by Hannah Patterson, Principal Consultant, ISG
Most organizations assemble their business services from multiple service providers, whether internal or external. Delivering services seamlessly to the client businesses from these multiple providers is a significant challenge that many believe is inevitable with multi-sourced operating models. Effective service management is the key ingredient to the success of such models. Effective management becomes even more pivotal as organizations introduce cloud-related services, which require the business to accept industry-standard services and to control their consumption of utility-priced resource units. The trend towards multi-sourced models heightens the demand for effective service integration, and the industry is responding with the development of service integration and management (SIAM) service offerings.
The symptoms of ineffective service integration and management are many and varied. Often the relationships between components of the environment are not understood, changes are not assessed holistically and live service issues result. Ownership of issues falls into the gaps between service providers, there is a lack of coordination and cooperation and finger-pointing prevails.
The role of a SIAM function is to specify the service management processes and procedures to be deployed across the enterprise and to ensure they are followed by all parties. SIAM ensures multiple service providers deliver services to multiple businesses, maximizing performance in a cohesive and efficient manner. Follow these Top 5 steps to ensure the success of your SIAM function:
1. Think “big picture.” Consider the entire operating model as it demonstrates how demand and supply will be integrated and managed. Define the scope of your SIAM function; this could expand beyond IT to include facilities and business-specific service providers. Ensure all parties hold your shared vision; recognize the benefits and understand their roles and responsibilities within it.
2. Put your house in order and step up to your accountabilities. Where outsourcing SIAM, the retained organization remains accountable to the business for providing effective services. It retains the commercial relationships with all service providers and holds the controls by setting service standards and assuring adherence thereof. The retained function must enforce the service boundaries and responsibilities and be effective in its role.
3. Prevent the fragmentation of SIAM. Recognize and preserve the interoperability of SIAM processes when defining how the services are to be grouped into bundles for sourcing.
4. Ensure contracts are aligned. Make certain that your other service providers’ contracts include requirements to interface and support the SIAM function. Where SIAM is outsourced, empower the provider to manage other providers.
5. Enforce independence. The integrator should act as the agent of the client, providing services independently from the infrastructure and applications providers. Note that independence can be secured with a provider of other services via the commercial arrangement for SIAM.
To learn more about the challenges and key success factors related to SIAM, read ISG white paper Assembling the Jigsaw: Service Integration and Management in a Multisourced IT Operating Model. For additional information on deploying a successful SIAM function, email Hannah Patterson or phone her at +44 (0) 1483 514500.