PinkFORUM18 recap: delivering IT services better, faster and cheaper

 In AI, Blog, Events, Future of IT, ITSM

On August 19-21, 2018 team Astound joined approximately 100 service management enthusiasts in Scottsdale, Arizona for Pink Elephant’s annual IT Service Management Leadership Forum – “PinkFORUM18”.

This year’s overarching theme was “Integrated Service Management”. Integrated Service Management is the concept of bringing together ITIL®, Lean, Agile, DevOps and Organizational Change Management to accelerate IT processes, remove waste, lower costs and increase the business value of service management.

During his day 1 keynote, David Ratcliffe, President at Pink Elephant, stated “No longer is it an either-or question on which process framework to use – now it’s all about integrating them to deliver IT services better, faster and cheaper.” Similarly, Troy DuMoulin, VP Research & Development, discussed how proven best practices can work together to enable business objectives, like digital transformation.

The Integrated Service Management concept clearly resonated with PinkFORUM18 attendees. It sparked some lively conversations on the need to increase the speed of service delivery and better align IT with the goals of the business. It also fueled some debate on the future of ITSM.

IT practitioners we spoke with indicated a persistent and growing need to reduce inefficient processes. However, many also acknowledged that improving the business value of ITSM goes far beyond the selection of process frameworks. It requires a deep understanding of what the business is trying to accomplish with technology as well as when, where, and how IT services are being consumed. As Ratcliffe put it in his keynote, “ITIL, ITSM, DevOps, Agile, none of this means a thing if you’re not in sync with your organization’s business objectives.”.

Likewise, we heard from several service delivery managers that employees are increasingly entering the workplace with an expectation that the same convenient and simplistic service experience that they receive as consumers will be matched at work. Many indicated that they had considered, or even tried, implementing self-service portals and/or shift-left programs in the past. However, by and large, their initiatives failed, or stalled, due to the lack of resources available to create knowledge articles and/or manually design and configure the required workflows.

Thus, how to utilize and manage AI-driven automation was front and center of conversations at PinkFORUM18. IT leaders were enthusiastic about how AI technologies can surface and aggregate relevant data and use it to automate mundane tasks and enable faster, more efficient approaches to IT service delivery. At the same time, they expressed the need to ensure that the employee experience is improved with AI – never compromised.  

Folks that visited the Astound booth wanted to learn more about how Astound’s AI platform could help them gain deeper insights into service related data, processes, and trends in order to automate and/or shift-left common IT workflows. They were also enthusiastic about the possibility of using virtual agent technology to deliver faster and more personalized support experiences to employees.  

What we enjoyed hearing most when demonstrating the Astound platform for our booth visitors was “Wow, and we thought AI for ITSM was just about chatbot technology” and “We didn’t know we could do all of this from a single solution.”

If you’re interested learning about the benefits that organizations are gaining from our AI for employee support platform, I recommend checking out the following blogs:

Also, we’re hosting a live webcast and product demo on Aug 30. You can register for it here. We’ll provide a link to the recording to those who register, but are unable to attend.

One of the key topics we’ll be exploring aligns perfectly with DuMoulin’s closing remarks at PinkFORUM18 regarding the definition of waste and value – “Waste is work that adds no value. Value is about perception. What do your customers expect from your services? How are they perceiving the experiences you provide?”.

Hope to see you there!

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