SIAM for Complete Beginners

For those of you who read this website regularly, you’ll know that we are running a joint SIAM workshop with the BCS later on this month. It’s already fully booked and we’re planning further events in 2016. Interest in SIAM has definitely taken off in the last year or so but for every enthusiast there’s also the person asking “what is SIAM and why should I find out more?”

Basic Principles:

Service Integration and Management (SIAM) is a framework for managing multiple suppliers of information technology services and integrating them to provide a single business-facing IT organisation. In other words, SIAM takes this:

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and gives you this:

 

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SIAM is an adaptation of ITIL that focuses on the delivery of key services by multiple suppliers in a way that appears seamless to the rest of the business. So far, so good – not too scary right?

Why do I need it?

Lets face it, when we work in IT we’re at the sharp end of every crisis; new product launch from Apple, security threat, social media trend or latest patch from Microsoft . Throw into the equation changing business requirements and the growing senior management appetite for big data, DevOps, TOGAF etc and fun is being had. Add in the opportunities (or to steal a phrase from a former colleague probertunities) that can arise from multi sourcing and working with multiple suppliers and partners and you’ve got a party. I’ve been living and breathing ITIL as my day job for 15 years and by using it as a framework for running your IT department, that’s a great start. If however, you’re using ITIL and it feels like you’re herding cats (or if you’re really unlucky, grumpy toddlers) then you may want to look at SIAM.

What does Service Integration Look Like?

The starting point for SIAM is the creation of a SIAM team. This team acts as the single point of accountability and is an effective way of minimizing or mitigating potential multisourcing issues, and optimising the composite IT organisation.

A SIAM function, department or team will typically:

  • Manage the multiple suppliers to give the optimal mix of flexibility, innovation, standard and consistent service.
  • Be accountable for the integrated services that are being delivered back to the business.
  • Specify IT service management processes and procedures to be deployed across the enterprise and ensure they are followed.
  • Act as the central point of control between IT demand and IT supply.
  • Play a pivotal coordinating role in all service management processes.

service-integration-diagram

 

What are the benefits of using SIAM?

If you’re starting to feel the stress of managing your IT portfolio then using SIAM could bring the following benefits:

  • A single point of contact, ownership & control for IT Services.
  • Clearly defined roles & responsibilities (preferably nailed down in RACI charts)
  • Optimised cost of services
  • Streamlined management of IT services
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Consistently applied processes
  • A more transparent IT landscape

Where can I go to find out more:

There’s loads of useful information out there; here are our top picks for learning more about SIAM:

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Image credit

SIAM Skills Workshop – Free Half Day Event

Tuesday 17th November 2015. 12.00pm to 4.30pm, BCS Offices, London.

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Introduction

Following the success of the first SAM Skills workshop, The SIAM Skills Workshop is a free to attend, joint event brought to you by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT and the ITSM Review.

Run over an afternoon, starting over an informal lunch, we invite you to join us for an independent Service Integration and Management (SIAM) skills workshop that will discuss the very latest skills requirements for ITSM professionals and an opportunity to network with peers.

You’ll learn of SIAM best practice from both expert speakers and your industry peers, key topics include:

  • When is SIAM suitable?
  • How do you build a SIAM practice?
  • How do you sell the concept to senior management?
  • How to tell when SIAM is not working and how to address key failings?

*Full agenda will be confirmed soon*


REGISTER HERE

 

Event Summary

WHAT: SIAM Skills Workshop

WHEN: 17th November 2015, 12.00pm – 4.30pm

WHERE: BCS, London Office (London, WC2E 7HA)

HOW TO BOOK & MORE INFO: https://events.bcs.org/book/1765/

ITSM14 Preview: Simon Durbin with "Don't let SIAM cloud your judgement"

Simon Durbin of Information Services Group
Simon Durbin of Information Services Group

In the run up this year’s itSMF UK conference ITSM14, I chatted with Simon Durbin about his upcoming session entitled “Don’t Let SIAM Cloud Your Judgement”.

Q. Hi Simon, can you give a quick intro to your session at ITSM14?

I am going to be demystifying some of the hype that surrounds SIAM. As with any new management or technology ‘trend’ there is always of lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt as people grapple to understand what is really new and unique and what is simply the re-badging of familiar tried and tested concepts.

If you peel away the layers SIAM is actually rooted in some very well established management disciplines, but with the continued evolution of sourcing and service delivery models (such as Cloud) we need to re-frame and adapt these techniques to the realities of our modern complex, multi-sourced, mixed-sourced world.

Q. What impact does SIAM have on an organisation?

One of the greatest impacts that SIAM can bring is control. This is achieved by focusing on robust processes, clearly delineated roles and responsibilities between internal customers, internal functions and service providers; strong governance, all underpinned with quality data and information flows. All too often service providers give clients the ‘run around’ because they know more about your business than you do. SIAM establishes the mechanism to manage the complex interactions between supply and demand for IT services.

Q. What are likely to be the potential pitfalls and/or benefits an organisation may experience with implementing SIAM as a framework?

