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Everything About Service Integration And Management (SIAM) - Part 2 of 4 - Decoding the SIAM Model - Layer by Layer

Sept. 20, 2022

Everything About Service Integration And Management (SIAM) - Part 2 of 4 - Decoding the SIAM Model - Layer by Layer

Special Interview With Claire Agutter (@ClaireAgutter)

Everything About Service Integration And Management (SIAM) - Part 2 of 4

Claire Agutter is Director at Scopism & ITSM Zone, having over two decades of rich experience in ITSM.

In this part, she takes a deep dive into the SIAM model layer by layer (especially service integrator), people dynamics and challenges, and selecting big bang or phased approach. How Do We Go About Implementing SIAM? What Is The Role Of Integration & Automation?


Special Interview With Claire Agutter (@ClaireAgutter)

Everything About Service Integration And Management (SIAM) - Part 2 of 4

“You can accelerate progress by bringing in people who have experience, for example, contracts in a SIAM model, there are essential things that you can include in the contract, like collaboration agreements that help to encourage your service providers to integrate. And if you've never done the SIAM implementation before you won't have any knowledge of those. Whereas if you have somebody who comes in, they can stop you making mistakes that cost time, cost money. It's always helpful to have to have that advice from somebody who's got the experience.”- Says Claire Agutter, one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Tech, 25 Top HDI Thought Leaders and our esteemed guest on the AITSM show.

Claire Agutter is Director at Scopism & ITSM Zone, having over two decades of rich experience in ITSM.

In this part 2 of 4, she takes a deep dive into the SIAM model layer by layer (especially service integrator), people dynamics and challenges, selecting big bang or phased approach. How Do We Go About Implementing SIAM? What Is the Role of Integration & Automation?

We'd learn a lot from her plenty of examples, values, principles, and point-by-point discussion from 20+ years of rich experience.

Don't miss the end, where she explains about automation to get things done better, faster and more efficiently, which can be a really crucial part of the service integrator role.

In the next part, she explains about the best practices & process frameworks used in SIAM model, i.e., ITIL, COBIT and VeriSM, what could be the best approach. Don't miss Claire’s inspirational and insightful answers to the question asked by our community audience.

Stay tuned for the last and 4th part as well where she discusses perspectives about technology AI, NLP and Conversational IT, Virtual Support Agents, what ITSM/SIAM industry should stop doing and an excellent and humble three-point advice for women in tech.

“The benefits of automation can actually be enormous in a SIAM environment because we can start to look at where in these end-to-end processes, that spanning service providers, where do we have opportunities for our automation? Where are we seeing lag? Where have we got unnecessary manual activities? And this is something to develop specific automation capabilities within the service integrator. So having a center for automation or automation engineers working within the service integrator, looking across the piece and, and finding these continual improvement opportunities, applying process mining. And RPA techniques to get things done, better, faster, more efficiently, this can be a really crucial part of the service integrator role.”

Learn and Grow, With AITSM Show!!!

Transcript

(Continued from the part-1)

Anand Tambey: So, so what are the roles involved there in SIAM?

Claire Agutter: We've got three layers in SIAM model. So, we've got the customer organization, which they're the ones who will own any contract with the service providers. They're the ones who will have the internal teams and what the customer organization tends to keep is some retained capabilities.

So, there'll be some things which are not kind of pass to the service integrator and that could be things like strategy, governance. It could be security and risk management, you know, the things that that we want to retain, but they will work very closely with the service integrator and they'll set expectations as well.

So, the service integrator is the next layer, and this is a function. So, it might be two people. It might be 200 people. It depends on the size and the scope of what's included in there and the service integrator can be internal. So, it can be created with staff from the customer organization. In which case you've gotta be very careful to make sure the two things are distinct.

It can be staffed externally. So, you know, the big companies like, TCS, AtoS, Cap Gemini, Infosys, they all provide that kind of service. Or it can be kind of a sort of a hybrid and a mix of internal and external staff. And then underneath that, you've got the service providers themselves.

