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?”
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:
and gives you this:
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.
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:
- The BCS special interest group on Service Management
- The itSMF UK SIAM SIG
- This whitepaper on SIAM & ITSM by Kevin Holland for Axelos
- Kev rocking the basics of SIAM for this BrightTalk
- This EDS video. Not even remotely related to SIAM but it always makes me smile.