What We Learned at RefreshIT UK 2018

Refresh IT, 2018


At the Olympiad park, overlooking the West Ham United Stadium, Freshservice hosted its 3rd edition of the RefreshIT in London, UK. This event was hosted in line with our ongoing effort to bring together IT leaders and other stakeholders to discuss and discover new trends, share best practices, and network with IT thought leaders and influencers on the future of IT service delivery.

The day-long event at RefreshIT was packed with panel sessions and keynotes covering topics like changing business landscape, its impact on IT and AI, Chatbots in the ITSM future. We got great IT minds like Stuart Rance, IT and security consultant, Stephen Mann from ITSM.tools and Technology and IT leaders from Auto trader, Premier foods, Forrester and Freshworks to discuss the possibilities that lie ahead in the IT industry. Here’s a snapshot of what we learnt.


First, the fun things. It wasn’t all work and no play at Refresh IT event.

Longest-tunnel-slide-ArcelorMittal-Orbit-2 Longest-tunnel-slide-ArcelorMittal-Orbit-1

Attendees enjoyed a fun ride on the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide (178 meters) at the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Here are 16 of the most insightful, and interesting takeaways from RefreshIT UK 2018


On using Frameworks:

  1. Any IT framework is like the playing field while ITSM is your strategy going into the game. Focus on improving your strategy; don’t get tied down by the field.
  2. Start with the problem you are trying to solve, plan on how you are going to solve it and adopt useful parts from each framework.
  3. ITIL is gradually shifting focus from processes to creating value for customers.


Panel discussion on VeriSM and ITIL updates


On ramping up Digital Transformation initiatives:

  1. Every time someone reaches out to your organization and they have a bad experience or every time someone reaches out and they have a good experience – IT is directly contributing to that.
  2. A digital transformation of the back office is the first step towards this end-to-end value creation.


On the run-up to an AI-driven tomorrow:

  1. Adopting artificial Intelligence and machine learning is a journey and we are in its early stages. Build a solid foundation of people, processes, and data today, to embrace the AI and ML technologies of tomorrow.
  2. Deploy tools that deliver great user experiences to drive positive user behavior around service desk adoption. Then, use this continual user behavior to generate high-quality data in your organization. This data will then, set the stage for machine learning and training.
  3. Start thinking about the governance of AI, ML technologies. Machine learning works on the data generated in your organization. Ensure this data is a true representation of all your users and their most dominant behaviors; prune out the low-quality data. With data being a reflection of your organizational culture. Now, is a good time to take stock of your company culture.
  4. Artificial intelligence is not a stand-alone technology that you set up, run and use independently. AI improves the capability of your existing services and products.


On driving behaviour to improve service delivery:

  1. Self-service has moved beyond the portal to be a user behavior. Be open-minded about inculcating self-service on channels other than a portal.
  2. Think long and hard about your metrics. Measuring the wrong metrics can drive the wrong behavior in your organization. Set business metrics for your IT operations.


On using Agile and Lean in ITSM:


Stuart Rance on using Agile principles in ITSM


  1. According to ITSM.tool’s 2017 global survey on why companies change their ITSM tool, most companies change their ITSM tool from a place of dissatisfaction with the current tool rather than a forward-looking objective.
  2. The future of service delivery lies in how quickly and efficiently you can adapt to change. Agile, Lean, DevOps are some efficient ways to approach change in ITSM.
  3. Being Agile in IT is like starting with a defined vision and doing small sprints to get there, instead of a marathon. Think about the minimum viable product you can adopt in your new ITSM improvement project and get started.
  4. If you want a 2-3% efficiency improvement in IT service management, work harder. If you want a 30-50% efficiency improvement, adopt Lean.
  5. ITSM is full of verschlimmbesserung – supposed improvements that make things worse. Correct this by adopting better change management principles and aligning all initiatives to a shared goal – exceptional customer experience.

That was all that we learned at RefreshIT UK 2018. If you were there and have anything to add, fell free to comment!

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