LEADit – Round Up Day 3 & Summary – Does the IT department need to chill out?

This is my review of the third day of the itSMF Australia annual conference: LEADit. See my review of days 1 and 2 here.

My final day of the conference began rather slowly and later than usual after the Gala Dinner & itSMF Industry Awards the previous night.  Many a blurry eyed, caffeine fixated attendee (or was that just me?) arrived for the opening keynotes from two respected ITSM stalwarts & orators – Rob England and James Finister.

“IT must be a balance of protect existing and serving new projects” – Rob England

Rob England’s “Meet in the Middle” was a clear message that businesses must slow down the ‘galloping horse’ of demand of the IT department to protect existing projects (Slow IT) to allow headspace and time to choose & effectively control the appropriate ones. This then allows IT to effectively serve the business objectives with the innovative, agile and responsive (FAST) approach. Rob warned us that IT is reaching limits and must adapt to survive, by embracing ‘meet in the middle’ overload could be prevented.

“In 2014, SIAM is transformational” – James Finister

James Finister presented the second keynote with an introduction to Service Integration and Management (SIAM). He provided an engaging insight to SIAM and explained the what, how, where, when, and why of the practice. James argued that whilst the practice had been around for a while organizations were taking a new approach and was being embraced by more organizations (Giving Jaguar as an example) to better manage their service providers, improve efficiency and bottom line.

The last breakout sessions of the conference were again well attended for the last day and it is testament to the content. The feedback I received was that there has been a fair balance of topics throughout the week (main topics being Cloud, Governance, Agility, DevOps, Security and Mobility) and on the whole the speakers were very good, especially Jason Gray who was voted best new speaker by the attendees.

James Finister, Karen Ferris, Rob Stroud and Malcom Fry

The final keynote before itSMF Chair Kathryn Heaton wrapped up the conference in the afternoon was a very lively and entertaining look at hypothetical company Rabid Bank and the modern challenge it faced in embracing what seems like opposing approaches of ITIL & DevOps.

Moderated by Rob England, the panel consisted of important members of the Rabid Bank’s imaginary staff with ITSM big hitters – James Finister (CIO), Karen Ferris (Change Manager), Rob Stroud, (Applications Manager) and Malcolm Fry (Operations Manager) discussing their character’s different viewpoints on finding the balance between ITIL & DevOps. Hypothetical challenges were put to the panel by Rob England to see whether the embracing of new concepts like DevOps could exist and succeed with existing best practices like ITIL & COBIT  for the success of the imaginary bank.

The final keynote was a great way to round off the conference as it summed up the event perfectly with ITSM big hitters discussing current hot topics in Service Management in a sociable and entertaining manner but more importantly in a way the attendees could all translate and use when they go back to their own respective organizations.

With the backing of 30 vendor’s sponsorship, over 600 attendees could attend 80 sessions over 3 days to learn about the latest thought leadership from leading pioneers of what I believe shows a healthy ITSM community in Australia. The massive value for me at these events is that ITSM professionals can meet their peers and discuss the problems and challenges they all face from a number of different job roles but always with the same goal- To improve the role of IT in business through Service Management.

If you are an ITSM professional and can get sign off and attend then the next LEADit ITSMF Australia conference is in Brisbane between August 19th-21st 2015

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