So here’s the thing. We work in an industry that’s fast paced and constantly evolving. We’re told to “go big or go home” but there’s so much to keep up with in IT service management (ITSM) these days. Not only ITIL and COBIT but also Lean, Six Sigma, DevOps, Agile, and service integration and management (SIAM) – so it’s no wonder people struggle to keep up or can get confused. If you want to know about the latter – SIAM – then this blog is for you.
Let’s get this from the horse’s mouth, well, from one of the first large users of SIAM concepts – the UK government. The GOV.UK website defines SIAM as follows:
“Service integration and management lets an organization manage the service providers in a consistent and efficient way, making sure that performance across a portfolio of multi-sourced goods and services meets user needs.”
SIAM supports organizations in managing multiple services across multiple suppliers. In other words, trying to bring order to chaos. Let’s face it, the traditional model of in-house IT departments doing everything from the basement is becoming more and more outdated.
Organizations are moving towards outsourcing, co-sourcing, and multi-sourcing; and with each additional supplier, partner, and vendor your company’s IT estate gets more complicated. Enter SIAM, with SIAM here to help you manage multiple suppliers in a way that delivers seamless service to the end customer.
At a very basic level, SIAM can be considered a function that sits between customers and suppliers to ensure that the service being paid for is delivered, managed, and governed in a consistent way.
Image credit: Axelos
Figure 1: Basic SIAM Model
Add in some real-life processes and functions, and this is what SIAM looks like for GOV.UK:
Image Credit: GOV.UK
Figure 2 GOV.UK SIAM Example
There are many reasons that will be dependent on your company’s status quo and future wants and needs. A few possible reasons include:
How do you know if you’re struggling? If your day-to-day service delivery feels like an exercise in trying to herd cats, then you might want to look at SIAM.
SIAM is all about effective relationships, so starting with the people side of things is key.
The starting point for any SIAM initiative, post initial planning, is the creation of a SIAM team to help bring about the required change and to ultimately act as a single point of both accountability and contact. The SIAM team will be able to create an initial SWOT analysis of the service delivery and management environment, and then a strategy for managing issues and optimizing service.
When looking at using SIAM to improve service performance, I like to use our old friend Deming to ensure that things stay on track. Here’s an example of a Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act model for SIAM:
* Build a SIAM strategy including business plan and quick wins
* What does good look like?
* Set up function
* Document SLAs, OLAs and UCs
* Work with suppliers to organize for the new SIAM environment
* Transition and go live
* Monitor and report
* Review overall service performance
* Complete new baseline
* Create CSI plan
* Implement improvement items
* Prioritize quick wins
Finally, we’re on to my favorite part of this SIAM 101 – the benefits of using it: