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16 top resources for IT service management pros

Ericka Chickowski Freelance writer

Like so many niches in IT, the field of IT service management (ITSM) has troves of professional development information, and training tidbits to be mined—which is a good thing, since the field of ITSM is continuing to evolve as it makes its way into  enterprise service management applications.

TechBeacon has assessed the field of professional organizations, events, standards, and certifications to give new and old service management pros alike a condensed list of the very best resources the field has to offer.

Professional organizations


The IT Service Management Forum (itSMF) International is the largest professional body for ITSM practitioners worldwide. It has a collection of very active country chapters that promote industry events, regional networking opportunities, and ongoing learning about how to apply industry best practices. For US-based readers, itSMF USA is an extremely active chapter, with meetings held in local groups across the country.

Fees: $195 per year for itSMF USA


Founded three decades ago as the Help Desk Institute but now known simply as HDI, this professional organization is a mainstay of the ITSM community. Its focus is on service management and technical support, but the range of publications and research HDI pumps out spans numerous IT topics focused on improving business through excellence in IT service delivery. As a UBM Tech brand, HDI particularly emphasizes its full lineup of industry events and training.

Fees: $295 per year

Service Desk Institute

Particularly focused on service desk professionals, Service Desk Institute (SDI) is a UK-based organization with a global footprint. The group is best-known for developing and maintaining the Service Desk Certification, which is meant to bridge gaps in broader standards such as ITIL around service desk operations. Most of its in-person training and smaller events are in the UK, but it holds a number of larger confabs worldwide and also has a strong commitment to virtual events and online training opportunities for members.

Fees: ₤99 per year

[ Special Coverage: Focus on IT Service Management at Fusion 18 ]

Conferences and events

Fusion 18

One of the biggest ITSM-focused events in the US, Fusion offers programing and training geared toward a range of different management levels and practitioner types. These include CIOs and CTOs, service delivery managers, and entry-level ITSM practitioners. The upcoming Fusion will offer a blend of content that touches on how service management interplays with IT trends such as cybersecurity, DevOps, and digital transformation.

Dates: September 30–October 3, 2018

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, Hyatt Regency St. Louis

Fees: $1,995 ($1,795 for itSMF members); one-day pass $895

Pink 19

Pink Elephant stands as a lion of the ITSM consulting and training world. It was one of the first firms to offer accredited ITIL training, and its professional ranks and client roster are filled with some of the leading lights in service management. As such, its annual Pink conferences often rival the best in independent industry shows, with robust programming that offers up plenty of vendor-neutral best practices alongside the typical customer success stories. Next year will be the 23rd Pink conference.

Dates: February 17–20, 2019

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Bellagio Hotel

Fees: Before October 26, 2018: $2,195 Standard Pass; $2,495 Platinum Pass; after October 26, 2018: $2,295 Standard Pass; $2,595 Platinum Pass


UK and European ITSM pros favor SITS, which offers a wide breadth of speakers taking the podium in front of thousands of attendees. While there's plenty of emphasis on exhibitor pitches and vendor rah-rah sessions, it's also got a solid lineup of educational seminars and well-regarded keynoters, especially considering its remarkable price point: It's free.

Dates: May 1–2, 2019

Location: London, UK, ExCel London

Fees: Free; registration not yet open

Service Management World

Run by the braintrust behind HDI, Service Management World is a new service management-focused conference about to kick off its inaugural show. Show programming will be heavy on real-world case studies presented by the professionals on the ground who are responsible for putting service management practices into place at their organizations. In addition to standard tracks, the show will also offer a range of pre-conference workshop training and certification sessions in areas such as knowledge management, DevOps, and service management optimization.

Dates: October 15–17, 2018

Location: Orlando, Florida, Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate

Fees: $2,299 three-day pass; $1,999 two-day pass; $200 discount for HDI members

Standards bodies


A joint-venture company underwritten in part by the UK government, AXELOS is responsible for shepherding the heavyweight standard in ITSM–ITIL. It's one of the most widely accepted approaches to service management worldwide and, for better or worse, is often synonymous with service management for many people.

Consortium for Service Innovation

A nonprofit alliance, the Consortium for Service Innovation develops a number of operating models and methodologies around customer support and service excellence. Its most successful initiative is "Knowledge-Centered Service," a methodology around which personnel and vendor certifications have cropped up to demonstrate best practices in the field of knowledge management.

International Foundation for Digital Competencies (IFDC)

The IFDC is a nonprofit foundation that's the body behind the VeriSM approach to service management. VeriSM is a value-driven methodology that helps businesses better integrate IT and business operations as organizations seek to embrace true digital transformation.


No matter where you are in IT, the long arm of ISO usually touches your world. In the case of service management, the relevant standard created by this organization is ISO/IEC 20000. This is the yin to ITIL's yang, as one of the major standards by which disciplined companies set the baselines for their ITSM practices.

Training and certifications

ITIL Master

As the leading standard in the service management world, ITIL has a cornucopia of different certifications and trainings built around it, offered from numerous training institutions worldwide. Perhaps the gold standard among them, ITIL Master certification is validated by PeopleCert. It requires candidates to prove extensive, practical, and hands-on experience with ITIL and demonstrate that they have been a part of implementing ITIL to achieve desired business outcomes. It requires five years management advisory experience in ITSM and previous attainment of the ITIL Expert certification.

Fees: Variable

KCS v6 Fundamentals Certification

Many ITSM veterans will vouch for the fact that sound knowledge management acts as the bedrock of solid ITSM practices. Knowledge-Centered Service (KCS) gels this view into practical methods for knowledge engineering, and KCS v6 Fundamentals Certification provides the baseline knowledge for people who plan to use KCS principles in support centers and service desk environments.

Fees: $85 exam; $167 exam plus optional training

Foundation Certificate in SIAM

A new certification in the service management field, the Service Integration and Management (SIAM) foundation certificate is meant to coalesce the best lessons and practices. These are culled from a range of IT frameworks and methodologies, including ITIL, ISO/IEC 20000, and COBIT, as well as DevOps, lean, and agile principles.

Fees: Variable

Kepner-Tregoe certifications

One of the powerhouses in ITSM consulting and outsourcing, Kepner-Tregoe also offers certifications based on the formalized internal methodologies that drive its customer engagements. KT provides its customers with a full menu of training that helps them bring the same systematic approach into their organizations in-house.

Fees: Variable

Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM)

The idea of blending agile thinking and Scrum practices into IT service management and process design projects is starting to catch fire, and that's reflected by the CASM certificate developed by the ITSM Academy and the DevOps institute. The spirit behind this training and certification is to get service management professionals to be more nimble about how they build out process frameworks.

Fee: $1,395

For even more resources for ITSM pros, attend the Fusion 18 conference in St. Louis. The conference runs from September 30 to October 3, 2018. TechBeacon readers receive a $200 discount by registering with promo code TECH18.

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