1.1 Intended audience

This publication is designed for audience groups, including:

Individuals wishing to build on their foundation-level knowledge of SIAM and achieve the SIAM Professional certification

Customer organizations and their staff looking for guidance when managing a multi-service provider environment

Service integrators and their staff wishing to work effectively in a SIAM ecosystem

Internal and external service providers and their staff wishing to understand their role in a SIAM ecosystem

Consultants in service management and other frameworks who wish to expand their knowledge in this area

1.2 The background of SIAM

SIAM developed in response to the challenges organizations face when using multiple service providers as part of their supply network, sometimes called multi-sourcing. Although multi-sourcing offers organizations the ability to choose the best service provider for each element of an end-to-end service, it may also incur significant management overhead and costs. Some organizations may not have the capabilities to manage service providers and their services.

The scope of SIAM

Although SIAM originated in the IT services arena, it is now used by an increasing number of organizations to manage business services.

This introduction provides a review of content from the SIAM Foundation BoK to aid understanding of the rest of the publication. It includes:

SIAM Foundation BoK history

SIAM terminology

SIAM roadmap

Historically, organizations received IT services internally, using a simple structure of infrastructure and applications managed by an IT department. As technology use has become more complex, and business users have become more demanding, some organizations have chosen to outsource work between multiple service providers. This enables segregation of service elements, unlocks flexibility and reduces the risk of dependency on one service provider. Multi-sourcing also supports a ‘best of breed’ approach, where the organization can select services from specialized service providers.

Commissioning organizations must consider how and from where services are provided, to maximize performance of their value network within their budget. The management of multiple service providers by a single organization presents significant administrative challenges.

SIAM provides a standardized methodology for integrating and managing multiple service providers and their services. It enhances the management of the end-to-end supply chain and provides governance, management, integration, assurance and coordination to maximize the value received.

SIAM supports cross-functional, cross-process and cross-provider integration in a complex sourcing environment or ecosystem. It ensures all parties understand and are empowered to fulfil their role and responsibilities, and are held accountable for the outcomes they support.

SIAM recommends the appointment of a single logical entity with accountability for end-to-end service delivery: the service integrator. The customer organization has a management relationship with the service integrator, and the service integrator manages the relationships with service providers.

1.3 History of the SIAM Foundation BoK

SIAM evolved from many different organizations and countries. As organizations developed proprietary materials, there was little objective guidance available for practitioners.

In 2016, in response to the requirement for SIAM guidance, Scopism Limited worked with contributors from a wide range of organizations and individuals to create the SIAM Foundation BoK. This publication provides the basis for the subsequent SIAM Foundation certification scheme launched by EXIN and Scopism.2

1.4 SIAM key concepts

The following sections describe SIAM key concepts. More detail is available in the SIAM Foundation BoK3:

SIAM layers

SIAM structures

Drivers for SIAM

SIAM terminology:

oSIAM practice

oSIAM function

oSIAM roles

oSIAM structural elements

oSIAM models

SIAM roadmap

1.5 SIAM layers

The SIAM ecosystem consists of three basic layers: the customer organization, the service integrator and service providers.

The focus, activities and responsibilities for each layer are different, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: SIAM layers

An overview of each layer is provided here, with detailed information contained in the SIAM Foundation BoK.

1.5.1 Customer organization

The role of the customer organization is to commission services and provide direction based on the organization’s strategy. In a traditional multi-service provider model, the customer organization has a direct relationship with each service provider. In a SIAM model, the customer organization has a relationship with the service integrator. It retains ownership of the commercial relationship with each service provider, however, the service integrator carries out management, governance, integration, coordination and assurance activities.

The customer organization may have ‘retained capabilities’, which are skills and capabilities important for the delivery of service. Retained capabilities may sometimes be referred to as the ‘intelligent client function’.

1.5.2 Service integrator

The service integrator is responsible for managing service providers. It provides governance, management, integration, assurance and coordination across the SIAM ecosystem. It focuses on the end-to-end provision of service, ensuring that all service providers are properly engaged in service delivery and are providing value. The service integrator encourages collaboration between service providers.

The service integrator layer may be fulfilled by one or more organizations, including the customer organization. Having more than one organization in the service integrator role provides an additional challenge, so this approach must be managed carefully to ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. (See section 1.6.3 Hybrid service integrator.)

