ITSM events

2014: A Year of ITSM Events

It’s nearly 2015 so I decided that it would be fitting to write a quick summary of 2014 via the medium of blog. At first I thought I could list all the people that I’ve helped during the year – but that would’ve been way too long a blog (and I’m sure there are people out there that my blogs have helped without me knowing). Instead I decided to look back at some of the key IT service management (ITSM) events of 2014 and their key messages – it’s been a busy year for this tiny New Yorker and his suitcase.

Pink 14

In February, I started my ITSM Event year in Las Vegas … baby (I believe that this is an obligatory add-on once you’ve been to Vegas … baby) at the annual Pink Elephant conference. It had all the usual ingredients – conferences sessions, a vendor Expo Hall, and after hours networking (I believe this is what I have to call it for legal purposes) – plus something special, the Pink Think Tank.

This brought together some of the ITSM industries brightest minds Charles Araujo, Charles Betz, David Cannon, Troy DuMoulin, Rob England, Karen Ferris, and Jack Probst, plus James Finister (sorry, I couldn’t help myself James) who spent a day discussing the main issues faced by corporate IT organizations. Before focusing in on one issue in detail – from defining the problem through to outlining potential solutions.

The Think Tank chose to drill into the management of multi-supplier scenarios, often called service integration or service integration and management (SIAM), and my write up of the tank’s pursuits can be read here.

There are also two Pink 14 blogs, outlining key messages from some of the sessions, by Sophie Danby:

itSMF Norway

At the start of March, Sophie attended the “Grease”-inspired itSMF Norway conference, and she has since called out itSMF Norway as her favorite ITSM event of the year. And this was even without yours truly being there to crack jokes and to buy the drinks.

Sophie’s three key takeaways were that:

  • ITSM professionals can’t continue to ignore DevOps – the benefits are too great to miss.
  • We (in IT) need to be honest in everything that we do, both with ourselves and with our customers.
  • We need continual service improvement to help maintain success.

The itSMF Norway event, again with a pop culture theme, should be even bigger and better in 2015, although I’m not sure who can get away with working 9 to 5 these days. Outside of the Nordics that is.

HDI 2014

Later in March, my SysAid colleagues and I were in Florida for HDI 2014. Again Sophie wrote a couple of blogs (I think she might be trying to steal my blogging thunder) where she lists her favorite sessions and their key messages and takeaways – too many to list here so please visit the original blogs. The first blog covers:

  • “Step Away from the Computer: Customer Focus in Desktop Support” by Roy Atkinson of HDI
  • “Social Collaboration in ITSM: The Next Big Thing or the Next Time-Waster?” by Matthew Neigh of Cherwell Software
  • “Ignite Your Life” the day one closing keynote by John O’Leary

Sophie’s second blog covers:

  • “Inside the Mind of the Modern Customer” by Randi Zuckerberg of Zuckerberg Media
  • “Daddy, Where Do Metrics Come From?” again by Roy Atkinson
  • “Analyst Productivity and Efficiency in the Multichannel Support Center” by Sarah Stealey Reed of the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI)


In April we attended the Service Desk and IT Support Show in London. My colleague Dena Wieder-Freiden wrote a blog where she rues the fact that she couldn’t hear what Patrick Bolger – her and many others’ ITSM hero – was saying during his presentation on “Reimagining the Role of IT.”

It was Dena’s first ITSM event and she learnt a lot. Her blog documents the key takeaways from her two favorite sessions:

  • “Service Desks: Step Up Your Game” by Dave Jones, of Pink Elephant
  • “Is ITIL Ready for a DevOps Approach?” by Kaimar Karu of AXELOS

 Again there’s too many to list here so please check out Dena’s blog post.


In August, my SysAid Australia colleagues attended itSMF Australia’s annual LEADit event in Melbourne and Cael Metcalfe wrote up his key takeaways and more in this blog. His key takeaways were that:

  • Agile methodologies in ITSM are gaining ground. This message was even more evident as AXELOS announced a new PRINCE2 Agile Best Practice Framework at the event.
  • Continual service improvement (CSI) is vitally important to your organization. Every IT professional should spend at least 5% of their time improving what they do.
  • ITIL is not the only global framework. It’s important for IT professionals to have a good understanding of all frameworks and what value they can provide, COBIT5 for example.
  • Service level agreements (SLAs) need to support end-to-end business; they should not be overly technology-focused.
  • IT is not merely a technology operation, it’s an enabler of business (it is the business!).
  • The Service Desk should be a hub of value creation.

Interop New York

At the start of October I attended Interop New York. It was new experience for me – with it being an IT rather than an ITSM event – and very unsettling that no one knew who I was. There are a number of blogs related to what we heard and learnt at Interop but my favorite presentation had to be the one by Harper Reed – I wrote up the Harper essentials here, which includes tips for creating the right team.

Other Interop blogs include:


In late October I attended FUSION 14 – the joint itSMF USA and HDI event – in Washington. Lots of good content and, like Sophie Danby, I particularly enjoyed a HDI panel with Jenny Rains, Cinda Daly, and the customer service demi-god that is Roy Atkinson. Some of their key points, based on recent HDI research, were that:

  • “Service organizations are still challenged to demonstrate business value and to support sustainable business growth.”
  • “Service and support models are changing to streamline, enhance mobile and remote support, bolster shift-left, AND become the single point of contact for all business services.”
  • Automation and self-service are growing in use. Two great statistics were that: remote control technology is now (unbelievably) more common in support centers than incident management technology, and 85% of organizations now provide some type of self-help facility.
  • The use of IT service management (ITSM) tools and techniques outside of IT continues to grow. 25% of organizations have already taken ITSM outside of IT, with another 26% currently doing, or planning to do, so.
  • Knowledge management is in vogue (again). Ranked second to incident management as the most important technology required for successful end-user support.

Check out the full HDI “Service Management: Not Just for IT Anymore” report for more details. Sophie also wrote a snapshot of the event as a whole which can be read here.

itSMF Estonia

In December, itSMF Estonia wowed an international audience, which had descended on Tallinn, with its growing annual conference. Sadly SysAid didn’t let me out of my cubicle to attend  but my colleagues Ami Shimkin, Dena, and Sophie were there to feel the ITSM love (plus I’m not sure how the cold weather would have affected my perfectly coiffured hair).

Sophie wrote a quick blog (well it doesn’t look like she spent that much time on it) – “What Can Estonia Teach You about IT Service Management?” – and offered up her personal key takeaways as:

  • Remove the culture of blame and encourage people to take ownership.
  • Speak in a language the business understands.
  • Focus on delivering business VALUE.
  • Talk AND listen to your customers.
  • Measure only what matters.

Well that was 2014, or at least the main ITSM events we attended, in a nutshell; and 2015 will be upon us before we know it. I was also going to write a 2015 predictions blog but that pesky Sarah Lahav beat me to it with her “15 IT Trends for 2015” blog. Just as well she’s the boss around here…

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Posted by Joe the IT Guy

Joe the IT Guy
Joe the IT Guy

Native New Yorker. Loves everything IT-related (and hugs). Passionate blogger and Twitter addict. Oh...and resident IT Guy at SysAid Technologies (almost forgot the day job!).

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