Introducing Kevin Holland – SIAM™ Chief Examiner

Although SIAM™ has been around for nearly a decade, it seems to really be picking up in adoption and popularity only recently. We spoke to Kevin Holland, Chief Examiner for SIAM™, about how he became interested in SIAM, the benefits of SIAM and the trends for the coming year.


SIAM™ is an essential methodology to get the best outcomes from today’s diverse and complex multi provider service landscapes. It is fast becoming the de facto approach for managing this complexity in a wide range of sectors and organizational sizes. Understanding SIAM™ is essential for all ITSM professionals.


How did your passion for SIAM start?

I first came across SIAM in 2004 when I started a new role as a service management specialist in a newly created UK public sector organization (NPfIT) charged with transforming how IT supported healthcare in the National Health Service (NHS), through the introduction of large-scale services including integrated patient records, computerized referrals and prescriptions, and underpinning network and messaging infrastructures.

Even though we didn’t call it SIAM at the time (the term only really came into common usage in 2012 when I led the design of the UK Government Strategic SIAM reference set), we were created to be the service integrator, providing a set of service integration capabilities in order to manage, integrate, govern and assure the services from a number of different service providers.

This was a once in a lifetime greenfield opportunity to create a new methodology, as traditional IT service management practices didn’t really address our situation. We were trailblazing!  I soon realized that I could make a real difference not only to our own situation but also to the wider public and private sector, by designing, implementing, and improving a holistic methodology for multi-provider service landscapes.  14 years later I’m still passionate about it!


What drives you to keep learning about SIAM?

SIAM™ is not static, it never was and never will be. There is a rapid rate of change in technology and how it is used, and acceleration in the number of organizations adopting SIAM™. These drive innovation in how SIAM™ is used and can challenge what was previously seen as good practice.

For example: back in 2005 when the term SIAM was first coined services were typically grouped by technologies into ‘towers’. This solved the issues at the time, by forcing outsourced providers to clearly segregate their services. However, since then this type of service grouping has become outdated driven partly by the emergence of commodity services, but also by the realization that the ‘tower’ approach often drove additional work and costs in the service integration layer.

Hence there are always new ideas emerging in SIAM, which need to be understood and reflected in any updates to the bodies of knowledge.


What are the benefits of getting certified in SIAM?

Making the transition to an operating model based on SIAM is a significant change, which will require investment. Gaining knowledge about SIAM through certification in SIAM will help you to make a successful transition and maximize the return on your investment.

This applies whether you are a customer, a service integrator, a service provider, or a consulting organization. The certification will provide all who are part of the SIAM model with a common terminology, and common understanding of good SIAM practices, processes, and techniques.

If you are a customer who is thinking about changing their operating model to one that uses SIAM, getting your key people certified in SIAM at least to Foundation level before you engage any external consultancy will help you to get the most from that consultancy.  If you don’t do this, there is always a risk that you won’t get a model that is best for you. As an example, you could end up paying for an external service integrator when in reality you have the capabilities in-house. Even if you’re thinking about using an external service integrator, it’s still a good idea for you to understand SIAM so that you can effectively manage the integrator.

If you are a service integrator, either internal to a customer organization or external, then getting all of your team certified to Foundation level, and process owners and managers to Professional level is a must. It will ensure that everybody has the same knowledge about SIAM and uses the same terminology. If you are a commercial provider of service integration services, having certified staff can give you a competitive advantage.

This is also true for service providers who want to provide services in SIAM models.


Which new trends are you expecting in the coming year for SIAM?

The adoption of SIAM will continue to increase, as more and more organizations realize that the management of complex supply chains with multiple service providers requires a proven approach.

That growth is likely to result in the emergence of more organizations providing SIAM consulting and service integration capabilities.

We will also see a continued growth in the use of SIAM to co-ordinate the provision of services from outside IT, such as facilities management and order processing. SIAM can be an effective approach for Enterprise Service Management.


About Kevin Holland

Kevin Holland is the Chief Examiner for the EXIN SIAM™ certification scheme. He is passionate about developing and sharing best practice in IT service management, especially SIAM. “I’m proud to be supporting EXIN in the development and promotion of the SIAM™ certification scheme. The scheme is helping organizations to get the most from their investment in SIAM and is driving consistency and quality across the supply chains”.

Kevin has worked in IT for over 35 years in a range of roles including development, operations, and management, most recently in the UK public sector. He was instrumental in driving the development of SIAM thinking, and his eminence in IT service management led to him being made a Fellow of the British Computer Society. Outside of IT, Kevin is an accomplished musician and loves growing and cooking his own food.