IT service management, pink elephants and Martin Short

Sounds like some sort of strange dream, doesn't it? It's not — it's the Pink16 conference I attended last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.

pink elephant ts

There's been lots of talk about ITSM and ITIL lately, especially as perspectives on IT departments are shifting -- the C-level executives I talk to, tell me the IT department is no longer viewed as a cost center eating up business dollars for things like help desk, internal security, setting up new equipment and fixing email outages, but as a way to actually get more value out of technology and "drive greater strategic business value." What does that mean in plain English? I'm still figuring that part out … and that's where the Pink Elephant comes in.

Pink Elephant is a training and education provider, and a consulting firm that focuses on ITSM and ITIL, and each year it holds an international ITSM conference and exhibition. This is the company's 20th anniversary, but it's my first year attending. I hoped I'd learn a lot more about ITSM and ITIL, why they're important to CIOs and IT professionals, and how those folks can apply them to their own businesses. The sessions I attended focused on higher-level executive leadership, talent management and employee engagement, as well as how to get started with ITIL, and I'll be reporting back on CIO.com, so make sure to follow my coverage if you're interested.

Plus, I got to spend a few days in the southern Nevada sunshine, grabbed a bite at Le Cirque (the conference is held at The Bellagio's convention center -- bonus!) and hear Martin Short's keynote. What does Martin Short offer as the keynote speaker at an ITSM/ITIL conference? Not much, as it turned out -- I'll tell you about that next week. But it definitely started off the conference with a few belly laughs.

- Sharon

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