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Review of the VIII All-Russian Conference “Digital ITSM – 2017”

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Aleks Yenin
Posted by Aleks Yenin
October 19, 2017


ITSM approaches and practices. Review of the VIII All-Russian Conference

“Digital ITSM – 2017” from the speaker Aleks Yenin

At the end of September 2017 Aleks Yenin, our leading ITSM consultant,  had the honor to speak at one of the most important IT management conferences: “Digital ITSM – 2017” in Moscow. Aleks delivered an unsponsored presentation «Enterprise Knowledge Management and Collaboration Framework implementation»  and he tried to give an impartial assessment of the event.

The conference is praised, scolded, but the fact remains: over the past eight years “Digital ITSM” has become not only the most fashionable and prestigious, but also the largest ITSM event in Russia and the whole Eastern Europe. The regional community is interested in developing new approaches to IT management. We offer to have a look at the multidimensional digital reality of modern business through the prism of ITSM and Aleks’s point of view.

In my opinion, the main topic of the conference was digitalization (or digital transformation) and the growing role of Service Management. Within the framework of the conference the best project practices of using digital technologies in service organization were presented. Speakers of the conference – recognized experts, ITIL authors, heads of IT departments, consultants, – conducted master classes and shared the experience of successful projects. The participants of the conference had an opportunity to select and attend several sections dedicated not only to the topical issues but also to the most advanced IT management practices.

The conference opened with a plenary session in which the Golden Conference partners (BMC Software, Micro Focus, Marval Software) and invited speakers addressed the audience. The results of three all-Russian competitions were announced: the best ITSM project, the best article on ITSM topics and the best thesis among the graduates of Russian universities.

After the plenary session five simultaneous streams of speeches were held, dedicated to the most relevant topics and project experience, as well as to the topics that start gaining its popularity.

It’s out of the question that Dr. Don Page’s presentation(Marval Software) was one of the most anticipated. The co-author of ITIL made a presentation “Why it is worth focusing on what is really important”.

Digital transformation is not something new, it’s been around us for years. Despite this, many talk about it but neither apply nor demonstrate significant results. What is really important today for any organization is client service and the effective ways of its continuous improvement. Integrated functions based on transformation components can help to find results in areas that are really important for them, ” – Don stated his opinion.

The audience anticipated some miracle from Don. At least, the presentation of a new ITIL book. However, Don only reminded the basic principles of ITIL.

Roman Zhuravlev (Axelos)

The ITIL library is changing in an attempt to keep up to date. People, who create the library, change. Roman Zhuravlev is known to many Russian experts as one of these people. Roman’s speech was very brisk and quite critical in many ways. Both other reports and global consulting leaders deserved his comments. Roman even mentioned the very Axelos.

In my opinion, Roman tried to land the audience, to remind that everything here is “about value”. That, probably, there’s no need to abuse borrowed and russified words in reports, that it is not necessary to wait for miracles.

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Vadim Kulikov (Agency for Technological Development)

Vadim addressed the audience with an atypical message for ITSM-forums. He spoke about the necessity of state standards formation and qualification institute of labor productivity in a dynamically developing IT-branch.

Decisions on transition to a new digital format of interaction have already been taken at a governmental level. If we want to make this transition as efficient as possible, then we can not do without the best practices in the field of service management.

It seemed to me that the audience was a little critical of the reports. The participants unanimously agreed that previous conferences (except for 2015) were stronger in terms of reports. I would like to point out that this skeptic concerned not only the event itself, but also the progress of digital transformation in Russia. Anton Boganov even showed vivid examples of complex processes in the country in the form of paper letters. To me, person who isn’t a resident of Russia, such attitude seemed unjust.

In my opinion, the conference itself was held at a high level. Perhaps, the expectations of the audience about the presentation of ITIL new sections  or the presentation of new approaches, methodologies and technological innovations were not met. However, we must remember that ITIL is not about technology, but about common sense. It must adapt to environment and circumstances, but it is unlikely to change significantly.

If we talk about digital transformation, we should consider its most important factors: “Culture”, “Technology”, “Data.” Evidence of the presence of these entities is everywhere. I think that the competition for the local market of international companies with Russian ones is quite tough for this. It is necessary to change for the better together, to change quickly and consciously, otherwise we will lag behind the global market which has always been ahead of the curve. And everyone’s a winner if you play by the rules. 🙂 

To digital transformation!

Some feedback from the participants of the conference:

feedback 1
Axios Systems (Silver Conference Partner)

Axios Systems Company thanks the itSMF of Russia for the conference “Digital ITSM  – 2017” held at a high-level. I would like to point out the relevance of the topics of the conference, the practical value of the reports, the opportunities for communicating and sharing experience on the venue with a large number of potential customers and partners. We look forward to the conference next year!

Pavel Solopov(Deputy Chairman of the itSMF of Russia)

I’m of the opinion that the conference was successful this year. There were many presentations from the people who do the work themselves. The reports might not have been as bright as the ones about strategy and prospects but I can still say without a shadow of a doubt that all the reports aroused great interest in the audience. Some statements didn’t fit the theoretical base but it was valuable for me to hear the examples of implementation, histories of successes and failures, because if some techniques work in practice, they should be put into theory. It would be my pleasure to hear the same speakers at the next conferences to understand what methods turn out to be best practice and which ones should be included in the known rake list.

Aleksandr Shper(ITIL Expert, last year presenter and organizer)

I had mixed feelings after the conference: on the one hand, it was quite useful and interesting; on the other hand, I failed to hear a single outstanding report which I could quote afterwards. On the one hand, I surely didn’t attend the conference in vain, on the other hand, I wouldn’t have lost anything if I hadn’t come. On the one hand, there were specifics, real cases and interesting examples; on the other hand, many of them were narrowly specialized and only a few could be applied. Very important issues were raised but they were addressed in the form of slogans and appeals. In general, there were pluses and minuses. But I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the day was interesting and productive.  After all, the event of this level isn’t only about presentations and speeches, it’s also a platform for communication, networking, exchanging ideas and other types of social practices …

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