iCore Ltd

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With an ever-changing business landscape, and most companies now embracing at least some key elements of agile working, this is having an impact on not only the day-to-day relationships with their key IT service providers, but their overall strategy for Service Management going forward.

SIAM Models in 2023

For most companies, today’s world of IT Service Management and day-to-day Service Delivery involves a mix of internal teams across the enterprise (not just IT) and several external suppliers as part of an end-to-end IT eco-system. This means that various people are involved in the Service Delivery chain, along with multiple suppliers and ITSM tool sets, with the end-user and customer at the end of the chain whose needs must ultimately be met. 

To make things even more complicated, depending on the sector your company operates in, Service Delivery must now operate at a constant high speed and velocity, but with controls in place to make sure that things don’t go wrong and that compliance standards can be maintained. Several CIOs we have spoken to recently, across different sectors, have cited a major challenge to the success of their SIAM Model as being maintaining compliance standards and control, whilst operating in a customer-focused, agile manner to meet changing business demands. `Time is Money` for many commercial companies today with speed-to-market and cost consolidation being key considerations for IT Leaders in 2023.

Going back to basics, Service Integration and Management (SIAM) is an approach to managing multiple suppliers of business and IT services and integrating their activities and delivery into a single business-facing IT organisation. If it works well, this type of model can be very successful, if not, it can end up being a costly and thankless exercise. To help you avoid the latter, this paper investigates the steps to take to help ensure that your SIAM Model is effective and will meet business demands.

SIAM models revolve around three key functions –

·       Customer & Retained Organisation: this is the customer of the services responsible for setting the strategy and defining the `watermark` between the company and its service providers, i.e., what will be retained internally and what needs to be outsourced to a specialist.

·       Service Providers: whether this is an internal shared service model, or made up by a range of external suppliers, this is every party that delivers a service to the customer organisation.

·       Service Integrator: this is the role that is accountable for ensuring effective delivery of services and successful collaboration/integration between service providers. You can have different types of Service Integrator which we will cover later in the paper.

 Often, in poorly crafted SIAM Models or Multi-Supplier models, the roles above end up being blurred. We often come across situations where the customer organisation’s expectations of the SIAM Model and supporting agreements don’t align with the expectations of the other parties. This can lead to micromanagement of suppliers, and `Shadow IT` emerging to paper over the cracks that are appearing.

Types of SIAM Model

 There are broadly four types of a SIAM Model that could fit the needs of your company –

 External Service Integrator

 This is where you choose an external company to co-ordinate all your Service Providers into a single, business facing IT Service Delivery chain. With the Service Integrator being a party that is independent to the Service Providers and your organisation, the approach will be impartial, and decisions made that are in the best interests of the agreement. Furthermore, the service is immediately available, can be mobilised relatively quickly, and will be delivered by experienced professionals. The disadvantage of an external Service Integrator is that you are relying on an external party to co-ordinate all activities, one that doesn’t know your company as well as you do, and you will ultimately have less control and input as you might with other options. Ensuring they are recognised as the face of the business is essential, as other Service Providers might be unwilling to cooperate with a third party they see as a competitor.

 Internal Service Integrator

 This is where you assign an individual, or team, within your retained organisation to be the Service Integrator, with the responsibility of co-ordinating all key parties in the eco-system. With an internal Service Integrator model, your company has full and complete control of all activities and outcomes, and this mitigates the risk of mis-aligned goals and priorities with your Service Providers. The potential downside to this type of approach, is a lack of impartiality and also a lack of experience that may impact the effectiveness of the model, i.e., if the individual or team acting as the Service Integrator is inexperienced in the role, it can lead to on-going issues. Also, if your company is inexperienced in developing and embedding SIAM Models, there is a potential that you will require new roles within your company to manage this effectively, and there will be additional headcount and cost as a result.

 Hybrid Service Integrator

 In an IT world where Rapid Deployments, Agile working, and Digital optimisation is now the norm, the Hybrid Service Integrator role is becoming an attractive option for a growing number of CIOs. This is where your retained IT organisation co-ordinates the Service Providers with support from Service Provider personnel. The obvious benefit is that you have control of all services, with people in the mix who know your company and its goals supported by experienced external personnel. The only real downside is complexity and cost, as your company is not only responsible for carrying out the Service Integrator role, but also paying external parties for support.

