Thursday, 29 May 2014


When I talk about ITSM and SIAM I'm increasingly struck by the development of an implicit underlying model that I guess is analogous to Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

In the mists of time it seemed vital to get people to embrace the concept of process and following ITIL guidance. That still remains true, but it is really just an enabler for ITSM excellence.

When I begin to look around at the organisations and individuals who are successful in our world I don't see people who say

 "We should start  doing it this way, because that is what ITIL says."  

Instead I see people who don't confuse the means and the end.  They ask

"What does IT need to change to be more effective in supporting the business?"

Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't  The ones who succeed answer the most important question:

"How do we make IT become more effective in supporting the business?"

If we are honest most of us know what IT needs to do differently but what we don't know is how to make it behave differently.

There has been some interesting research into the difficulties of making parents take up vaccination programs again after the damage caused by pseudo-scientific claims of a link to autism.

What interests me, apart from the fact there isn't a single glib answer, is the value put upon an individual. or an organisation's, self image.

When we ask a  manager, a team, a whole IT department to change their behaviors to protect their jobs they actually hear a totally different message:

"You aren't as capable as you think you are - or worse still you really are as bad at your job as you worry you might be at 2am in the morning"

So the question becomes how do we persuade people to change without undermining their sense of self?

I don't have that glib answer, but it is a question we need to ask.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The 2014 Service Desk Show

This year's Service Desk & IT Support Show has now finished, the stands are packed away and many of the exhibitors and attendees have already jetted off to exotic locations. I'm in Coventry myself.

Once again the show was a great success in the eyes of those who attended, despite the impact of the tube strike and Know14 taking place in San Francisco at the same time.

In previous years I've struggled to get around the show to see all the stands and shake all the hands, so this year I made the conscious decision not to attend any of the conference sessions, excellent though the programme was. TCS also helped out by taking a stand this year.

Sophie Danby, Ivor Macfarlane, Myself, Suresh and Andrea

As you might have already guessed, I still didn't manage to get around the whole show.

I did get to meet a lot of great people, including friends old and new. This really is a social event. For many of us a highlight of this year's experience was the visit of HP's Suresh GP, the charming and enthusiastic  host of the Indian ITSM podcast. You can hear his extremely positive views on the event on the upcoming ITSM Review podcast. Which also provides me with an opportunity to once again congratulate Barclay Rae, on winning the ITSM Contributor of the Year Award, against stiff competition.  It felt a little odd to be back on a podcast, especially since literally seconds before being dragged off to join it I'd publicly announced that I was planning to leave future podcasts to a younger generation.

Incidentally Barclay and I are also among the contributors to LANDesk's guide to Shadow IT. Just look at this content page of ITSM goodness.

And if you didn't pick up a hardcopy at the show don't worry because they will be releasing it as an ebook.
A key point I made on the podcast is that if you are deciding which ITSM tool to go with thenyou need to look at their contribution to thought leadership, not just the technical capability of the tool.

If you decided not to make the trip this year because of the travel disruption then I entreat you to make the effort to come next year when it will be returning to Olympia, and if you are lurking on SocMed then please please feel free to announce that you are going and come and join the party.

On the subject of parties I couldn't end this post without a special thanks to SysAid and ITSM Review for organizing the social side of things after hours, and to LANdesk for keeping myself and the team stoked up on excellent coffee and, at the appropriate time of the day, Pimms. Incidentally there is a blogpost that needs to be written about how LANdesk's contracted in for the event  barista went out of his way to be an active part of their value network.

And finally a big big thank you to Toby, Carsten and particularly to Laura for making this event happen.  In the word's of the Terminator "I'll be back"