Planning your visit to SITS18 is advisable to make sure you get the most from the two-day event. Simon Johnson of Freshworks says that following these industry trends is a great way to navigate the show floor.

Every year, SITS seems to grow, both in terms of the number of attendees and the number of companies involved. This year is set to be the biggest yet. What is behind this growth? More companies are investing in their customer experience and customer service strategies – one big reason for this is that experience is the only way to appear different in the market compared to competitors. Another is GDPR – the new regulation covers how customer data is handled, so investing in this has been a big priority over the past couple of years.

With GDPR live from 25th May 2018, it’s now time to look at what your next projects will be and how customer service will help improve the experience. Based on the SITS18 seminar tracks, there appear to be three main themes: Artificial Intelligence (AI), service frameworks, and self-service.

  1. Artificial Intelligence – automation or autonomy?

Based on the number of presentations around AI, chatbots and automation, these technologies will be important ones to look at over the next year. From implementing chatbots through to full-service automation, you can find out more about how these new technologies can help battle the never-ending tide of requests, issues and problems.

For most organisations, AI is on the list of potential projects for the future. These presentations aim to remove some of the hype around AI and concentrate on practical benefits that automation can deliver, as well as how these investments will still need support to run effectively over time.

  • Both Day 1 and Day 2 start with keynotes on the future for ITSM and the help desk, as well as how these business functions will change to keep up with customer demands
  • Day 1 – 2:30pm – Brendan Lavelle of Liverpool City Council will present on end-to-end automation
  • Day 1 – 3:30pm – Duncan Watkins of Forrester will present on the impact that AI will have on ITSM
  1. Service frameworks

If you are taking the step up to service desk management, there is a plethora of different tools, frameworks and approaches that are available to help you be successful. From the venerable IT Infrastructure Library through to new, more agile approaches to managing service desk priorities like VeriSM, there are lots of options open to you.

Making the right choice here can help you put your effort into the processes that can provide the best results and returns for your team. However, each company is different and everyone is at different levels of maturity. So what sessions might help you make your choice of framework, or move to a new approach?

  • Day 1 – 12:00pm – Barclay Rae of itSMF UK will cover Business Relationship Management and how models can help IT teams change how they work
  • Day 1 – 3:00pm – Akshay Anand of AXELOS will present on the changes that are coming up in ITIL during 2018
  • Day 2 – 10:00am – This panel session will cover how updates to ITIL and VeriSM can affect your approach to service, and how to adopt new frameworks when they suit you
  • Day 2 – 2:30pm – Peter Hubbard of Pink Elephant EMEA will present on how Lean principles can be used in service delivery and IT
  1. Self-service and service management

Service desk and help desk teams all depend on providing the right answers to customers, as quickly and effectively as possible. Self-service should help customers meet their own needs, either through making it easy to find the right information or serving up quickly via automated channels like chat. However, self-service is not something you can implement once and then leave.

Instead, self-service strategies need to be continuously monitored, tweaked and updated to keep pace with all the new issues that customers face. Without this, your self-service approach will only solve known problems from the past rather than those that come up in future.

For service desk teams, planning ahead and keeping track of new issues can help you be more proactive, as well as opening up more opportunities to improve your problem management.

  • Day 1 – 11:00am – This panel session led by James West of SITS Insight will cover the power of people in IT
  • Day 1 – 1:30pm – Sanjeev Kumar of Freshworks will present on how to make sure your self-service strategy meets your customer needs, rather than solely delivering results to the ITSM team
  • Day 2 – 2:00pm – David Wright of SDI presents on the nine best practices of high performing service desks
  • Day 2 – 3:30pm – Matt Greering of SDI will go through 10 best practices that efficient service desks all have in common

Alongside these three areas, there are several keynotes that should be worth attending, such as Sue Black’s presentation on how she has developed her own role in IT and how her experience can help you develop. This year’s event looks like a great opportunity for networking and learning around the future of service.

Guest post by:

General manager UK, Freshworks

Simon is general manager UKI at Freshworks. He leads operations including developing the company’s own sales and support teams. Freshworks provides ITSM, helpdesk and CRM products to more than 120,000 companies worldwide.

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