So, as we discussed, you know, these can be internal teams, these can be external, but the whole point is that the service integrator is focused on having them working together. And the service integrator will put in place things like. Regular meetings, you know, process forums, governance, boards that are all they're all in place to kind of build these relationships and encourage this, this sort of cross service provider working because it's a question that, you know, a lot of organizations ask is why on earth would I want to collaborate with a competitor?

In a SIAM model, these other external service providers, these are organizations that I compete with in the open market. So, some of that from the service integrators perspective is, how do we sell the benefits? And a lot of the benefits for the service providers are about having that certainty, understanding not just their little piece of the jigsaw, but the big picture.

When is it time to invest? You know, what are the benefits for me? And the thought of the flip side of that is if you, as a service provider are taking the attitude that actually I'm not gonna work with anybody else. I'm not gonna collaborate. You do have to ask yourself how long that contract is, is gonna last far, you know, will you be getting renewal at the end of your term because you are not really displaying behaviours particularly positive to, to the organization. That's, that's ultimately writing the checks.

Anand Tambey: True. So, what is the recommended thing here to actually get the service integrator from competitive organizations? Or it could be a kind of an independent body?

Claire Agutter: The trend that we see in this, this comes from the global SIAM survey is a move more towards internal service integrators. So obviously we only see the data. We don't see the reasons to why that's happened. It may be perhaps that organizations have not been happy with, with the service that they're getting from some of these big organizations, one area that I've seen a little bit of, of conflict is one of the service integrator models is a lead supplier is service integrator and what that means is you could have an organization like TCS acting as a service integrator, but also delivering some of the services within the SIAM model. And that can create some challenges in terms of you know, selling this idea that the service integrator is independent and not, you know, not showing any favouritism. It is possible to do it, and it is possible to do it well, but it requires things like kind of separate resources, separate teams.

Huge amount of transparency to show that things are being managed appropriately. And there's no favouritism, but like I say, certainly the, the trend that we're seeing is, is to, to bring the service integrator back in house which, you know, it, it is an interesting one because that does create those challenges of how do you maintain the distinction between the service integrator and the customer organization itself.

So, you know, it, that they all, they all come with difficulties and, and I suspect as, as with many things in IT, it it's fairly cyclical. And what we'll see in another say five years will be the shift back to external and, and then round again.

Anand Tambey: Right. So, is there a model which says there would be some internal service integrators, and there are some external service integrators too?

Claire Agutter: Yeah, you can, you can build what we call a hybrid service integrator, which is some external resources and some internal resources.

And quite often this is done when an organization wants to move towards an internal service integrator, but they maybe don't have the, the skills and, and the capabilities at the moment. So if they, if they bring in some external people to support the internal resources, you know, knowledge share, upskill then, you know, quite often what you see with a hybrid model is ultimately it becomes an internal service integrator, but bolstered by the knowledge that that they've had from these external resources, because you can do, SIAM from you know, a, sort of a zero knowledge base, but as with anything you can accelerate progress by bringing in people who have experience, you know, for example, contracts in a SIAM model, there are things that you can include in the contract, like collaboration agreements. that help to encourage your service providers to integrate. And if you've, if you've never done the SIAM implementation before you won't have any knowledge of those, whereas if you have somebody who comes in they can stop you making mistakes that, that cost time, cost money. It, it's always helpful to have to have that advice from somebody who's got the experience.

Anand Tambey: True. Yeah. It might need the additional capabilities of as a leader, right. You have to communicate and collaborate with multiple teams. And then getting ahead with different and conflicting priorities.

Yep. They might not be on the same platform as well. Yes. So, the challenges you have and what is the best way to solve?

Claire Agutter: I mean, every SIAM transformation is different and we, we have this kind of roadmap that we describe in, in the SIAM body of knowledge, and there's challenges at each stage, but in, in a way, we can look at it as, as an organizational change.

And, and the, the challenges in that instance will come in the areas that we're all familiar, you know, people challenge in, in quite a lot of SIAM transformations, you have some movement of people. So, you might have, for example, staff who worked in the customer organization, who, you know, could possibly getting made redundant, could be actually moved across into the service integrator.

