Observations from the Pink Elephant event

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BSMReview is a Media Sponsor for the Pink Elephant conference and expo being held in Las Vegas this week. As a media sponsor, we promoted the event on BSMReview and are covering BSM newsworthy items at the event. BSMReview is well represented at the event and we are holding down a spot on the expo floor.

As you probably know, Pink Elephant is a professional services organization that provides consulting, education and tools to assess ITIL and IT service management competency. The Las Vegas conference is their 15th international event, has 1600+ attendees, and offers a solid program of educational sessions that features ITIL experts and customer presenters. The event is well run and sessions that I attended are content rich and well attended.

As a side note, I loved the opening video they produced and recommend watching it -- it is both entertaining and insightful.

We are launching the 2011 BSM Maturity Survey at the event. We are finding a high level of interest in both the BSM Maturity Model we developed last year and the survey instrument. Nearly everyone we have spoken to recognizes the alignment gap between IT and the business, but few know how to deal with the issue. They see the maturity model as a good way to start a dialog and the survey as a way to measure where they stand as compared to other companies their size and within their industry.

Many of the presenters at the event are real customers who are sharing their experiences -- lesson learned and best practices. Many view the CIOs role as the indicator for BSM maturity. Many see their CIO focused exclusively on IT operations (keeping the lights on), others see the CIO as transforming IT (to run IT like a business) and a fewer number see the CIO as strategic to the business. There was a healthy discussion about how IT leadership transitions though these phases, what leadership characteristics are key and if multiple roles are necessary to do it all. It is worth reading the 2011 State of the CIO survey by CIO.com to see how CIOs see their priorities changing this year.

We didn't spend a lot of time with vendors and won't be blogging about any new BSM related announcements. However, we spoke to a number of vendors who have agreed to promote the BSM Maturity Survey to their customers and prospects to support the benchmark study.

Finally, we made some great connections with customers at the event and have a half dozen or so lined up for interviews, so be on the lookout for that.

The Pink Elephant event is 100% relevant to BSM, offers insightful content and is run professionally. We will be back there next year and hope to see you there.

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I wanted to reinforce a consistent trend within the sessions and attendees at the Pink Elephant event that Rick highlights in this post. Basically it is that we met a lot of people/vendors/consultants who were acknowledging the disconnect ...and making a few tactical recommendations on how to improve that IT-Business relationship ...but there was too little discussion of the source/cause of the problem, the symptoms of that problem, and a strategic content to discuss its resolution.

Vendors were promoting "buy this technology" and your business users will like you so much better. End Users were identifying the problem and indicating some tactical successes at moving forward while acknowledging the difficulty and impact of not addressing the IT-Business gap. Consultants were promoting the role of process to get us closer to IT-Business alignment ...particularly as it relates to ITIL options (...which would be expected at a Pink Elephant event.)

Yet, there was not a top down discussion that I heard where all of these pieces were brought together and a quality discussion ensued that said "now what else do we need to do to close this gap." That was a disappointment. This Pink Elephant conference was an impressive event. Impressive content, impressive presenters and impressive IT managers. Perhaps there were sessions where this strategic initiative was discussed ...and I just missed it. (Highly Probable) ...but bottom line is there needed to be less of "we have a problem" and more of "we've solved a piece of this problem by..." Maybe next time...

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rick Berzle published on February 22, 2011 1:26 PM.

BSM Maturity Case Study now posted... was the previous entry in this blog.

Is Pendulum Swinging for ITSM? is the next entry in this blog.

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