity. With our growing dependency on IT, we have a challenge and an opportunity to add even greater value to the business in the months ahead. 
Are you up for the challenge?

If you'd like more help with this subject then why not attend one of our workshops? For more information visit our events page 

Tags:  Automation  Managing Complexity  Service Catalogue  Service Delivery 

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ITSM Podcast Episode 1 - SITS16

Posted By Rebecca L. Beach, 12 July 2016
Updated: 12 July 2016


In this new series of podcasts we'll be talking to self proclaimed ITSM "old fogies" Barclay Rae, James Finister, Stephen Mann and Pat Bolger and other guests about everything ITSM.

Episode 1 comes from the floor of SITS16 and features guest Ollie O'Donohue from SDI and a brief gatecrashing from Chris Matchett

View all our podcasts on SoundCloud or iTunes.


Tags:  ITSM  Podcast  SITS16 

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