One of the big pitfalls with SIAM is to try and bite off more than you can chew. As with any process or service improvement initiative, focus and prioritisation is essential. Identify where the biggest pain points are and the critical business drivers and objectives. Align your SIAM efforts to business goals and addressing the pain. Pick your battles and don’t try to boil the ocean (apologies for the overused clichés!)


Simon Durbin is a Director with Information Services Group (ISG) and leads the SIAM practice in the UK, working as a key member of the global ISG SIAM team. He has more than 25 years’ experience in IT service and supplier management working as both a practitioner and consultant. Simon advises both public and private sector clients, across many industry sectors, on Service Integration strategy, operating model design, sourcing strategies and transformational change management

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Simon’s session is on day two of ITSM14 and featured within the Managing Complexities track. To find out more or to book your conference place please visit itSMF UK

Connect with Simon via LinkedIn

ITSM14 Preview: Karen Brusch and Managing Multiple Suppliers from an SLM Perspective

Karen Brusch of Nationwide Building Society and itSMF UK
Karen Brusch of Nationwide Building Society and itSMF UK

In the run up this year’s itSMF UK conference, ITSM14, I chatted with Karen Brusch of Nationwide Building Society and itSMF UK about her upcoming session entitled “Managing Multiple Suppliers from an SLM Perspective”.

Q. Hi Karen, can you give a quick intro to your session at the itSMF UK Conference?

The itSMF UK Service Level Management SIG has always been keen to research and present topics that are identified as problem areas by practitioners in the industry. Supplier Management and how that impacts Service Level Management has been an area of discussion which has gained momentum over the last 18 months. This session takes a look at some key points around the complexities of managing multiple suppliers.

Q. What impact does managing multiple suppliers have on an organisation?

The most obvious impact is the failure to deliver what an organisation’s business needs. It is hard enough to understand and document business requirements when you have one supplier; but when you have a multitude of suppliers, there is a real risk that requirements become diluted, compromised, or more crucially missed. Managing multiple suppliers is a black art, where what works for one set of suppliers will not necessarily work for another; so each combination requires a modified approach. Service Integration specialists (SIAM) have helped to shape some answers, but even here, flexibility is the key. So any organisation embarking on a multi-vendor strategy has to have the knowledge, capability and determination to succeed.

Q. Where should organisations start with managing multiple suppliers?

The most important thing is to understand your business’ end game; where do they want to be in 5 years’ time, for example. Once you have this information you can begin to formulate supporting IT strategies and requirements. Too many organisation write their Invitations to Tender (ITTs) and Request for Proposals (RFPs) without understanding business strategy

Q. What are likely to be the potential pitfalls and/or benefits an organisation may experience with implementing a framework for managing multiple suppliers?

An organisation will derive real benefit for taking the time to develop an appropriate governance framework for the selected preferred suppliers. As I’ve said already, each combination requires a modified approach, so it really pays to invest some time in this activity. The fundamental pitfall that I’ve seen on many occasion is that organisations select the cheapest provider for each area/tower of service, not taking into consideration the overall impact and integration issues. It goes back to having people with the knowledge, capability an determination to succeed.


Karen is an ITIL Expert, recognised as a member of the itSMF UK Expert Faculty, and a Service Design specialist with 12 years’ experience. She chaired the itSMF UK Service Level Management Special Interest Group for several years, and has recently stepped down from this role to support the newly formed Service Design SIG. When not engaged in itSMF activities, she works for Nationwide Building Society as a Service Design Consultant.

medium ITSM14 banner aug 14

Karen’s session is on day two and featured within the Managing Complexity track. To find out more or to book your conference place please visit itSMF UK

Follow Karen on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

ITSM: Going beyond IT – thoughts from Stephen Mann (Video)

This interview was filmed at the Pink Elephant Conference and features Stephen Mann, Senior Manager, Product Marketing at ServiceNow discussing the current hot topics he is seeing in ITSM, such as service catalogue, SIAM, and the consumerization of IT.

In Summary

In addition, Stephen also talks about:

  • Witnessing an increased use of ITSM tools outside IT
  • The differentiators needed by vendors to disrupt the ITSM market
  • ServiceNow’s focus on the customer

Please note that owing to this interview being filmed live at the Pink Elephant event, there may be some minor volume issues and background noises throughout this video.

About ServiceNow

ServiceNow is the enterprise IT cloud company. “We transform IT by automating and managing IT service relationships across the global enterprise. Organizations deploy our service to create a single system of record for IT and automate manual tasks, standardize processes, and consolidate legacy systems. Using our extensible platform, our customers create custom applications and evolve the IT service model to service domains inside and outside the enterprise”. Visit www.servicenow.com for for more information.

About Pink Elephant

A global company with a proud and pioneering 30 year history – the world’s #1 supplier of IT Service Management and ITIL® education, conferences and consulting.Visit www.pinkelephant.com for more information about the company, services and products. This video was filmed at the 2014 Pink Elephant Conference. The 19th Annual Pink Elephant International IT Service Management Conference and Exhibition will take place at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, February 15-18 2015. Registration is now open.