To keep up with demand in the digital age, businesses big and small are realising they need to adopt a more ﬂexible, hybrid IT approach that enables them to extend into the cloud - whilst retaining their traditional services. But managing the complexities of a hybrid environment that includes in-house IT, hardware vendors and IT service providers is no easy task. That’s where a Service Integration and Management (SIAM) solution comes in.
As a model that integrates, deploys and manages services from multiple service providers, it delivers faster, more reliable changes and higher eﬃciency. When should you start implementing a multi-vendor service delivery model? Yesterday. To achieve a competitive edge, a SIAM model can’t be implemented soon enough.
Tried and tested gradual approach
We understand, though, that the business demands that trigger the need for such a solution don’t give IT departments the luxury to prepare, test and implement a complete mature model. The only option is to get started on implementation before all prerequisites have been fully met. That might sound risky but following our tried and tested gradual approach to implementation will ensure efficiency in time, energy and resources.
In this blogpost, we’ll give you an overview of the four steps to take to effectively introduce a multi-vendor service delivery model and gradually build a process framework.
To understand the approach in depth, download our white paper: SIAM - a pragmatic approach.
1. A base investigation
Start by gaining a clear overview of the current situation and the changes that need to be rolled out to implement a complete multi-vendor service delivery model.
This means determining the “must have” capabilities necessary without a mature or complete SIAM process framework. Delve into existing implemented processes and toolsets, the capabilities of existing employees, as well as available data and reports, and any applicable regulatory or governance requirements. During your investigation, also assess your organisation’s preferred services model.
2. Phase 0: The implementation of “must have” capabilities.
The goal by the completion of Phase 0 is to start working with a rudimentary multi-vendor service delivery model. Following your base investigation, you should have a clear picture of your “must have” capabilities - that is the set of capabilities installed to compensate for the lack or absence of SIAM processes.
Phase 0 is where those capabilities are fleshed out and implemented. Keep in mind, your “must have” capabilities need to steer the organisation through the first years of a limited process controlled multi-vendor service delivery model. Be prepared for issues, breaches, failures and different interpretations that will need to be actively addressed to guarantee minimal impact on IT services.
Gradual improvement cycles are an important part of this approach but, to ensure they’re effective, they need data, data analyses, and translation into SMART plans for execution in the multi-vendor landscape. The main areas of focus in Phase 0 are: organisation; employee capabilities; governance; data and reports; automation.
3. Phase 1: The implementation of “core” operational processes.
Core operational stability and insight into vendor performance are the key objectives for Phase 1. To achieve these objectives, implementation, maturity improvement and multi-vendor adaptations to the involved core processes must be the focus.
Before starting the next phase, it’s key that CSI analyses, governance and related activities, such as budget allocation, prioritisation, cross-vendor skills allocation, are up and running, to keep momentum and progress after Phase 1.
Priority processes cover incident management, change management, problem management, configuration management, request management, service level management and CSI (Continuous Service Improvement).
The two previous phases will have unearthed findings or gaps in the selected priority processes. In this phase, it’s time to resolve these findings or gaps - using sprints. Of course, some of these findings or gaps will have dependencies on external factors, like tools and interfaces. Therefore one of the first steps must be to identify these dependencies and assure projects or activities are planned to resolve or remove them.
Plan the resolution of these process findings or gaps in conjunction with the dependency resolution. That doesn’t mean process improvement work should start only when the dependency is resolved. In the meantime, start defining and documenting the process or resolve other findings or gaps without a dependency.
4. Phase 2: The implementation of the other necessary processes.
In this final phase of the approach, it’s all about improving the core processes implemented in Phase 1, with the priority based on the CSI outcomes and arisen needs.
The boundaries between Phase 1 and 2 tend to be blurred, since Phase 2 starts when the processes in Phase 1 are mature enough. Don’t be surprised if there are also some overlaps. Starting Phase 2 doesn’t mean the processes addressed in Phase 1 can’t be improved, probably there are still some sprints from Phase 1 running or planned. The principle must be that every implemented process is eligible to be improved and must be adapted to future changes in tools and supported services.
When does Phase 2 come to an end? The answer is never. Process changes and adaptations will need to take place to respond to organisational changes, new technology and changes in vendors or vendor contracts. There’s no need to be disheartened. From our experience, by year two your multi-vendor IT services will be on a very acceptable level related to quantity, quality and efficiency.
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same applies to the implementation of a SIAM solution. It’s a gradual exercise but, with this effective four-step approach, you can make implementing a multi-vendor service delivery model a reality for your organisation.
To dive deeper and understand the methodology in full, download our white paper here.
For those looking for more hands-on support, Fruition Partners can help. With a talented team of SIAM professionals, made up of a mix of “firefighters” and analysts, Fruition Partners is here to support you with all of the aspects of creating and running a SIAM function.
Find out more about how we can help you with a no-strings-attached consultancy appointment, email: firstname.lastname@example.org