Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

ITIL Tattle

ITIL Tattle

Blog posts on ITIL and ITSM news and best practice from the ISG ITIL Team

ITIL Conference Season – two conferences, two themes…

UniDesk 2019 Conference Dinner

Two weeks – two conferences and a blog post on two recurring themes: ITIL® 4 and Self-Service Portals.

Last week was an itSMF meeting at Glasgow University. This week the UniDesk 2019 Conference up at University of Highlands and Islands at their main Inverness campus.

Conferences provide a great opportunity to network and find out what other Universities are doing. Finding out how others have solved something or even how others have the same issues provide us with renewed vigour on return!

Dolphins on the port side!



The respective guest speakers were Barclay Rae and Claire Agutter. It was was no surprise that both were talking about  ITIL® 4 and what the practical implications are. In short, ITIL® 4  gets described as a refresh, aligning and reframing best practice in a world were buzzword methodologies such DevOps, Agile and SIAM (Service Integration and Management) drop from the cloud like rain in a Scottish summer. Key to this is not that the cloud services or DevOps are replacing ITIL®, they are merely allowing technology to move more quickly.  ITIL® 4 recognises this whilst retaining the value of a standard managed approach.

So far, only the ITIL® Foundation course has been released (see Lisa’s recent blog post on what this covers). The foundation has been revised to improve the “Why” of service management best practice.  Focus is on value co-creation and the 7 Guiding Principles with some of the ITIL®-specific terminology relegated, presumably to be introduced in the intermediate courses?

One key message that both Barclay and Claire emphasized is that current ITIL® V3 training intermediate courses are still relevant. If training will benefit your business processes, don’t wait for the new courses!


Self-Service Portals and Shift Left

UniDesk Self-Service Port

View of UniDesk Self-Service Portal – how engaging is it?

Both conferences made reference to Self-Service Portals and Shift Left. As directions of travel these seem to be very much on everyone’s wish list.

At Glasgow,  Chris Powell from Ivanti talked about The Psychology of Self Service. In a nutshell, Chris was challenging us on whether our Self-Service Portals take user psychology into account to ensure that users feel welcome and engaged.  The take away message was that users are not going to accept Shift Left if the portal we provide is not somewhere they want to be.  At Inverness, Mike from University of Highlands and Islands discussed their journey in advance of their UniDesk launch next week. It was heartening to see their Self-Service Portal looking like it represented key business service areas of

a University. One of his bullet points in particular rang true:



The biggest problem was and still is identifying business owners

The challenge for implementing what our CIO Gavin McLachlan often describes as “all that good stuff” is agreeing what the good stuff should be! Perhaps more pragmatically, where that list of good stuff resides and who decides what is there? Within IT, Library and Finance we have a shared Service Catalogue with a governance process but this represents only a small part of University service provision. To have a user focussed Self-Service we would need a properly governed and therefore canonical University Service Catalogue. To do that we need to have a shared vocabulary that defines what a Service is. Fortunately ITIL® 4 has that definition:

A means of enabling value co-creation by facilitating outcomes that customers want to achieve, without the customer having to manage specific costs and risks

(Copyright 2019 The University of Edinburgh)

(Copyright 2019 The University of Edinburgh)

Leave a reply


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.