Managing the “intersections” in a multi-sourced environment with SIAM
Author(s): Phillipe Bovy, Posted on January 10th, 2017
While digitalization has become the synonym of transformation, and a focus of leveraging an eco-system of service providers, IT operations as well as IT vendors and sourcing leaders must reconsider the architectural approach as they are designing and building new services, combining internal/external towers across various teams that provide support.
These organizations must combine to integrate their strategies, suppliers and how they deliver a consistent and integrated service view to the business, crafting a modern Service Integration and Management (SIAM) framework to provide support. Let’s look at several areas leaders should consider.
How are cloud and digital changing the nature of service design strategies?
Digital is transforming the industry, and organizations today need to rethink the way they are developing and supporting IT services in order to achieve even higher business outcomes.
The objective today for the efficient IT organization is to help its clients and businesses to pinpoint emerging opportunities and provide value while harnessing the full power of digital. In particular, IT organizations have to demonstrate how to bring value through the service portfolio to achieve business outcomes.
The cloud has become a major element in the firm’s digital strategy and journey. Indeed, cloud is a critical asset to bring agility across the supply chain (scale up / scale down), while reducing risk and management complexity. This is why the most advanced organizations, in regards to a digitalization journey, are those which have integrated a cloud strategy to build on as they grow and evolve across their digitalization curve.
However, ‘integrating cloud’ should be understood at a macro level. We are not only talking about the contractual aspect (and the possibility to rely on cloud providers’ assets), but also about topics such as orchestration, automation, and provisioning, to name a few.
SIAM supports the new world of digital
Given the fact that multi-cloud is also the new normal, there is a need to see these activities ensured across different providers, both external and internal (e.g. when we are talking about hybrid IT).
In order to ensure the most predictability in the way services will be provided across the cloud, IT needs to ensure that it will achieve seamless end-to-end service outcomes with a single point of accountability in the multi-sourced cloud environment and act as a cloud aggregator with necessary cloud management/automation platforms.
Outside of cloud providers, organizations are exploiting the benefits of multi-sourcing for the provision of their ICT services. It is not unusual to have organizations relying on an eco-system of more than 20 services suppliers across application development, workplace management, mobile device management, security, predictive analysis, network management, collaboration services, wireless services.
Everyone will appreciate that those multi-sourcing models introduce complexity in the management of suppliers while enforcing the application of a coherent set of standards, measures and methods across the ICT estate.
A SIAM framework will address this complexity issue by maximizing end-to-end efficiency across a multi-supplier base. The aim of SIAM is to provide a single point of visibility and control for the service management and delivery of all services provided by selected suppliers, by:
- Taking end-to-end accountability for the performance and delivery of IT services to the users, irrespective of the number and nature of suppliers,
- Coordinating services design, delivery, transition and operations across multiple services and suppliers, while ensuring that the services effectively and efficiently meet the business needs,
- Managing suppliers’ performance by monitoring the ‘touch points’ between different internal/external service providers (e.g. OLA’s)
- And ultimately reducing the ‘visibility gap’ across the IT value chain.
SIAM is key to keep the IT organization in the driver seat
The SIAM function will act as the central point control across all suppliers, implementing common service management processes and driving the necessary strategic change. It will give the IT organization the opportunity to demonstrate its value and retain (or win back) ownership for IT services provisioning and management.
This will be in contradiction with what we have seen over the past years where IT, by not demonstrating its value, was just forced to show cost reduction while at the same time losing control of the IT value chain : we have seen a lot of ‘shadow IT’ appearing within the business organizations where business leaders were contracting directly with third-parties, managing contracts and SLAs themselves, with unwanted consequences such as inconsistent support for end-users and security risks for the organization.
So “digital” gives another opportunity to IT organizations to take back control of the full IT supply chain by design, transitioning, operating and supporting new IT services aligned to the business requirements. Having mature supplier management processes, supported by a robust SIAM framework, is the prerequisite to realizing the benefits of the ‘best-of-breed’ multi-sourcing scenario that companies want to follow as part of their digital journey.