So, a new employer and a new role. So, the people challenges are, are huge because it's, it's a big change and all of the, sort of the, the standard or SIAM techniques apply there, you know, communicating what's happening when, why, trying to get people involved as, as much as possible so that the people challenges will always, I guess probably be the greatest ones, but then technology challenges as well.

You know, you mentioned the fact that everybody might not be working on the same platform and this, this is a big consideration in a SIAM transformation is. How are you going to link information? You know, what's the tooling strategy and that can be you know, it can be, maybe the customer organization has a platform like ServiceNow.

They require all of their service providers to use that. It can be the, all of the different players involved have their own platform, but we use integration capabilities to link them all together. There's software like 4 me, which is kind of specifically designed with SIAM in mind, but the getting that tooling strategy right is, is really important. And again, in, in the, SIAM survey, we ask people. Is the tool that they're using fit for purpose? And, and we do have, you know, fairly significant numbers of people saying actually, no, it's, it's not fit for purpose and, and kind of worst, worst case scenario in that instance is you have, you know, information being extracted from one system and then manually uploaded into another with all the risks that come with that you know, of human error OR lost in translation. So, there's, there's tooling issues as well. And, and process is, is another one. Because what, what happens in, in SIAM is you have an end-to-end process, which you know, is, is linked to the end to service.

But it doesn't mean that the service integrator is doing all of the heavy lifting in terms of process work. And it, it, it's kind of a common misconception about SIAM is that the service integrator is doing all of the process work. In fact, what happens is each of the service providers maintains their own ways of working.

So, they'll have still, you know, their own incident management, their own change management, and they might be running in a very traditional ITIL fashion. They might be running in a real sort of agile DevOps fashion. Doesn't actually matter as long as they can plug into these end-to-end processes. You know, what, what we need to understand is if there is an incident, how do we pass it to a service provider? How do we make sure that we still have the information and the updates because we're tracking the progress of that, but then, you know, what, what that service provider does. We don't mind, as long as we get the information that they need, they can write it down on a piece of paper and pass it round by hand.

If that's what they want to do as, as long as they can report back to the service integrator.

Anand Tambey: True. So, it is all about different formats, different tools, but integrating it in a common platform, right? Yes.

What would be the process to roll out SIAM? Would it be piloted somewhere and then it goes ahead or it has been like from the top, it goes, and then probably you say, okay, this is the big picture. And then everybody has to do that.

Claire Agutter: I wish it, I wish it worked like that. Everybody has to do this. I mean, again, again, there's, there's different. There are different ways you can do it. And, and one of the, one of the big things with SIAM is starting with a really strong business case because you are undertaking a project which is gonna be, you know, Quite disruptive, potentially quite expensive, ultimately to deliver benefits, but there, there is this process that you need to work through and how you go about that will depend again on I guess if you're in that sort of Greenfield or legacy environment, because you, if you go in, in Greenfield, it is much simpler to say everybody does this because she can write it into all of the contracts. You know, ideally the service integrator is there from day one, the helping you select the suppliers, they helping you write the contract.

That's simple. If it is a legacy environment, you may have to renegotiate some contract. You may be terminating some contracts. There might be some contracts where you let them expire, but you accept that perhaps that particular supplier won't be integrated into the SIAM model. And, and you've got to work around that.

So, there is, I guess, if we call it phased versus big bang, you know, mm-hmm, there is a big bang option, but for, for a lot of organizations, it does need to be phased. I mean, I'm working with an organization at the moment, we're doing some consultancy with them and they're moving from a single monolithic agreement with a service provider that's doing everything. They're moving to a SIAM model. So, they'll have lots of different suppliers involved, but there are different pieces are coming back at different times. So, it's not that this, this one contract will hit the end date, and then everything comes back. It's gradually coming back and things are being integrated into the SIAM model as each piece comes across.

And as they've built the capabilities internally in order to be able to deal with that and manage that. And it, it is the same with, with tooling as well. In a perfect world, the customer organization is able to say, this is a tool that we're using and everybody has to do it. Mm-hmm, but in the real world, quite often, that's not what happens.

