Previewing his presentation at SITS17 on DevOps, Duncan Watkins of Forrester reveals his show highlights and why he returns every year.

How did you get into the ITSM industry?
In short, by accident! I was working for the data part of the Financial Times and a service management job came up. I applied and got it. I really enjoyed it because we worked in a proto-DevOps way i.e. business, development and operations teams working together.

Your seminar, jointly hosted with Daniel Breston, is called “DevOps in the DocK.” What are you most excited about sharing?
The excitement will come from the realistic questions we’re using to drive the session. I think the industry is at a point where everyone can understand the theoretical benefits of DevOps. What we’re going to talk about are some of the realistic questions large organisations are asking themselves.

What challenges do you think your session will help visitors overcome?
There are really two key things we aiming to get over:

1) How do you approach DevOps at scale?
2) What part can each audience member play in their organisations digital transformation?

What other hot topics do you think visitors should investigate?
In term of presentations, I think the Axios and Forrester Breakfast Briefing will be good because of its focus on the customer. You cannot achieve the right things without doing this. The disclaimer is that my boss is presenting but don’t let that put you off 😉

Mark Smalley is one of the most though to provoking presenters I have ever seen. So many managers and leaders still use scientific management to solve collaborative problems and just won’t work anymore. Mark will, of course, explain a lot better than I can.

I’ve always liked James Finister’s approach to metrics – he really understands how to make them relevant for your management team and not just ‘the same as we did last month’. I think his presentation will be great.

One last one is Jon Hall ‘Is DevOps really changing IT support?’ He has a really good on how to structure your support team away from process first.

If presentations aren’t your thing the hot topic tables are a very good way of debating the issues that you currently face. 

What part has SITS played in shaping your journey through the industry?
It has been huge. I worked in ITSM on and off for about 10 years without really understanding how the work I was doing fitted into any best practice or how I could improve what I did. Coming to SITS each year really opened my eyes both to some great presenters and to some amazing tools. However, the most refreshing thing was the openness of the people in the community over the two days. I approached many of them over the course of the show and got some really incredible insights and built relationships that continue today.

In addition to your seminar session, why would you recommend others to visit SITS?
The ability to talk to a show floor of industry thought leaders is just too good an opportunity to ignore. My advice for those coming to the show for time would be to pick three or four presentations that you’re rally interested in, attend them and think about what questions they trigger, then approach them at the show or contact them afterwards to continue the dialogue.

What one tip would you offer to IT service and support professionals to drive their IT services forward?
Go and talk to the people and/or vendors that spark your interest at the show. However you do it, I guarantee that you’ll be blown away by how welcoming they are!

Duncan Watkins is senior consultant for Forrester.

See Duncan present “DevOps in the Dock” on June 7 at SITS17. 

Check out the full SITS17 education programme to plan your visit.

Author Bio:

James West

Editor, SITS Insight

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