Print Page | Report Abuse | Sign In | Join
News & Press: Member News


15 July 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Natalie Pinner
Share |

UK corporates call for IT service management to up its game as a professional discipline and industry

Thirty senior IT executives from major UK corporates and public sector organisations came together on Monday 6th July at the Sofitel St James in London to launch the ITSM Leadership Council.  They also agreed a framework of seven strategic actions needed to transform the sector, together with the setting up of two cross-sector strategic working groups.


The Council is a new leadership group for senior ITSM executives from amongst the largest organisational members of the UK’s IT Service Management Forum (ITSMF UK) to discuss common strategic issues and challenges in the ITSM sector and develop together joint actions to grow and advance the sector.   It will meet on a regular basis and be co-ordinated by ITSMF UK.


Opening the meeting, ITSMF UK CEO Mike Owen overviewed the fast-changing landscape of IT – with major challenges ranging from the huge growth of the cloud and mobile and 24/7 digital  delivery through the implications of Big Data and cyber-resilience to the rise of Shadow IT.  In response to these very significant changes,” he said, “there is need for ITSM to up its game – both as a discipline and as an industry.”


ITSMF UK Chairman John Windebank argued that “IT solutions still tend to be architected and deployed from a technology, not a service, perspective and ITSM needs a clear business context and purpose.”  He proposed seven broad areas of action for transforming IT service management and helping it to meet today’s business demands.  Specifically, the ITSM sector:


  • needs a stronger voice, profile and influence

  • needs to do more to demonstrate how ITSM can help organisations to achieve significant strategic returns from their investment in IT and support continuous service improvement

  • needs to develop better integration and joined-up thinking around technical standards, capabilities, innovation and performance

  • needs to treat and develop ITSM as an holistic management discipline

  • needs to review what roles, capabilities and skills it needs for the future and to transform current levels of ITSM education and training to deliver those skills

  • should position and promote ITSM as a profession and a career of choice

  • needs collective leadership to drive the industry forward

Guest speaker Mark Hall, Director of Global IT Operations at Aviva, said there had never been a greater need for ITSM, but that “the shape, role and boundaries of ITSM are no longer clear nor is its relationship to a changing world.”  He believed there is a need for IT to act more rapidly than ever before to satisfy customer demand, with less formal process and more interaction and collaboration with a broad range of partners and stakeholders.


The focal point of the evening was a 90-minute open debate, with the audience comprising a mix of CIOs, IT Directors and Heads of Service Management from large enterprises and public organisations (see the full list below).  Facilitated by the Forum’s Vice Chair, Rosemary Gurney, audience members readily echoed and endorsed the challenges and areas of action identified by the speakers.   Examples of particular views expressed included:  ITSM needs to get beyond the perception amongst many that it is still based on the process framework ‘ITIL’;  that ITSM needs to show how it can help business to generate value from investment in IT;  and that the ITSM sector needs to create a stronger pipeline of young service management professionals with appropriate business skills.


A comment from one of the audience members, Chris Williams, Director of Service Management at EE:  The world is changing fast.  I believe that the skills needed to be successful in service management are changing too.  As well as traditional skills, we need ‘solutions integrators’ and great communicators.  We need people with a deep understanding of the commercial aspects of the businesses we support, who are highly adaptive and can predict the rapidly evolving environment we work in.  This means we need to radically change the way we identify talent, recruit and develop our people.”


At the conclusion of the event, the Council agreed to set up two cross-sector strategic working groups to work on the detail of bringing about focussed change:  one looking at how to define and present ITSM as a modern integrated business discipline (beyond just ‘ITIL’) and a second looking at elevating and transforming skills and competencies in the sector.  


The second meeting of the ITSM Leadership Council will take place in November 2015.


Members of the Council

ITSMF UK Member organisations represented at this first meeting of the ITSM Leadership Council included:  Asda, Aviva, BP, Clifford Chance, Computacenter, Co-operative Group, Domestic & General, EE, English Heritage, Fujitsu, GCHQ, Genesis Oil & Gas, Home Office, HP, Kings College London,         LV Insurance, Manchester City Council, Mars, Met Office, Nationwide Building Society, NTT Data, OVO Energy, PwC, RWE, Serco, SHL Group, Sopra Steria, and the University of Northampton.


The Leadership Council is open to all Corporate and Enterprise organisational Members of ITSMF UK.  Further details are available from the ITSMF UK office. 



About the IT Service Management Forum

The IT Service Management Forum (ITSMF UK) is the country's leading membership association and independent professional community for organisations involved in IT service management.  Established 1991 and part of a wider, international federation across the world serving over 60,000 ITSM professionals, its mission is to support, represent, promote and advance ITSM as a professional sector and discipline.

ITSMF UK’s membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of organisations, including ITSM suppliers and service providers; user organisations; training companies and academia; consultancy, standards and practice bodies; as well as independent professionals.  Altogether, we have over 700 member organisations covering 7,000 individuals.  Our members range from large multinational companies to small firms working across the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors.

For further information, email or phone 0118 918 6500.


Media contact information:

Please contact Natalie Pinner, ITSMF UK Marketing Executive, (, on 0118 918 6500 for further information or comment regarding this release.


Media Issue Date:    15th July 2015

Premier Gate
21 Easthampstead Road
Berks RG12 1JS

Tel: 0118 918 6500

Fax: 0118 969 9749

Contact Us