Service integration and management (SIAM), service integration, or multi-sourcing services integration (MSI) isn’t new. Global research firms, such as Forrester and Gartner, were producing SIAM-related reports in the late 2000s driven by the challenges faced by their clients – the need to cater for a post-outsourcing requirement to manage the complexity of multiple service providers.


In simple terms, many outsourcing agreements have failed to deliver on one or more of: cost savings, service improvements, and innovation. And organizations are now looking to a multi-supplier sourcing arrangement to address not only these deficiencies but to also reduce the risk of “being held to ransom” by the constraints of a single-provider arrangement.


The need for SIAM


SIAM is a way to better manage these new, often complex, supplier landscapes and the services they deliver. Forrester states that:


“To make multisourcing arrangements effective, customers must get suppliers to work together, both from the commercial and operational standpoint. The services integration layer, comprising elements of process, tools, service-level agreements, and related structures, is absolutely critical to the success of these arrangements.”


Source: Forrester Research, Inc.: Building The Services Integration Layer In Multisourcing (September 2011)


Importantly, enterprises need to address two distinct needs: sourcing and vendor management and IT service management (ITSM). And they require the ability to provide end-to-end visibility, reporting, and accountability for the services delivered by multiple suppliers. Interestingly, SIAM maybe conducted internally or outsourced to a third party; and, if outsourced, the third-party provider is often precluded from bidding on and operating technology towers.


But it’s not just large enterprises that would benefit from SIAM


As the diagram, from ServiceNow partner Mozaic, below shows: SIAM is not just about splitting the previously outsourced activities into technology domain towers – it includes other third-party-provided services such as SaaS and cloud. Thus organizations that have never outsourced but have a mix of in-house, SaaS, and cloud services may also have a need to manage a portfolio of disparate IT service providers to create a seamless IT service delivery operation.


Source: Mozaic

SIAM: The benefits


SIAM can deliver a number of benefits, especially to enterprises burnt by their outsourcing experiences:


  • Improved governance and control of suppliers and services AND costs.
  • Increased efficiency and effectiveness across IT service delivery – hitting the CIO mantra of “reduce cost AND improve service.”
  • The potential to optimize value from suppliers.
  • Better service and cost predictability.
  • Greater flexibility to plug-and-play new suppliers into the SIAM ecosystem.


Which will ultimately deliver better IT service and business outcomes.


Enabling SIAM through technology


In the context of the Mozaic framework above, the diagram below shows how, unlike most ITSM tool vendors, ServiceNow offers more than just the traditional, ITIL-espoused-process support. There’s also applications for governance, risk, and compliance (GRC – a big part of SIAM), project management, asset management, and IT cost management, as well as the ability to create bespoke applications for SIAM using App Creator. The introduction of vendor performance management capabilities in the Dublin release also further differentiates ServiceNow’s SIAM capabilities.



In addition to these functional capabilities, the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform offers: ease of integration – both initially and when service providers need to be “swapped out” – and domain separation architecture with the ability to link into the service provider’s tool or to bring them in.


Want to know more?


Well you are in luck. ServiceNow has an on demand SIAM webinar (requires registration) – the first of a series that will also include valuable SIAM insights and good practices from ServiceNow, partners, and our customers.


Watch this space – you’ll hear a lot more about the need for SIAM over the next twelve months.