‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we only had ‘one throat to choke’? How SIAM can help with multi-vendor scenarios

Submitted by Jo Wright on Fri, 11/5/2018 - 10:36

Ok, so we aren’t actually advocating throttling our suppliers here, but there are definitely times when getting all of our vendors to do what we need, when we need it, in order to deliver end-to-end IT services can be ‘challenging’.

In IT services we face a decision, sometimes of our own making but not always, of how to address a ‘capability-shaped’ hole in our service’s design. Going to the market to fill that hole, especially when the hole is either ‘commodity-shaped’ or ‘extremely technically shaped’, is often the only sensible option.

This takes us from a world where direct control lay with the IT department (albeit likely under financial constraints), where much could be seen and interacted with directly to one where our sense of control is based on what our tools tell us and the detail of the contract we rely on to make sure that what we need to happen actually does.

ITIL tells us in the Service Design publication that the choices we make in our IT service design may require engagement and management of one or more 3rd parties and gives us some basic tools to achieve this in the Supplier Management process. But it is only basic, generic advice and guidance. Just working on a one-to-one basis is challenging enough. Now multiply that by 2, 3 or more times, knowing that this isn’t one-to-one, but one-to-many where we need everybody to work together.

This challenge is where SIAM or Service Integration And Management comes in. One of the key considerations that SIAM seeks to address is that orchestration of multiple suppliers. It does this in particular by recognising this ‘end-to-end’ service and the need for accountability for the ultimate delivery and creating a single, logical, body that owns this in the form of the ‘Service Integrator’.

The Service Integrator can be in the form of an internal, external or hybrid body or it can be the prime supplier. In any case, they are accountable for creation of value for the customer from the delivery of the service. [This alone for me should help encourage contracts that are written based on what the outcome is, rather than the pure technical deliverable. It’s been a long journey on that one and we aren’t there yet in a lot of cases.]

The integrator sits between the customer and the suppliers and applies the SIAM model in order to tie up the threads and ensure the delivery in line with what’s been agreed. These suppliers and customers can also be internal or external. The model really does place the integrator at the heart of all types of suppliers and customers.

Of course, there is a lot more to it than this, but by positioning the integrator at the heart of the model, SIAM seeks to realise something which ITIL and other frameworks have started on, which is the real delivery of ‘end-to-end’ services, irrespective of supplier model, with real accountability for the result. It can be entirely internal, almost entirely external bar the customer themselves, or a variation in between. It doesn’t replace ITIL but it certainly takes what ITIL does and turns in a comprehensive framework for ‘supplier management’.

Please visit training in Siam for more information on how Quanta can help your organisation realise the benefits of SIAM.