And this, this is a bit of it's a bit of an emerging area in SIAM is how do we actually deal with suppliers? Like for example, AWS who form a crucial part of our services. We can't make them integrate into our platform. They're not coming to our monthly meetings. We're not having this collaborative relationship.

So, it's looking at strategies to still make sure that you have the information you need in terms of things like AWS, you know, how would it work if there was an incident or what happens if there's a change? And, and it's, it's kind of developing strategies to cope with that, but that's, that's a question we're being asked a lot at the moment, in terms of, you know, how do I integrate cloud providers into a SIAM model? And it's, it's developing different techniques to do that.

Anand Tambey: Right. So probably it might be like related with what we work also. So, kind of we are into it process automation and RPA mm-hmm robotics process automation. So, we integrate almost 400 plus systems. You come up with any tool, we just integrate them. Our tool will come and then fetch the data in kind of a ETL and then integrate it and then mm-hmm, execute the tasks. So it is not just getting the data and information and insight. Acting on that insight. Okay. What to do. So that part also in the automated fashion. That process flow itself would be automated by the tool.

And then data will be interconnected and there are multiple integrations available. So, what I come towards that is like, probably in a single organization itself, there are multiple platforms say yes, even in a one big organization, there are 13 to 14 platforms, right?

So, the integration is quite a challenge. So, we need certain kind of tool which can integrate each and everything and never force anyone. Okay. I'm using this tool and you have to use this tool only. Mm-hmm. Then you'll integrate, but it, it cannot happen. Right? so there I think a lot of challenges are there and lot of technical Advancement has been done here and then we have available connectors and all those things. However, what do you think there will be like a common dashboard or common SLAs how it has been managed in typical SIAM environment.

Claire Agutter: So, I mean, this, this is a great area to talk about and I'm always fascinated by what we can do with automation. it's a space where I think that the pace of change particularly in SIAM environment is, is really accelerating because the traditional model was to have one tool set and contractually require your service providers to be working with that tool set and where they couldn't or wouldn't for whatever reason, then you had something manual that was happening or you were custom building integrations. Whereas now with the automation that we've got, it is much simpler and that there are companies like One.io who were working in, in this very specific SIAM space to, to build these integrations and to make it easy.

So that again, you know, if you've got a DevOps organization, they tend to have a completely different suite of tools that they're working with when you compare it to say an ITIL organization, but we need to be sucking up information from both of them to understand, for example, change management, you know, you might be taking a data from an ITSM system from one organization. Whereas you're the one you're looking at an automated tool chain, an automated testing. And as long as we can, we can bring that information in. That that's all we need really from a service integration perspective. So the trend is, I think moving much more from forcing everybody to use one platform to understanding, I, I guess the technical version of SIAM, you know, there's all these different technologies. It is possible to integrate them. And then once we've got this view, the, the benefits of automation can actually be enormous in a SIAM environment because we can start to look at where in these end to end processes, that spanning service providers, where do we have opportunities for our automation?

You know, where are we seeing lag? Where have we got unnecessary manual activities? And this is something that is starting to develop is to have specific automation capabilities within the service integrator. So having a center for automation or you know, automation engineers working within the service integrator, looking across the piece and, and finding these continual improvement opportunities, you know, applying process mining.

And like you say, RPA techniques to get things done, you know, either better, faster, more efficiently, this can be a, a really crucial part of the service integrator role.

Anand Tambey: True. Yeah. So how do we actually go with having a common process, maybe it would be ITIL or is there any other framework also you use for SIAM?

Claire Agutter Profile Photo

Claire Agutter

Director at Scopism & ITSM Zone

I am a service management trainer, consultant and author. In 2017, 18 and 19 I was recognised as an HDI Top 25 Thought Leader and nominated as one of Computer Weekly's top 50 Women in Tech. I host the popular ITSM Crowd hangouts, and I'm the Chief Architect for VeriSM.

At ITSM Zone, our mission is to provide amazing eLearning to help you build the skills for your digital transformation, including ITIL, DevOps, BRM, SIAM, VeriSM and more. At Scopism, we support you with high quality content including the SIAM Foundation and Professional BoKs.