Monday, 6 October 2014

SIAM – Service Intelligence And Management

One of the key benefits of adopting a SIAM delivery model pattern is the efficiencies that can be achieved by creating a single overarching Service Management function that orchestrates and manages Service Management activities across an IT Supply Chain grouped into Towers. The ability for the SIAM to manage and orchestrate is a critical success factor and underpins the ability of the Tower based approach to deliver robust and trustworthy End to End services.
Intelligent SIAM
Many organisations assume that existing Service Management methodologies and ways of working can simply be re-positioned to enable SIAM. I believe that this is a fundamentally flawed approach that undervalues the role of the SIAM by treating it as an “administrative” function that has had its scope extended and can just be re-positioned organisationally.
The SIAM needs to become the Intelligent Service Management Function – in many was the term SIAM should stand for Service Intelligence And Management where intelligence is needed to enable key activities, for example:
Intelligence to ensure that services are properly defined and described in ways that are accessible to those that need to build, manage and use them. Taking an intelligent approach to service definition will ensure that existing monolithic or “black-box” supplier-driven solutions can be dis-aggregated and re-aggregated as an end to end service across a best of breed supply chain enabling the exploitation of competition across the supply chain. A Service Catalogue is needed that describes the End to End service including information about the IT Supply Chain that will deliver them and the span of control or responsibility that each Managed Service Provider has.
Intelligence to ensure that complex multi-tower End to End services have a known configuration to a level of detail and accuracy that will enable the SIAM functions to:
  • make intelligent and informed decisions in resolving incidents ensuring faster and better incident management across the IT Supply Chain
  • managing change with a complete End to End contextual awareness
  • measure End to End performance and establish meaningful End to End Service Level Agreements
  • understand service events and how these correlate to create a bigger and more meaningful picture across the IT Supply Chain
  • managing the transition (both in and out) of services and Managed Service Providers
In summary, the SIAM should be viewed as the Service Intelligence And Management function and will need investment to ensure that it has the tools and skills needed add value. Failure to put Service Intelligence at the heart of the SIAM will create an ineffective administrative function that has no choice but to rely on poor information resulting in the SIAM functions making ill-informed decisions that will ultimately degrade the services and cost the business more in the long run.


An effective multi-sourcing strategy such as that described in the SIAM Model, (Service Integration and Management) needs robust service integration between the individual service towers. An effective SIAM layer needs process excellence at it’s core, clear multi-level Governance (strategic, and operational) and an approach that moves away from products and technologies and instead focuses on end-to-end integrated services. Get Service Integration right and you will achieve cost effective, flexible and demand linked IT service delivery, get it wrong and you will create another level of IT management bureaucracy trying to manage siloed delivery fueled by a finger pointing culture of blame.
Many of the organisations I am working underestimate the investment and cultural changes on both the demand and supply sides needed to make SIAM and success. I want to be clear that the most important critical success factors are process excellence, governance and a change of culture from the providers, managers and consumers of IT services.
Let’s start by trying to understand what Service Integration is within the context of a SIAM. Service Integration is happening today within service providers, they are doing it (or give the illusion that they are doing it) in order to be able to provide a service. They will have a number of component technologies/functions that provide component services that are brought together within the service provider and exposed as a single service that can be consumed by the end user. If for example you are buying an e/mail service form a provider, then they will have hosted servers, applications, application management, network services, service management to deliver, manage and support the service etc.
Fundamentally, what the SIAM model does is to spread this inter-tower service integration across multiple towers who are charged with providing different aspects of the infrastructure and components needed to make-up the end to end service. The SIAM is responsible for integrating different services from different tower providers, orchestrating the actions needed to make this happen and managing the delivery of the end-to-end service (not the component services, the tower providers are still responsible for those) to the end users.