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A fresh focus and a new constitution for ITSMF UK



CEO Mike Owen outlines some important changes for the Forum as we move forward to help support and promote ITSM as a true profession.


The ITSM environment is seriously changing. The list of changes and pressures is long – ranging from the mega growth of the cloud, mobile and social media through to customers expecting to manage more IT themselves and the need for continuous, rapid modification in services to meet customer demand.

Meanwhile, with the dominance of the service economy and IT underpinning almost every business product or service nowadays, there has never been a greater need for ITSM. Organisations need ITSM both as a strategic enabler and to run their operations efficiently day-to-day. The trouble is, ITSM as a discipline and sector has not been developing at the same pace as the demands placed upon it. As is set out cogently in Barclay Rae’s article (The Growing Pains of ITSM, page 22), ITSM is to a large extent still stuck in ‘ITIL land’ and its principles, content and techniques need a fresh makeover. Furthermore, the various parts of the ITSM sector are not pulling together to articulate and promote service management’s strategic business value.

As outlined at the first meeting of our ITSM Leadership Council, (see report on page 18) we believe that the sector needs to respond better in several key respects, if ITSM is to avoid becoming seen as obsolete and redundant. In particular:

  • i) The ITSM industry needs to boost its voice, profile and influence

  • ii) ITSM needs to show better how strategic returns come from investment in ITSM and how it can help organisations cope with today’s speed of change and complex world.

  • iii) The ITSM industry needs to develop better integration and joined-up thinking around technical standards, capabilities, innovation and performance

  • iv) ITSM needs to be treated and developed as a holistic discipline with contributions with various management functions, not just a narrow set of ITIL-dominated processes.

  • v) ITSM needs to review what roles and capabilities it needs for the future and to develop improved education and training for people working in the sector

  • vi) ITSM should be promoted much more as a profession and career of choice

  • vii) The ITSM industry needs collective leadership to drive the sector forward


These are some of the central beliefs and ambitions that drive ITSMF UK today - as the country’s leading membership association and independent professional community for organisations involved in ITSM. Working closely in partnership with our member organisations and other stakeholders across the sector, our vision is that of a thriving ITSM profession making a major contribution to the performance of every organisation in the country.

To respond to this strategic agenda the Forum will, of course, continue to provide a neutral industry ‘hub’ and a range of networking groups and events that allow ITSM professionals to actively share views and experiences, access professional expertise and support resources, learn new techniques, keep up-to-date with industry news and developments, and meet other like-minded professionals. But we are also stepping up our role in terms of shaping, sharing and recognising good professional practice, fostering wider skills and capabilities in the sector through new qualifications and learning programmes, and doing more to raise the wider profile and reputation of ITSM as a discipline and sector. It’s a challenging, but exciting, agenda.

An updated constitution for the future

To support the organisation better for the future, ITSMF UK has recently tidied-up and simplified its governing documents – in particular its formal Articles of Association. The existing documents had not had a systematic review since the Forum was set up back in 1991 and, in that time, some basic items had become factually out-of-date and a series of ad hoc changes had made the Articles cumbersome to operate. Additionally, some aspects of company law had changed, so there was a need to reflect those.

There are no major changes. Our Objects remain the same and the organisation is still a not-for-profit company, but the following amendments are worth noting:

  • Organisations and individuals who use the Forum’s services and pay an annual subscription will henceforth be known as ‘Subscriber Members’.
  • The company will in future have just a single Board of Directors as its principal governing body, rather than a set of Directors and a separate Management Board. All Board members will all be equally accountable and liable for the performance of the organisation.
  • The new Board will be made up of 12 members, of whom three will be elected by Subscriber Members and up to three will be appointed by the Board (on the basis of particular skills, experience or background needed at the time by the Board). The other individuals will comprise the Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, CEO and up to two other co-optees.
  • Each of the three elected Directors will represent a distinct ‘constituency’ of Subscriber Members: i) Individual and Enterprise 10 Subscriber Members; ii) Corporate and Enterprise 25 and Enterprise 50 Subscriber Members; and iii) Regional groups and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). For the first two categories, voting will be by Members who belong to that particular category of Subscriber Member. For the third category, the membership at large will be able to vote, not just chairs of regional group or SIGs. For Corporate and Enterprise Members, it will be the ‘lead contact’ who will be asked to vote on behalf of their organisation.
  • Directors will in future not be elected or appointed specifically to take charge of a specific, standing portfolio or committee: instead, they will all share equally in the general leadership of the organisation. However, each year two or three Board members may be asked to act as a champion or lead for a specific project or issue depending on the particular priorities or needs of the organisation at that time.
  • The term of office for both elected and appointed Directors will be two years, with a maximum of four terms. Within this overall limit, however, the maximum period for a Director holding the role of Chair or Vice Chair will be four years (two consecutive terms).
  • An ‘AGM’ (annual general meeting) will no longer be needed as the place where votes are counted and Board positions determined. However, the Forum will hold an annual forum every 12 months as a public occasion to report to and consult with Subscriber Members.

The new Articles were formally decided by the current legal Directors of the company at its meeting on the 2nd July 2015. They will make the Forum’s governance arrangements more streamlined and efficient, but still keeping the traditional ‘membership body’ ethos of the organisation.
The new arrangements are being introduced from the end of July 2015, and every Subscriber Member will be sent a detailed update mailing about the changes. In the pack too there will be nomination forms concerning the new vacancies for the elected posts on the Board. Voting for the vacant elected posts will take place over the summer. The Board will be able to announce the results of elections and appointments in the second half of September. The newly formed Board will first meet in October.



Head office relocation



If introducing a new constitution is not enough, the Forum is also moving offices this summer! After ten years at our current premises at Winnersh Triangle near Reading, the staff team will be moving to a smaller office suite in a modern office block just a few miles down the road in Bracknell. The premises are very conveniently located, close to the M4 and just ten minutes’ walk from Bracknell railway station with regular trains to both London and Reading for members visiting the office. And, very pleasingly, the rent will be considerably cheaper than at the current Winnersh premises. The staff team will be working fully at the Bracknell site from the end of August.


So there’s fair amount happening at the Forum on the immediate horizon. But, it’s all positive and will strengthen the organisation for the future. As said above, there has never been a greater need for professional ITSM and the Forum is determined to play a major role in helping to lead, represent and serve the ITSM sector on the exciting journey ahead.

The Directors and the staff team at the forum would like to thank you – as always – for your support and contribution. Without its members, there would be no ITSMF UK. So if you have any questions or issues about the changes outlined above, please do not hesitate to call the office and speak to any of the team. We look forward to hearing from you soon.



Mike Owen


T: 0118 918 6500 

Premier Gate
21 Easthampstead Road
Berks RG12 1JS

Tel: 0118 918 6500

Fax: 0118 969 9749

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