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Better dressed for service management success with SIAM

“The best colour in the world is the one that looks good on you.” –  Coco Chanel

In this article, Scopism eConsultant® Michelle Major-Goldsmith shares some more detail about service integration and management (SIAM).

Within the next few months I’m sure you will hear more about Service Integration and Management (SIAM).  With the imminent launch of the SIAM (Foundation) Body of Knowledge and associated certification, SIAM is unquestionably ‘en vogue’, the new black of service management.

SIAM is at first a seemingly obvious adaption of the ITIL® best practice framework that seeks to provide the key to the effective management of the multi-provider model in existence in most modern enterprises. As one of the authors of the SIAM Foundation BoK I am of course passionate about the benefits the SIAM methodology can bring, however, I want to reinforce the message that whatever practice, methodology or approach you favour, success comes from looking past the trends and remaining focused on the value and more importantly the outcomes!

Clarity on adoption benefits

“To be in ‘Vogue’ has to mean something. It’s an endorsement. It’s a validation.” –  Anna Wintour

Organisations must be clear about why they want to adopt SIAM. A transition to SIAM is not a simple task. It requires investment, and also a significant amount of change across all parties involved in areas including:

It’s all about the outcomes

Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” –  Marc Jacobs

It’s more than just looking good! It’s got to feel good.  To implement a SIAM ecosystem, senior sponsorship and commitment must be secured.  That sponsorship needs to be based on an understanding of what SIAM can do for an organisation, rather than a push to adopt the most fashionable management methodology of the moment.   Unquestionably, there will be organisations where creating a SIAM ecosystem will not be appropriate.  SIAM value, and positive customer experience will not be achieved without an understanding of why an organisation wants to do SIAM.  That value cannot be considered without understanding the challenges it hopes to smooth, the issues that dealing with multiple providers brings, and the impact of having no service integration function.  If the drivers and understanding exist, SIAM can provide an effective approach for managing the challenges of a multi service provider ecosystem.

What is SIAM really?

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” –  Coco Chanel

SIAM is a management methodology applied in an environment that includes IT services sourced from a number of different service providers.  It differs from traditional multi-sourced ecosystems with one customer and multiple suppliers, because it adds a service integration layer.  This layer provides governance and coordination to ensure the customer organisation gets maximum value from their service providers.  The SIAM ecosystem includes three main layers: a customer function, a service integrator function and a number of service provider functions, which can be internal or external.  The diagram below shows a high level view of the layers and provides some examples of the type of activities that take place in each layer.

SIAM Layers

Put the focus on the value, not the product

“Fashion changes, but style endures.”Coco Chanel

Without SIAM, seamless and consistent delivery is hard to achieve in a multi-provider environment.  The global IT services market is witnessing disruptions driven by multi-sourced delivery models.  Of course, employing different suppliers for specialised services enables a business to secure best-in-class capabilities, systems and services. At the same time, they realise the benefits of competition among a wider network of suppliers and protect themselves from the risks associated with being over-reliant on a single supplier.   A well designed and executed SIAM model is critical to success, since from a customer’s point of view the benefits of making use of diverse providers and technologies should not come at the cost of customer experience.

Having the ability to architect the end to end service is a vital starting point. Understanding all data and information sources, and mapping them to the process flows allow an understanding of the underlying requirements for service integration. When inputs and outputs are known, the management of the flows of information across multiple providers are possible, taking the customer closer to a situation wherein they need only manage by exception.

As the number of structures and parties involved in service delivery increases, so does the requirement for collaboration. The principles denoted within the SIAM method go some way towards smoothing the collaboration path. It is no longer about a one-to one relationship with the customer organization but a network of service providers working together providing customer-focussed service.

Without SIAM, the ability of an organisation to respond to changing business demands is hampered. The ability to loosely couple suppliers is imperative in a market where agility in response to market and business imperatives is critical to success. In organizations that seek to accommodate the increasing need for faster speed to market, having a provisioning and management structure that supports flexibility in frenetic environments is key.

SIAM – the future

“Style is primarily a matter of instinct.”Bill BlassSIAM and Fashion

The industry has been calling for some more specific guidance for some time.  There have been numerous blog posts, article, white papers and books released.   The launch of the SIAM Foundation BoK will provide welcome guidance.  Whilst SIAM is nothing new, its often misunderstood and sometimes over-simplified. Bringing focus to SIAM drivers and benefits is important not because SIAM is the new black but because in its guidance, pain points are understood, assistance provided and positive and appealing outcomes are delivered.

SIAM isn’t just the latest thing.  Yes, it’s ‘en vogue’ but it’s not just about style and fashion.  SIAM is practical and the guidance provides answers to the challenges encountered in many modern IT environments.

“Style is very important. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style lasts forever.”Ralph Lauren

Michelle Major-Goldsmith