ITIL 4 – Facts and Learning in Las Vegas

Image of Pink 19 event auditorium featuring two big screens displaing branding plus audience sat at tables in auditorium
There is a famous saying, that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I’m going to break the code here and share my views and feedback from Pink19.
Although this was my first experience of Vegas, I knew what to expect having enjoyed several movies based in ‘Sin City’, including the Ocean’s 11 and Hangover Trilogies.  Thankfully, the conference was more akin to Ocean’s 11 rather than the depraved misadventures of the cast in The Hangover. 
Adam Cracknell and colleagues at pink 19 all holding up 4 fingers to signify ITIL 4Pink19 was slick from start to finish, you can certainly tell that this was not Pink’s first rodeo.  The theme this year was Back To The Future.  As part of the opening remarks from Pink’s president, David Ratcliffe, the crowd were treated to an amusing comedy skit featuring Doc Emmett Brown, Marty McFly and the iconic DeLorean Time Machine – but the star of the show was the official ITIL 4 guidance. If anyone in the audience was unaware that ITIL 4 has launched, then they certainly know now.
When Doc and Marty made their way back to the past (or future, I’m not sure where they went) they were replaced on stage by AXELOS CEO, Mark Basham who announced the ITIL 4 Master Sponsorship Programme. Then the conference was in full swing – with power hours, optimizers, workshops, networking events, interactive sessions and more tracks than a Beatles greatest hits compilation. 
As Platinum Sponsor, AXELOS also had the opportunity to present at the conference and we had a fairly prominent booth in the exhibition hall that we shared with our partners PeopleCert and TSO.  
I had the pleasure to speak to customers fresh from some of the world’s first ever ITIL 4 training sessions, which were taking place before and straight after the PINK19 event.  And they were rightly proud of that privilege! Here’s some of the feedback I was given:
  • ITIL 4 focuses more on the bigger picture, this is what I need to pitch the benefits of strategic service management to the senior decision makers in my organization
  • ITIL 4 has more value for the professional, in terms of career progression and organisational effectiveness
  • The career path is now much clearer.  It wasn’t as clear before which route to take through the intermediates, having the distinct Managing Professional and Strategic Leader paths will make it easier for my team to understand which direction they need to go
  • I never looked into ITIL Practitioner and now I wish I had because the guiding principles are really practical, and I can see them shaping our culture and driving our business performance.  I intend to adopt them straightaway for pretty much everything we are currently working on and everything else we have in the plan
  • I love how ITIL 4 brings other delivery concepts like agile, DevOps, Scrum and Lean together for a more holistic way of working
  • ITIL 4 is built for the future, with guidance around working with new cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Really appreciate the change from process to practices, I realise now that this didn’t made a lot of sense before
  • The focus on value is evident throughout – this is very welcome – it underpins the business case justification to send my folks on an ITIL course
  • The new guidance focuses on what I am now calling the 3 Vs - value, value and value!
There were a couple of delegates who were concerned that the time and effort put in to achieve expert status in ITIL v3 was in vain.  But once they understood how the transition module will work for ITIL 4, and how they will be elevated to Managing Professional and/or Strategic Leader status, they felt much more encouraged, especially when they heard that we are planning on making the Master designation much more attainable in the new world of ITIL 4.
This time last year we announced the ITIL update and there were, mummers of concern across the industry, with people worried about what AXELOS might do to their beloved ITIL.  But now, a year on at The Bellagio, we are certain that the gamble to update ITIL has paid off.  Our training partners, our industry influencers and more importantly our customers have all responded favourably to the improvements and enhancements in ITIL 4 and the feedback has been unanimously positive.
So, on that note, I would like to close by quoting another famous Las Vegas saying ‘the House always wins’.  In this case that does not appear to be the case; customers, organizations, training partners and consultants, all look set to be winners with ITIL 4 and it looks odds-on to continue being the leading approach to IT service management long into the future.
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