Monday, Feb 17th – Steady streams of visitors to the SysAid booth continued on the 2nd day of Pink14. What a thrill to get such fantastic feedback, not only on what we offer as an IT service desk tool, but also in regards to our physical booth. Several exhibitors even approached to take pictures of our booth and ask for details on our booth designer…for that, we’re honored and thankful to our internal art department and Quadrant2Design.
Additionally, keeping with the IT superhero theme of the conference, a big shout-out must go to our lovable Joe The IT Guy who is indeed our special IT hero. The kissing and hugging and photo-shoots with Joe don’t seem to be slowing down…maybe he’ll even get a billboard in Las Vegas before this is all over :).
Lucky for me, I was able to move away from the booth for a few hours and attend some incredible sessions. I’d like to mention a bit of what I saw:
The opening keynote with Colonel Chris Hadfield was extraordinarily inspiring. There wasn't a dry eye in the house for his presentation. Besides being a famous and accomplished astronaut, he is also a skilled and funny presenter, with a wonderful singing voice too – this I learned from his rendition of “Ground Control to Major Tom” at the end of his presentation. Stories from The Colonel’s life conveyed messages important to the IT service management industry; his advice really resonated with the audience.
Peter Hepworth, CEO at AXELOS, came on the stage right after the keynote. Although it might have been difficult for him to follow a singing astronaut, he managed to grab our attention with a few announcements, one being the appointment of Kaimar Karu as the new ITIL Director. Upon hearing this, SysAid’s VP Product Oded Moshe, asked me to pass this message on: “I would like to personally congratulate Kaimar who is definitely the right person at the right time for the job. I had the pleasure to spend some quality time with Kaimar in Estonia during the great itSMF Estonia event he put together, and I am sure that his experience and knowledge, combined with his energy and passion will bring great value to us all!”
Another big announcement was about the launch of Cyber Security as an addition to the best practice portfolio. This just proves that ITIL is always adapting itself to the ever-changing world we live in. We’re excited that our dear friend Stuart Rance will be heading up the publication side of said Cyber Security. Congrats, Stuart!
Peter came back later in the day with Frances Scarf, Product Development Director, to present the AXELOS session Putting the Community At The Heart Of ITIL. They reviewed some global research they had done on ITIL. For example, they found that a whopping 81% of CIOs surveyed said that ITIL is very or exceedingly valuable to them. Good to know! They also talked about AXELOS launching a new partner network, adding that they will be releasing more information about it in the coming weeks. SysAid, by the way, is lined up to talk to them about being involved in this program.
The session called Slow IT: Meet in the Middle by Rob England (aka @theitskeptic) was another highlight for me. Rob was very clear in his message to businesses – that they can't have everything all at once, and they need to reset their expectations. Businesses can't expect service from IT like we get from places like the Apple Store. It's a very touchy subject, 50% agree and 50% really disagree. Personally I think we have to be more realistic about the service we want from IT, but at the same time I do think that IT needs to realize it's a changing world and they have to adapt. In regards to Slow IT, we should probably always look at the value that the technology brings to the business, including ROI (return on investment) and TCI (total cost of ownership) and not the narrow view of staying updated with the latest technology. You can read more about Slow IT in Rob’s blog.
During the sessions, several questions came up and I thought it’d be interesting to crowdsource the answers with SysAid experts, so here we go:
What makes a good leader?
How can IT make the business understand that IT can't do everything all at once and as soon as they want it?
IT can do anything the business wants, but it comes at a cost. So, for a price, everything is possible. The key is prioritizing and then the business can decide on what they want to invest in. Everything all at once is not the way. Everyone in the business needs to agree on the priorities! SLA defines all of this of course, so a main issue is to publish the SLA.
How to approach the communication barrier between IT and business?
Should IT provide service as good as the Apple model or is it unrealistic?
It depends. In some ways IT can provide Apple-like services – the courtesy, the smile, the willingness to help. But we have to understand that part of Apple’s core value is their service and it has a cost…why do you think their products are so pricey?
In the competitive business world we live in today, it’s unrealistic for internal IT service departments to get enough resources to live up to the model Apple provides. They need to be creative and try. IT budgets are measured and benchmarked against a percent of a business’ revenue, which varies per industry. So bottom line: budgets are limited and you have to do the best you can with the existing resources.
What would be your answers to these questions?