Conservationist or Young ITSM Professional of the Year: A Conversation with Lucy Banks, Global Head of Problem Operations at Barclays
August 30, 2023 |
8 min read
After finishing college eight years ago, Lucy Banks was heading for a course in conservation biology with a plan to work with animals. Today, she’s the Global Head of Problem Operations at Barclays in the UK and is the most recent ITSM Young Professional of the Year at the itSMF UK Professional Service Management Awards.
Here, Lucy tells the Axelos blog why she loves working in ITSM, has embraced leadership, and is helping the next generation of service management professionals to achieve their goals.
Axelos: What does it mean to have been judged ITSM Young Professional of the Year by your peers?
Lucy Banks: It was crazy and never something I expected to be recognized at such a level, especially in my short career so far.
To know the impact I’ve made in the wider ITSM community within Barclays in such a short time was incredible, really.
But I couldn’t have done this all on my own. The management at Barclays throughout eight years has given me many opportunities, which is part of the culture here. And now I’m in a position to give others opportunities.
Axelos: Why is ITSM an industry that you're proud to work in?
LB: I was an apprentice eight years ago – the first cohort of degree apprentices to study digital technology solutions at Manchester Metropolitan University. It was my first time working in technology and financial services out of college and I made a conscious decision to go down a more technical route.
Working In financial services, you can feel how important it is to create a stable environment. So, what we do is underpin a lot of technical teams, systems and services – and this means we can advocate what ITSM is and why it’s important to other teams and
It makes us highly regarded across the business.
While incident management always been the “golden child” that keeps the lights on, I’m in a position now to promote the importance of problem management also for a stability framework.
Building a career in ITSM speaks volumes to the potential it has for organizations and I’ve been able to showcase what’s possible to achieve across diverse roles and with a diverse team.
I never imagined I’d be doing this kind of work – especially being female in a technical industry. Originally, I had a place deferred to do conservation biology and wanted to work with animals. But I found I loved ITSM, decided to stay and now I’m head of a function.
Axelos: What has the profession given you in terms of skills, knowledge, and career advancement?
LB: Over eight years working in different ITSM areas I’ve gained a broad knowledge of key principles and frameworks; living and breathing the roles and working closely with neighbouring teams – such as change management and capacity management – where it’s been easy to knowledge share.
And in the past three years, I’ve been involved in people management and leadership. It’s been a massive learning curve, but I’ve realized that being a leader is a career too. It just shows how the company has empowered me at such a young age, now leading a team of almost 20 people.
Axelos: What do you think defines an accomplished ITSM professional in today's organizations and economy?
LB: As ITSM supports so many technology services and functions in large organizations, a key thing for an ITSM professional is to have passion, promote the key principles and create good collaboration. It’s paramount that you have enthusiasm and contribute positively to the bigger picture.
Axelos: What advice would you give to other young ITSM professionals wanting to progress?
LB: I mentor some young professionals and the key conversation is around trying to understand where you want to make an impact; what is your end goal and the steps you’re going to take to get there and who do you need to support you? It’s also about surrounding yourself with people who want you to succeed – harnessing the positive culture in ITSM. The people around will make all the difference, so get networking – it will carry you through your career!
Next week, we will continue our conversation with Lucy as she shares her impression of the ITIL 4 Foundation certification. Stay tuned!