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Another successful BCS CMSG Conference – May 2017 review!

After all the hard work, it’s hard to believe that the 12th BCS CMSG conference finally happened on the 9th May!  As always, the conference had three streams, with presentations and discussions on the latest developments in DevOps, Change, Config and Release Management and Software Licensing.

 I am pleased to say that the event was well attended by a diverse range of experienced IT professionals, including existing members (and some new contacts!), with the opportunity of sharing thoughts and experiences on the fundamental role and benefits of ITAM in our fast-paced, dynamic IT industry. 

Rebecca Horton of Red Hat opened the conference by sharing her extensive experience of helping companies adapt and evolve their SAM and Config Management processes to be more in-line with the Commercial demands on the business.  In the current economic climate, one could question if any company can afford NOT to be doing this! 

Guest speakers on DevOps included presentations by Martin Callinan of Source Control Ltd and Savinder Chauhan of Black Duck Software on effective risk management in the growing market of open source software.  Tuuli Bell of Tasktop presented and hosted a discussion on the challenges, solutions and benefits to successfully combine ITSM and DevOps, while Pradyumna Dash of AWS presented on how Amazon Engineers have increased productivity with their DevOps approach. The Dev Ops stream ended with an enlightening case study by Andrew Humphrey from Autotrader shared his experience of combining ITIL, Agile and Devops to significantly improve the flexibility of the business support function – this is probably my favourite presentation of the day. 

Mark Howell of BDNA kicked off the CCRM session with a discussion on the issues, importance and tangible benefits of data normalisation (the cornerstone for every ITAM process).  Dan Card of XServus brought us up to date with some practical steps on how to proactively improve IT Service Management using CCRM.  The importance of what to consider when creating an effective CMDB was covered in presentations by Lawrie Meek of ServiceNow and Nick Bartak of Wipro Consulting Services.  As with all things, the key to success is research, plan, prepare and get it right from the beginning!  Brian White of Civica provided an insight into how to get the best out of Service Asset & Config Management and still benefit from the flexibility of the Cloud (do companies review how they use the Cloud regularly enough – or is it out of sight out of mind?). 

How else could we start the SAM section but with a presentation by Martijn Braamskamp on how to ensure your company is audit ready?  Martijn covered the three main questions to consider and ensure you are prepared for the inevitable!  The “grey” subject of Oracle Licensing in the Cloud was clarified by Paul Bullen of Version 1, drawing on the company’s extensive licensing consultancy experience. For me, this was the second best session – full of insights not just on Oracle Licensing in the cloud, but on managing cloud in general, and I have shamelessly co-opted some of his thoughts for the presentation I’m doing next week at SnowStorm in London  ( https://go.snowsoftware.com/UK-SnowStorm17-Reg.html) and at the ITAM Review Conference the week after that  https://www.itassetmanagement.net/event/itam-review-annual-conference-2016-uk/).

In his session Tomas O’Leary of Origina focused on another Software big hitter, IBM and how to combat their complex licensing by using third party maintenance agreements (invaluable!).  Rachel Ryan of AstraZeneca shared her experience of how sustainability in SAM has had a drastic impact on software management at the company with a very interesting case study.  The final SAM session presentation was by Mark Bradford of Microsoft on the core aspect of any SAM programme, how to ensure SAM improves business functionality and delivers bottom line results with maximum performance and minimal risk. 

The closing keynote speech by Professor Steven Furnell, Professor of Information Security at Plymouth University, focused on software vulnerability and the resulting (more often than not costly) issues of mis-managed software, including the very topical issue of potential security risks – very timely considering that the WannaCry Ransomware issue came hot on its heels. Did he know something we didn’t know?! 

An opportunity to network over drinks and our famous chocolate fountain whilst enjoying a sandwich or two from the buffet rounded off the day and can I take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended what turned out to be another successful BCS CMSG event! 

More information on the presentations and guest speakers can be found on the BCS website : http://www.bcs.org/category/19050