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Pink16: So Little Time, So Much to Learn

By | February 2, 2016 in ITSM


Pink ITSM conference

It’s that time again, for one of IT service management’s (ITSM) “grand slam” industry conferences – Pink Elephant’s Pink16, now in its 20th year at the swanky Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. But sadly not for me, instead I’ll be watching the conference from afar this year (via Twitter). It doesn’t stop me dreaming of the sessions I’d attend though, and I’ll be recommending these to my colleague Ami Shimkin and anyone else willing to listen.

The theme of this year's conference is “IT @ The Speed of Change” – with Pink Elephant stating that IT teams now “need to be quick, lean, innovative, proactive, timely and effective.” As per usual, there’s a wide range of content, some would say too much content, crammed into three days across the following session types and tracks:

  • Keynotes
  • “Power hour”
  • Pre-conference optimizers
  • IT leadership
  • IT strategic management
  • Lean IT and Agile
  • Service support and operations
  • “How to” ITIL clinics and workshops
  • DevOps
  • Organizational change management
  • Pink Think Tank
  • Tools and technology
  • Cyber risk and security management
  • Ask the expert breakfast club
  • Half-day workshops

So much content that it really is an excuse for human cloning. Alternatively, you just have to realize that you can’t see all the sessions you want to, pray for minimal session clashes, and selectively pick what you imagine to be the best use of your limited time.

But I’m happy to help, with the following suggested sessions. And please excuse the odd early-bird session – I selected what I deem to be the most promising sessions no matter when they are.

Pink16 Must-See Sessions (Well, According to Me)

07:15 Monday, February 15: “The IT Renaissance” with Rob England, The IT Skeptic
(Track 2: IT Strategic Management)

Rob will talk to how the world of IT is changing – from the drivers to the effects on corporate IT. Listening to Rob speak about anything IT and ITSM is a no-brainer, so to hear him talk about how so much is changing from employee expectations through to the technology itself is definitely a must-see session for me.

10:30 Monday, February 15: “Pink Think Tank Summary – What They Really Talked About Behind Closed Doors” with Rob England, The IT Skeptic
(Track 8: Pink Think Tank)

Sorry to recommend two Rob sessions in a row, I can only blame the schedulers and the fact that Rob is doing so many sessions at Pink16. This session provides feedback from the collected conversations and noodling of a number of ITSM “big thinkers.” It clashes with Earl’s presentation below, so you could always flip a coin as to which of the two you attend. And, if like previous years, Rob will most likely produce a white paper on the Pink Think Tank outcomes.

10:30 Monday, February 15: “Don’t Rain On My ITSM Parade – Transitional Change Management When Moving to the Cloud” with Earl Begley, Total Quality Manager, Analytics & Technologies, University of Kentucky
(Track 9: Tools & Technology)

Earl is a well-respected ITSM practitioner and we have to take advantage of good practitioner advice whenever we can as it’s not as common as I’d like it to be. In this session, Earl shares the lessons learned from a higher-education IT department’s journey from a risk prone, on-premise data center to an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model.

14:00 Monday, February 15: “Why Governance of Enterprise IT (GEIT) Is Not a 4 Letter Word!” with Robert E. Stroud, Forrester Analyst and ISACA International President 2014/15
(Track 2: IT Strategic Management)

Rob is a seasoned presenter from his days in a senior ITSM role at CA Technologies, plus his international itSMF and ISACA positions. Now a principal consultant at Forrester Research, I’m sure Rob will deliver an insightful overview of where IT organizations need to be from a governance perspective in the light of the rapidly changing IT and business landscapes.

07:15 Tuesday, February 16: “Helping Managers Enhance Skills & Services With ITIL Practitioner” with Kaimar Karu, Head of ITSM, AXELOS Global Best Practice
(Track 9: Tools & Technology)

Kaimar will discuss the current skills gap in the IT industry and the impact it has on the way we deliver services. He’ll be using the new “ITIL Practitioner” syllabus to outline how individuals and teams can improve, with an emphasis on communication, change, and continual service improvement.

10:30 Tuesday, February 16: “Bimodal IT: Shortcut to Innovation or Path to Dysfunction?” with Damon Edwards, Managing Partner, DTO Solutions

He’s a well-known DevOps figure, so I’d bet that Damon’s bimodal IT session will be of great value to those wanting to hear more about the future of IT management and ITSM. If you can’t make this one, then look out for Damon’s second session later on the same day, at 14:00, called “The History Of DevOps (& What You Need To Do About It)” (Track 6: DevOps).

14:00 Tuesday February 16: “The CMDB in a Cloudy & BYOD Universe” with Carlos Casanova, President  & Solutions Architect, K2 Solutions
(Track 9: Tools & Technology)

Sadly, Carlos’s session clashes with Damon’s second so it’s another flip a coin time. Carlos is co-responsible for what must be the biggest-selling CMDB book ever, along with Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell, and it’s great to see him talking CMDB in a world where cloud and BYOD make configuration management even more complicated, yet even more important.

But That’s Not All…

So that’s just some of my recommendations for the session tracks. I’m sure the keynote sessions will be great too. The one by Tom Koulopoulos, chairman and founder of Delphi Group, in particular looks very interesting. Plus, there are the final-day afternoon workshops of which I’d personally opt to attend Paul Wilkinson’s of GamingWorks – his sessions are always funny and informative.

Then finally, and I’m not just saying this because I work for an ITSM tool vendor, make good use of the expo hall time. Not just to grab freebies and to win prizes, but to also speak to vendors about ITSM best practices and the new challenges they are seeing with customer ITSM activities. It’s a great place to learn too, if you ask the right questions. Read this blog about getting the most out of ITSM conference expos for more on this.

We would love to have you as our guest at the SysAid booth, so please pop by for a chat about ITSM best practice and the ITSM community as a whole. You can find out who will be attending from SysAid on our event page for Pink16. If you’ve chatted with us at an industry event before, then you will know that while we are there to demo SysAid (especially our new reporting and BI capabilities!), we are also there to spend time talking with IT professionals about the challenges and opportunities they face. And you’d also know that we have the best swag at every event!

So please come by to say “hello” at Pink16. Joe the IT Guy loves all the attention.

Dena Wieder-Freiden

About Dena Wieder-Freiden

As SysAid’s Content Marketing Manager, Dena values most her friendships and daily conversations with the awesome IT service management (ITSM) authorities from all over the world! As they share their knowledge with her, she enjoys paying it forward to the IT community at large. Outside of work, she’s most likely at the gym, the beach, or at home watching a movie and spending time with her family.

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