A big week for ITSM – SITS13, G2G3, ITIL, CAPITA

So that was the week that was – what a week in the ITSM world….! Here’s some summary thoughts

SITS13 – the (UK) Service Desk and IT Support show

London 23 – 24 April

As ever this was a busy and brilliant event for the industry – clearly the most focused and clearly defined of all the IT support exhibitions and a treasure trove for all concerned – networkers, vendors, buyers, practitioners, analysts and consultants.

As a presenter, exhibitor and industry watcher I found it fascinating, rewarding and exhausting – but most of all very enjoyable to meet up with so many industry people from all fronts to discuss Service Management. I was pleased that the key themes emerging were very similar to my own approach and position with ITSMGoodness – evolution not revolution, outcome focus, practical and pragmatic customer focus. In particular it was very rewarding to hear of several people using the content from this successfully and on their own initiative.

For the event as a whole I think it was seen as a success by all – particularly the involvement and sponsorship of Gartner, who brought a new level of focus to the proceedings. It was very positive to hear Jeff Brooks taking about buying in line with a culture match and not just a technology tick list – hopefully that message will have been actively heard by buyers at the show..

Anyway, great credence to Diversified Communications and of course Laura and her team for another great event…! Look out for some interviews on ITSMTV.

G2G3, ITIL and Capita

At the show it was announced that G2G3 had been acquired by Capita. This was a surprise although in the context of the week it set the agenda for the big announcement about Capita also winning the bid for a joint venture with the UK govt for ITIL and Prince2. Formal announcement.

So, in the course of a few days, The ‘crown jewels’ of the ITSM industry have gone to one large corporate firm, in partnership with the UK government. Also they have acquired one of the most creative and forward thinking companies in the industry.

For me personally and my clients, the ITIL announcement has little or no impact – I don’t ‘do’ any ‘formal’ ITIL work and haven’t been involved in the formal training or publishing programmes, really for some time, if ever at all… I know it will be a difficult time of uncertainty for many in the industry, although I believe there will be little immediate change. There may of course be longer term shakedowns for all of us in the industry but that can always happen so we shoudln’t panic or overreact negatively to this. I’ve also grown bored of the debate around the relevance and future of ITIL, when for many practitioners, the debate (and ITIL) has little to do with the requirements and practicalities of their day jobs…

There is of course already a lot of speculation and concern on social media around what this will all mean – here’s my initial thoughts:

  • As an industry, we have been complaining about the way ITIL is delivered and run for some time – now we’ve got it! This is potentially a radical opportunity (with resources) to re-shape what this is and how its delivered
  • It’s a big concern that one corporate entity now owns and can control this – obvious concern for other vendors and interested parties – we will need clarity quickly on how this can be properly, transparently and equably managed
  • The goal of all of this must be quality IT delivery to support businesses and customers – not just short term financial gain  – that has been a concern for some time however…
  • Using the ‘£500m boost for (UK) taxpayers’ as a leading message isn’t a great start as a driver for the global industry and misses the message about IT quality…
  • We should view the investment opportunity as a possible means to further professionalise the approach and delivery of ITIL – moving away from the cottage industry to a proper business model. So hopefully this will mean a more professional and co-ordinated writing and editing approach for consistency, plus I hope e.g. we can see more clear business metrics and data that support the value derived from ITIL
  • Capita has some detractors and in some quarters an image problem re its track record with government projects – taking on ITIL and Prince2 involves a responsibility to deliver in accordance with not just best but excellent practice
  • I’ve known G2G3, its owners and many of its key people for some time – (I gave them their first piece of paid work ..!). I have a lot of respect for their innovation and business acumen. Their inclusion here would not be done without much care and is to me a positive part of this process – ideally as they (1) might have some good influence on approach and (2) this could mean more focus on experiential learning as part of the ‘ITIL’ training programme (something I think is long overdue). Their inclusion is central and potentially pivotal from my perspective and I hope this can suggest a positive outlook.

So, overall I think it’s interesting, slightly unexpected, challenging and potentially game-changing, although this could all go several ways and possibly not always as the current ITSM industry sees or wants it. That in itself might not be a bad thing. However there are real concerns on quality and direction and it’s down to Capita and their partners to work on messages and communication with clarity and openness as much as possible.

There are many challenges to be met.

For me – and I suspect a great number of people – I’ll get on with doing what I do and react accordingly – particularly when there is more information made available. It would be nice to hear more and I hope to get some interviews for ITSMTV and the ITSMROW podcast when possible.

What do you think will happen? what are your concerns?

4 replies
  1. David
    David says:

    Glad you made the remark about “experiential learning”, Barclay, and how this week’s news might (at last) make it possible for this type of training to be incorporated into the official ITIL & Prince2 certification programs – however it won’t be anytime soon, I suspect.

    I made the same observation on my own blog earlier today: http://blogs.pinkelephant.com/index.php?/president/comments/no_change_no_change_-_itil_prince2_sold_by_uk_government_to_capita1/

    As an eternal optimist I chose to hope that this will all be good news in the longer run. Although I had never heard of Capita until the gossip started about a week ago :)

    Reply
  2. Ian Clayton
    Ian Clayton says:

    So, can we now finally focus our collective thoughts on what ITSM really is, and how we will practice within that set of thinking. I feel there is no better time than now, given this reminder, that our industry needs to be able to continuously refine this set of important thinking.

    We can no longer allow ourselves to be bound or be subject to the gravitational pull of one framework or another.
    ITSM always was and always should be the wider, open conversation here. Smell coffee anyone…?

    Reply
  3. Dave Jones
    Dave Jones says:

    I agree with Barclay that the opportunity to m,ove the whole ITIL world forward is now available, the door is open to a higher quality IT Service Deslivery approach. Will we as an industry have the courage to cross the threshold? Will we engage with the “new owners” at the right level at the right time? Who will engage with Capita – certainly those who have given so freely of their expertise and time in the past because ITIL was seen as totally independent of any specific vendor might think twice (even three times). On the other hand those who made a living out of the previous set up might be rubbing theor hands together in anticipation of yet another round of books, accreditation requirements etc. Until Capita announce how they envisage delivering the service we are just guessing, so hopefully an announcement soon to help us on our way – please.
    A final point – I too was dismayed to read that HMG are looking to make around £500 million over 10 years. Gone is the independent aspect of ITIL it has become a revenue generating “thing”. I also would like to know how this money will be generated, from whom, where?
    Come on Capita and HMG let us know what you are planning – you never know as stakeholders we might have some ideas that will help.

    Reply

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