KA2’s ITSM Smarter Forum Summary 

02 December 2019

Thursday 21st November 2019 saw the second instalment in KA2’s ITSM Smarter Forum series. We were delighted to be hosted by NatWest Markets, who kindly welcomed the previous attendees and some new faces. These forums are designed to bring together likeminded ITSM professionals to share their challenges and ideas in a Chatham House Rule environment.  

Our open discussion was entitled, ‘ITSM: The Critical Component’.  Creating a solid and secure ITSM structure as an integral part of modern enterprise architecture is critical to every organisations’ success.  At a time when IT services are migrating to, or are already cloud based, having the right ITSM wrapper becomes even more of a priority.  Delivery of services which enable the modern workforce to be agile, collaborative and fully mobile requires technology to provide a seamless workplace transition. The demands on service management are changing rapidly and the modern ITSM function needs to be at the forefront of enabling innovative working practices and models.  

The session was focused around the thought leadership of Damien Davis, ITSM Outbound Product Management at ServiceNow. The discussions in the room were wide and varied, with some excellent comments and observations from all attendees. There are certainly some new challenges for service management that continue to arise to meet the demands of operating in a modern cloud-based environment, and some topics that have been recurring themes for many years.  Damien’s presentation kick started much debate and we quickly established that we all share similar issues in our working lives. He concluded the session with a great overview of the latest New York release and then ran through some of the interesting new capabilities and functionality to be provided in the upcoming releases in 2020, Rome and Quebec.   A heavy focus on collaboration and the modern workplace has seen them introduce better mobile experiences and a more agile approach to managing ITSM.  It was great to get some early insight into the roadmap and see what is planned in the coming future releases. 

One of the major talking points centred around how the role of the service manager is changing and what we collectively need to do to respond.   We agreed that to be successful in the role it is important that ITSM leaders are prepared to sell the benefits of service management beyond IT and across the wider enterprise.  Creating a fluid and agile culture to constantly enable the organisation to evolve is probably the hardest part.  Team structures are changing and the interoperability between departments across the enterprise is becoming a perpetual problem.  KA2 has successfully implemented and augmented ITSM programmes for numerous large organisations and whilst I have already mentioned the importance of agility, the key lies in how the workforce is encouraged to embrace technology change, using tried and tested methodologies.  So, the critical component is a formula for transformation which can be replicated, repeated and amended.  I think after listening to Damien and working with our clients, it reinforced my confidence that is the value that KA2 brings to the table.  

We discussed ServiceNow’s Continual Improvement Management (CIM) capability which enables users to request improvement opportunities, and implement phases and tasks to meet performance goals, track progress, and measure success. Which is great, BUT again this touches on my point above: how quickly can firms respond to these insights and translate them into true benefits for the business?  And whoever drives the required transformation – it’s not easy!  But if you can create a structured approach to being agile then it becomes easier.  If teams have a defined pathway about how to implement a change, which automates the requirements of all the different aspects of risk, security and digital workplace then they will be more empowered and, consequently, more inclined to utilise the results from ServiceNow’s CIM component.  

This discussion brought up again the importance of culture, unsurprisingly, and again is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in achieving a successful change programme.  We discussed the importance of workforce training and development which are imperative to overcoming the fear and reluctance to embrace change and how that level of education can be achieved If the workforce is properly trained in new technologies, workflows and procedures and can understand the benefits of adoption, then they will of course be more inclined to accept them in their everyday routines.   The key is great communication from the leaders of the business which outlines the vision and absolutely needs to flow down through the organisation:  if everyone is not aligned to the vision and understands the part they play in any change  programme then the change is doomed to failure.  If change becomes fraught with challenges and conflict, then individuals will ‘check out’ and almost certainly have a negative impact on the business.   Of course, we didn’t have all the answers to this big topic, but certainly an area we will explore more in-depth in the next Smarter Forums. 

It was a great session and I am delighted that the free-flowing discussion style of the Forums has been met with such positive feedback by the members.   The next meeting is planned for March 2020 and we have already had offers from Lloyds of London, Fidelity and ARM to host at their offices. I will of course update once the date is confirmed but, in the meantime, if you would like to register your interest to join this community then please get in touch with me on