For many years now, organisations have relied upon externally provided, cloud-based IT services. This trend towards cloud provision ties into an increasing appetite to outsource more IT services, given the challenges encountered when attempting to deliver those services in-house.

The shift towards multi-sourcing has led to a new challenge for organisations: how do you manage an eco-system of external service providers? How do you ensure they enable flexibility and innovation in the work they do for your organisation?

Service Integration and Management (SIAM) was developed in response to this problem. SIAM is a methodology for organisations that work with an increasing amount of IT service providers and want to ensure this is done in an ever more coordinated, efficient, and value-focused way.

What is Service Integration and Management (SIAM)?

The core principle of SIAM is to establish a service integrator – an entity that takes on responsibility for managing service delivery across all the service providers. This enables the organisation to focus on activities of the business, while having assurance that the providers will be managed in the most efficient way.

How is the SIAM model structured?

The SIAM methodology recognises 3 core roles:

1. The customer organisation (strategic role):

This is the role of the commissioning organisation, or the ultimate client of the SIAM model. As the recipient of the end product or service, the customer organisation sets the strategic direction for the external service providers.

2. The service providers (delivery role):

These are the internal or external IT service providers that deliver services to the customer organisation. It is increasingly common for there to be multiple service providers involved to ensure successful end-to-end delivery.

3. The service integrator (tactical role):

This role provides the customer organisation with a single point of control and accountability for the service delivery across all services. The service integrator coordinates the multiple service providers and ensures that all service providers are engaged in service delivery. This simplifies governance, assurance, coordination and control for the customer organisation.

What benefits does SIAM bring to an organisation?

The benefits of SIAM extend across multiple areas:

Improved service quality:

Consistent delivery of service level in an “end-to-end” way that drives value back to the customer organisation, leading to ever higher customer satisfaction from the services.

Improved governance:

SIAM ensures consistent service performance across an ecosystem of service providers. The clarity of ownership and control provided by the service integrator gives the end customer organisation increased ability to focus on its business activities.

Increased flexibility and pace:

The capability to more rapidly respond to changes to services, technologies and business requirements as the business pace demands.

Optimised costs:

Management of the service provider ecosystem in a focused way to ensure value for money around service delivery. In a mature SIAM model, competitive tension between providers is used increasingly to drive more cost effectiveness of service delivery and to reduce costs of process execution.

How can I find out more?

If you want to find out more about the industry set of SIAM best practices and understand the fundamentals further, then see our BCS Foundation Certification in SIAM course

For more service management training options, see our IT Service Management practice.