What’s So Distinctive about SIAM?

And why does it matter?

Dropping the words “Integration and” into the middle of “Service Management” to get “Service Integration and Management (SIAM)” might seem to entail a simple add-on, like adding “cheese” to “onion” or “lemon” to “lime”: Where you had one thing, now you have two.

But in this case, the addition is radically transformative. It’s not just—or rather, not at all—that where you had some management of services, you now have some management and some integration to go with it. What you have, rather, is a new and distinctive approach to the management of outsourced IT and other services. More to the point, the new approach offers significant advantages over service management tout court.

Before we consider these, let’s start with a few basics.

What is SIAM?

In one definition, the overall goal of SIAM is to allow organizations to manage the IT and other services provided by a host of vendors and to get a particular handle on the complexities involved in juggling relations among myriad activities.

There’s just one thing: presented this way, this statement could be describing the goal of service management. So, to do SIAM justice, we first need to add that it allows organizations to manage these services as effectively and flexibly as possible—that is, to “get the most out of the service providers” they work with. [1]

One difference, then, lies in how effective SIAM can be if it is done right. Another has to do with how resilient it is as a model—how much complexity it can bear. (Hint: it’s a lot.)

So let’s take a first look under the hood.

Benefits of two kinds

The “integration” involved here can yield two main kinds of benefit—one functional, the other, presentational.

The functional benefit has, in turn, got two components. The first of these has to do with the expanse of territory SIAM covers. That includes not only “core principles, processes, functions [and] governance” as well as “autonomy” and “impartiality”, but also “cultural re-engineering.”[2]

The cultural element is always interesting. It has to do primarily with ingrained habits. Now, if the ingraining has happened by design, that can be a good thing. But if it’s been caused by stagnation and a business-as-usual mindset—not so good. To those in the hiring organization and on the service-provider side who are resistant to change (and there will always be some), both the greater effectiveness and the increased flexibility SIAM offers can serve as unique selling points—as oil in the machinery of change.

The second component has to do with the range of possibilities created by this expansion of territory. That is, SIAM makes it possible to manage more (quantity), and manage it better (quality). By contrast with the mere addition of discrete elements, we thus have a new recipe created by the addition of new ingredients.

Among the improved outcomes, this new recipe can deliver are a stronger relationship between IT and the rest of the business, but also “between the service consumers, infrastructure providers, application and cloud providers”.[3]

The greater effectiveness is the result of the integrative character of the entire new approach. It is in this sense that, rather than being a mere supplement, the addition of “integration” to the mix transforms the entire service-management enterprise. And the improved flexibility comes from the organization’s having greater oversight and control of a multitude of activities than it has had with service management—and not just on a local, case-by-case (opportunistic) basis but as an initial, structural matter.

Together, these two key components allow organizations to get a handle both on “the challenge of cross-functional, cross-process, cross-provider integration” and on the “collaboration, empowerment, and coordination” that are an especially strong suit for SIAM.

A seamless customer experience

On the presentational side, SIAM allows organizations to ensure that customers have a single experience in terms of behaviors, look and feel, and so on—that is, it facilitates an “integrated service wrap” for customers. [4] Naturally, that, in turn, is likely to lead to greater levels of customer satisfaction.

A switch worth making

SIAM has been around for quite some time—about 10 years. But it is only now getting real traction, as organizations see the benefits of adapting to it and building on the gains they’ve already achieved with a service-management model. That experience has shown that it’s not just worth a second look: this is a model that, if implemented correctly, can start paying big dividends in short order.

 

EXIN BCS Service Integration and Management

EXIN partnered with BCS to create a certification specifically designed to give professionals the SIAM knowledge they need to ensure the customer organization gets maximum value and seamless service from its providers. For more information, see EXIN BCS SIAM™ program.

 

[1] https://siam.exin.com/

[2] https://www.smconference.com.au/siam-revolution-or-evolution/

[3] https://www.itchronicles.com/opinion/siam-whats-all-the-fuss-about/

[4] https://www.smconference.com.au/siam-revolution-or-evolution/