May082017

For Jon Hall of BMC, DevOps is the next important step in this ITSM career.  Here he explains the power of DevOps and how the Service Desk & IT Support Show has influenced him.

How did you get into the ITSM industry?
I’ve been in the industry from the start of my career.  I joined Yellow Pages as a graduate trainee in the IT department, in 1997.  They were a big early ITIL adopter, very committed to the framework and what it could do for them – we regularly achieved the best benchmark scores in the UK for ITIL maturity.  That era at that particular company launched a lot of ITSM careers, and I still regularly see former Yellow Pages colleagues in key ITSM roles in other major UK organisations.

Tell us about your seminar: Is DevOps really changing IT support?
I am looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm about the DevOps movement.  It is real, and the evidence for its effectiveness is overwhelming. 

What challenges do you think your session will help visitors overcome?
The debate around ITSM and DevOps often focuses on the matter of “compatibility” between them. This isn’t the right conversation.  It has framed much of the discussion around how the two things can be pushed together, without enough consideration of the most important thing, which is whether any value actually results. I want to help my audience to show the ways in which IT service management can bring unique value to a DevOps-adopting enterprise, and also to frankly discuss the ways ITSM will need to change to enable that.

What other hot topics do you think visitors should investigate?
There is currently some really good discussion about the future of service in the evolving digital organisation. This is an important conversation. Enterprise technology is changing incredibly quickly, and increasingly it is being used right at the customer-facing front line.  This changes things dramatically. I would recommend the work of people like Jeff Sussna and Peter Thompson, who are firmly challenging the ITSM orthodoxy and coming up with new visions for the shape of digital service.

What part has SITS played in shaping your journey through the industry?
This show has always been very accessible to the real frontline staff who are the IT Service industry. While many conferences carry four-figure price tags, SITS (and its past incarnations) has been free to attend.  Having been an attendee on numerous occasions through my career,  this is my fourth consecutive SITS as a presenter, and I’m always proud to speak at the show.

In addition to your seminar session, why would you recommend others to visit SITS?
As above: because it’s accessible to everyone, they will be able to network with their peers from across the industry.  There is also always a good range of speakers.  One side benefit is the adjacent Information Security Show in the other part of the Olympia, which is also open to SITS attendees and is well worth a visit for a view of a different part of the IT industry.

What one tip would you offer to IT service and support professionals to drive their IT services forward?
I’m a huge advocate of design thinking, and in particular of spending time directly observing and working with customers.  When you truly understand the working day the people you serve, you can come up with new ideas for serving them that would never have come to light otherwise.

Jon Hall is principal product manager at BMC. 

See Jon speak about the power of DevOps at SITS.

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