So SIAM Isn’t Just For Large Enterprises?


Service Integration and Management (SIAM) has been around for a while but it’s still a strange or even unheard of term for many.

Previously talked about by high-end consultants, IT industry analysts, and the largest of corporate IT organizations, the term and its concepts have finally made it into the IT mainstream. Well sort of.

Acronym Overload Anyone – SIAM and ITIL?

AXELOS, the joint venture set up by the UK Government and Capita to manage ITIL* and other Office and Government and Commerce (OGC) IP-related products, has started to create content that points to the need for SIAM, as an adaption of (or extension to) ITIL, to:

“Provide consistent governance, assurance and management of multiple suppliers of IT services, internal and external.” (Source: AXELOS)

With SIAM helping IT organizations to ensure that:

“All parties understand their roles, responsibilities and can deliver and be accountable for outcomes.” (Source: AXELOS)

The first of AXELOS’ white papers was a free download called “An Introduction to Service Integration and Management and ITIL” published in January.

This has now been complemented with “An example ITIL®-based model for effective Service Integration and Management” this April, with both papers written by Kevin Holland.

“But isn’t SIAM just for large enterprises and their super-sized IT organizations?”

It’s a valid question, and even the foreword to Kevin’s first AXELOS paper states that:

“SIAM teams are being established as part of some of the largest strategic sourcing initiatives around the world and across many different sectors.”

But despite the fact that much of the existing SIAM IP currently sits with the large consultancy organizations (such as Accenture, Capgemini, HP Services, and TCS) and is sold into the largest of enterprises on the back of the largest of IT contracts, SIAM is relevant to organizations of all sizes. After all, SIAM is ultimately about supplier/contract management and the delivery of IT services.

SIAM for Smaller IT Organizations?

The IT landscape, and consequently the IT supplier landscape, continues to change. Cloud and mobile apps (and third-party mobile app development) are more prevalent than even just a few years ago, yet many still want to use traditional IT service management (ITSM) as described by ITIL 2011 (and its previous incarnations) to manage their IT and IT service delivery.

But how do you manage cloud services, which are ultimately third-party provided services, with an ITSM best practice framework designed for in-house-created IT delivery? Well you can, but you’ll probably only touch half of what is needed – that is the ITSM component. What about the supplier/contract management part?

So SIAM takes ITIL and adds in a number of other capabilities such as:

  • Process integration across multiple suppliers
  • Multi-supplier co-ordination (change/release/capacity/incident/problem, etc.)
  • Supplier performance management against SLAs and OLAs
  • Supplier management against contract requirements
  • Supplier and service assurance (audits, assessments, KPIs, etc.)
  • Collaboration between multiple suppliers
  • Service introduction on-boarding of new and changed services and suppliers, and the related off-boarding of previous services and suppliers
  • Service reporting consolidation of service quality and performance reports
  • SIAM design of changes to the SIAM model and for new services coming under the SIAM model
  • Toolset integration between suppliers and SIAM toolsets
  • Strategy for services and sourcing
  • Innovation culture and management

(Source: AXELOS)

Now some of these will be overkill for smaller IT organizations, but many will be very pertinent to new IT provisioning scenarios that include a growing contingent of third-party service providers.

Why wouldn’t smaller IT organizations want to manage IT service delivery, no matter the sources, to the best of their ability?

Finally, a Couple of SIAM Warnings

It’s all well and good for me to point to Kevin’s documents as a good source of SIAM information but be warned (and in fact the first paper’s foreword offers the same warning) that:

  • There still isn’t a definitive definition of what SIAM is and what it should include – different consultancy organizations and different ITSM solution vendors have their own somewhat disparate views.
  • Outside of Kevin’s papers there is little freely available, published SIAM best practices.

So let’s stick with Kevin’s SIAM definition for now:

“A set of practices and an accompanying model and approach that adapt and augment the guidance in the ITIL publications for managing, governing, and co-ordinating the delivery of services provided by multiple suppliers (internal and external to the business organisation).” (Source: AXELOS)

If we can get past the perceived and real complexity of SIAM, to have “just-enough SIAM,” then surely it’s relevant to IT organizations of all sizes.

So who is going to take the opportunity to write the best seller that is “SIAM for Smaller IT Organizations”?

*The ITSM best practice framework formerly known as the IT Infrastructure Library