 Lead Supplier as Service Integrator

 This is a common model across several sectors, and again is one that is adopted by companies operating a SIAM Model currently. This model entails a lead Service Provider, with whom your company has a strategic relationship and a large degree of trust, co-ordinating the activities of the other suppliers into a single, business facing service. The advantage of this model in a Fast-Paced, Agile world is that the Lead Supplier should understand your business, the speed that Service Delivery needs to operate at, and can co-ordinate activities to meet key timescales and business needs. The potential downside, however, is the risk of a conflict of interest. Furthermore, your other suppliers may feel uncomfortable in this model, as they may view the Lead Supplier as a direct competitor, or a party that they are unwilling to share key information with.

 Choosing the Right Model

 In a world where speed-to-market, efficiency savings and customer service are key drivers, the first thing to get right is your requirements. Researching what is available in the marketplace and what other companies have adopted is a good starting point, but this does not mean looking for a quick fix.

 Did you know that outcomes-based agreements are becoming a growing trend, where payment to Service Providers is based on outcomes being achieved? This helps to make sure that there are no grey areas in terms of expectations and service level/service performance criteria and is something to bear in mind when looking into potential models along with possible commercial agreements and constructs. An example of this type of agreement is the delivery of services with zero defects as an outcome.

 When entering into a SIAM Model and Agreement, you must walk into this with your eyes open and with a firm grasp on what you need. Here are some steps you can take to help guide your thought process when in this scenario.

 To start with, it helps to take a step back and look at why you need a SIAM Model that integrates the activities of all key parties in your IT Eco-System and be aware of your company’s current IT Service Management and wider business maturity. If you know that you have issues in certain areas, then address and document these effectively. By weighing up the pro’s & cons of your company’s readiness to adopt a SIAM Model, it will set you up for constructive discussions with potential Service Providers. If your overall maturity is low, then it is either worth building this up before thinking about SIAM as a potential model, or something that you will need to build up with the help of your Service Integrator and key suppliers. In the case of the latter, this will need to be articulated to potential suppliers as part of the solution you are looking for.  

 You also need to be clear about what your company needs from a SIAM Model, what good looks like, and the specific services you are looking to procure. Moving from your current model to a SIAM Model is a major shift and will require major change, so you need absolute clarity around the model you want to move to. If your company is operating in a Fast-Paced, Agile world, you don’t want to choose a model that will result in stop-start delivery, with grey areas across the Service Delivery chain, that ultimately could result in delays along with lost time and money. You also need to have realistic time frames around when you will start to realise the benefits you want to see from the new model, the subsequent Performance Measures you will set, and the standards you expect from your Service Providers. Performance Measures and expectations will need to evolve as the partnership matures, the model beds in, and all parties become aligned as part of an end-to-end Service Delivery chain.

 When you are confident that a SIAM Model is the answer, your requirements then need to be documented in a Statement of Requirements (SOR) that will eventually feed into a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to be sent out to potential suppliers. When you are confident that you can describe your company’s requirements, desired model, and required return on investment, then you are in a good position to go-to-market and start obtaining quotes from suppliers.

 Your RFQ approach will also be guided by the type of partnerships that you need, not just the SIAM Model you are aiming for i.e., are you looking for a smaller set of strategic partners and outcomes-based agreements, or a wider set of transactional relationships where suppliers are `plugged into` the model and replaced when needed? In some cases, it might be a mix of both.

 When creating an RFQ and obtaining quotes, it is important to include all key commercial and technical requirements to ensure that each Service Provider’s response is comparable. If you would like to discuss the RFQ process in more detail and what is involved, then please get in touch as we will be happy to help.

 Structuring your SIAM Model & Transformation Plan
 We follow an optimised, proven approach to helping companies maximise their investment in a SIAM Model.

By following this approach, we ensure that your company makes the right decisions and moves to a SIAM Model that will deliver both short-term and longer-term business benefits.


 Given the need for fast-paced, integrated Service Delivery involving a series of parties in today’s world, SIAM is an extremely relevant model for a growing number of companies and can deliver excellent results provided you take a thorough approach.

 We hope you have enjoyed reading this paper and that it has given you some ideas around how to optimise your investment in a SIAM Model.

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