The IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) will hold the Service Management Exhibition & Conference 2012 (SMEXA ‘12) on 21 and 22 August, in Sunninghill, Johannesburg.

Organiser Johann Botha says goal of this year’s conference is to help IT service professionals step up to the plate and ensure that companies’ IT assets deliver real and tangible value during tough economic times.

“One of the first questions asked in times of recession or economic downturn is how IT best practices like service management, governance, risk and compliance add value to organisations,” Botha explains. “There is a commonly-held belief that you can run your business without these – so they are a secondary spend. Or are they?

“The problem is that a definitive, tangible and measureable answer is often vague and baffling to the best-practise practitioners, IT managers and CIOs who need to motivate for investments into ‘soft’ projects to manage risk, ensure good governance and improve service delivery.

“The spend on IT best practices like service management, governance, risk and compliance is mostly secondary but aren’t these the glue that really provides the returns to IT and the business?”

SMEXA ’12 brings together a number of IT and business experts to help IT service managers to answer come pertinent questions, including:

* Can the value of IT services be measured and if so how do successful companies do that?

* Can the value of (IT or business) service management be measured and if so how do we qualify these benefits and what evidence are there to substantiate these claims?

* What are the benefits of good governance – yes we know there are some fiduciary and legal requirements – but should we worry about best practices beyond that?

* What are the benefits of risk management initiatives (including information security management) – does it add value or is it just like buying insurance?

* What are the risks to the business if we ignore guidance from best practice – the risk of doing too little too late?

* Does best practice help with consolidation and mergers and acquisitions – is there tangible evidence that it does?

* What are the non-financial benefits of the above (think balance scorecard)?

* What measurements are used and should be used to justify investments in best practice implementation projects?

* What tangible value does IT best practices like Service Management, Governance, Risk and Compliance deliver to business?

The speaker line-up includes both international experts as well as those steeped in the realities of IT service management in the South African environment.

Michael O’Mara from IBM (USA) will answer the question many ask – how much service management is enough and how much is too much?

Prof Reinhard Botha from NMMU will share the seven habits of well-governed IT organisations, while Pieter Roos from Ernst & Young will show delegates how to ensure that IT reporting meets King3 requirements and how to empower the board with good information.

Warwick Kingsley from Pink Elephant will demonstrate how to obtain the tangible benefits of governance and service management and how do we know when we have reached our goals (value)?

Dr Peter Tobin will do an interactive session exploring what we really get from this all, while Derrick Plank will use common examples, to show how we have become obsessed with measuring the ‘wrong’ things, how this will continue to keep IT value locked away unless we change our perspective, and how surprisingly easy it is to actually change.

In an interesting talk, Dr Collin Scott from Marval will highlight how non-IT organisations applied ITSM principles and realised tangible value.

Other speakers include John Bosco , Johann Botha, Peter Brooks, Greg Guye, Michael Jackson, Pieter Roos and Bryce Thorrold.