By Dick Stark
The 22nd annual Pink Elephant Conference, held last week, February 18 to21 in Orlando, has traditionally been IT’s annual tribute and awards ceremony to all things ITIL. That’s changing, as there is a new Sheriff in town, DevOps. And Pink has coined a new word for this conjoined DevOps/ITIL new world: Integrated Service Management. Here are a few things I learned at this year’s show.
ITIL alone is not enough. So said Pink Elephant President, David Ratcliffe at the Pink 18 kick-off. David went on to say that ITIL is still the star of the show, but it needs a new supporting cast. He proudly announced that over three million people now have some type of ITIL certification, with Pink training at least 500,000 of them. Have over three million ITIL certified people made a difference? Does ITIL matter? Yes, especially translating knowledge into results. Delivering knowledge, like taking an ITIL class is only the first step.
It’s not like this message has come as a surprise. ITIL’s waning popularity has not happened overnight. First, not everyone embraces change. At RightStar we know from experience that a shiny new toolset, (and Pink certified to be sure) doesn’t always equal customer satisfaction, increased efficiency and lower overall costs. Sometimes the users don’t cooperate making adoption more difficult. Additionally, some customers go for a “huge” go-live of everything rather than taking an iterative phased approach (which doesn’t always have a happy ending). Finally, we’ve seen ITIL / ITSM projects take years, not months which has opened the ITSM door to DevOps and why Gartner asserts that “DevOps is the bimodal bridge to Mode 2.” (Meaning DevOps/Mode 2 is focused on agility, while ITIL / Mode 1 is focused on stability.)
Speaking about agility, DevOps is a discipline that is all about speed, faster time to market, real sense of urgency, IT modernization, and doing more with less. Culture, tools, vision, now must all be managed alongside different processes. A single best practice is not enough. What’s needed, according to David Ratcliffe, is Integrated Service Management.
How to remain relevant. Next up was Jeremy Gutsche, Pink’s Keynote Speaker. He is founder of trendhunter.com and author of the book, Better and Faster. His mission is to help people find better ideas faster and he regularly consults with F500 companies to help ensure that they remain innovative and relevant. Jeremy has an innovation process that looks at hidden strengths, and helps teams compare to the world’s best. A few good ideas include:
- Everyone wants to get better, but not everyone puts in the effort. Would we work 24×7 to try to eat a competitor’s lunch?
- How often do we experiment with new ideas? Is there a future for the BMC Innovation Suite? Has every Atlassian app already been invented?
- What parts of our business do our customers actually care about? Consulting, implementation, training, support, software?
- What can we combine with our offerings? DevOps simulation training? What sales plays are most effective?
- Who ese can we partner with?
Answers to these questions and others will help RightStar shape and refine out 2018 strategy. One thing for sure: like ITIL, RightStar must also figure out how best to stay relevant.