SIAM – the silent revolution? – by Kevin Holland

Last week I had the privilege to attend SITS 2018 in London. As I walked around the stands in the exhibition I was surprised to see no mention on their stands of SIAM or service integration. Not one.

I started to wonder if SIAM was still the best-kept secret in IT service management. I talked to the vendors on a lot of the stands about their products and their views on the future. Just about every one of them talked about integration in some form. Integration of business processes, technologies, tools, workflows, supply chains, and more. And most of them knew about SIAM.

I also caught up with some friends who work for different organizations that provide SIAM consulting, implementation, and service integration services. Every one of them told me that they were very busy with a healthy pipeline of work, not just in the UK but also globally. They are seeing continued and growing interest in SIAM, often driven by dissatisfaction with the way that service providers are managed.

Later that day I reflected on what I had heard. I tried to rationalise the conflict between the continued growth in the take-up of SIAM with the absence of the term on the trade stands. All of a sudden it hit me.

SIAM is delivering a silent revolution.

This proven methodology for effective management of multi-provider ecosystems is being used more and more worldwide by a wide range and sizes of organizations. Yet, unlike some other methodologies in IT, there is no hype. No-one is claiming that SIAM will solve everything, that you don’t need any other methodologies, or that SIAM is the newest and greatest methodology that IT has ever seen (SIAM is not new, the term was invented 13 years ago in the UK public sector, and the techniques have been around for much longer).

So maybe that’s why I couldn’t see it explicitly mentioned on any of the stands at SITS. SIAM is there in the background, quietly being implemented and used to make improvements in how IT is delivered. SIAM is delivering a silent revolution in how organizations manage and deliver IT.

What are the benefits?

SIAM focusses on getting the most from environments where services are provided by several different service providers, which is now the norm in most organizations. It provides a customer with a single point of service accountability and control, through the introduction of a service integrator. The service integrator defines and applies the controls within a robust governance framework, supporting the necessary collaboration and co-operation between the various service providers.

SIAM helps to ensure that all parties, including the customer, have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. This helps to define the necessary interactions between services and service providers, facilitating coordination of delivery of services to the users, and allowing the flexibility and innovation required in today’s organizations.

Flexibility and knowledge

The SIAM methodology isn’t prescriptive. The bodies of knowledge 1 for SIAM provide suggestions of what SIAM is, how to implement, it, and how to apply it.  The bodies of knowledge can be used as the basis for any SIAM implementation, but should not be used slavishly. That gives SIAM the flexibility to be applied in a wide variety of different situations.

Making the transition to SIAM based operating models is a major change for any organization. Many will look for help to make the change. The SIAM® qualification scheme can be useful for individuals in any organizations who is considering using SIAM.  The SIAM® Foundation qualification will give them a good grounding in the topic, ensuring consistent understanding and use of terminology.  Getting key staff trained to this level before engaging external consultants will help you to get the most from their engagement.  The SIAM® Professional qualification will provide SIAM practitioners with more in-depth knowledge.

As SIAM is becoming more and more widely adopted, these qualifications are essential for anyone working in IT service management.

 

 

Notes:

  1. SIAM Foundation Body of Knowledge, SIAM Process Guides, SIAM Professional Body of Knowledge can all be downloaded for free from www.scopism.com or purchased in hard-copy format from Van Haren.