1.5.3 Service provider

A SIAM ecosystem has multiple service providers delivering one or more services or service elements to the customer organization. Each service provider takes responsibility for managing its part of the contracted service, including the technology and processes that support end-to-end service delivery.

Service providers can be part of the customer organization or external to it:

An external service provider is an organization that is not part of the customer organization. Its performance is typically managed using service level agreements (SLAs) and a contract with the customer organization.

An internal service provider is a team or department that is part of the customer organization. Its performance is typically managed using internal agreements and targets.

It can be helpful to categorize service providers according to their importance and potential impact on the customer organization, which will also indicate the level of governance required for each of them. The commonly used categories are strategic, tactical and commodity. SIAM applies to all three categories, but the nature of the relationship and the management time required will differ.

1.6 SIAM structures

There are four common SIAM structures, differentiated by the sourcing and configuration of the service integrator layer. These are:

1.Externally sourced service integrator

2.Internally sourced service integrator

3.Hybrid service integrator

4.Lead supplier as service integrator

The decision to select a structure will depend on factors including, but not limited to:

Business requirements

Internal capabilities

Complexity of the customer’s services

Customer organization type and size

Legislative and regulatory requirements

Customer budget

Existing service management capability in the customer organization


Types and numbers of service providers in the ecosystem

Customer organization maturity and risk appetite

1.6.1 Externally sourced service integrator

Figure 2 illustrates the externally sourced service integrator structure. An external organization is commissioned by the customer organization to act as the service integrator. The external service integrator is solely responsible for managing service providers and does not have any service provider responsibilities.

This structure is suitable for customers that do not have sufficient skills or capabilities to be a service integrator, do not want to develop them and are prepared to trust an external organization to fulfil the role.

There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to this structure, as discussed in the SIAM Foundation BoK.

Figure 2: Externally sourced service integrator

1.6.2 Internally sourced service integrator

In this structure, the customer organization takes the role of service integrator. The service integrator must still be viewed as a separate, logical entity. If the roles of customer and service integrator are not separated, then the model is simply that of a traditional organization with multiple service providers, losing the benefits of SIAM.

As shown in figure 3, the service providers can be either internal or external.

This structure is applicable to customers that have, or wish to develop, capabilities in service integration. The advantages and disadvantages of this structure are detailed in the SIAM Foundation BoK.

Figure 3: Internally sourced service integrator

Structuring the internal service integrator

Different SIAM models will place the internal service integrator in different parts of the organizational structure. Some internal service integrators reside in the IT department, others may be a separate department within the organizational structure. The structure will depend on several factors, including the scope of the SIAM model and the size of the organization.

1.6.3 Hybrid service integrator

In the hybrid structure, the customer collaborates with an external organization to provide the service integrator capability, as shown in figure 4. As with other structures, the service provider roles are carried out by internal or external providers.

This structure is suitable for customer organizations that wish to retain an element of control over the role of service integrator, but do not have the skills to perform all aspects. Some elements are provided internally from existing resources, while others are sourced externally. This model is useful when a customer organization wishes to develop service integrator skills and can draw on external expertise while acquiring them. This structure may be a temporary arrangement, until the customer organization has sufficient skills to carry out the service integrator role alone, or, until the customer organization migrates to a wholly external service integrator.

Although this structure is potentially complicated in terms of allocating roles and responsibilities, the advantages may outweigh the disadvantages in some situations. More information is contained in the SIAM Foundation BoK.

Figure 4: Hybrid service integrator

1.6.4 Lead supplier as service integrator

The lead supplier structure includes one organization acting in the role of service integrator as well as a service provider. This is illustrated in figure 5.

The reasons for selecting this structure are similar to those for selecting an external service integrator. It is suitable for customers who have an existing relationship with a service provider with integration capabilities (or service integrator with delivery capabilities). The advantages and disadvantages to this structure are similar to those of the externally sourced service integrator, but there are some additional considerations, as discussed in the SIAM Foundation BoK.

Figure 5: Lead supplier as service integrator

1.7 SIAM terminology

The SIAM Foundation BoK contains important information on the elements to be considered when adopting a SIAM model. These are briefly reviewed in this section.

1.7.1 SIAM practices

SIAM practices fall into four categories:

People practices: for example, managing cross-functional teams

Process practices: for example, integrating processes across service providers

Measurement practices: for example, reporting on end-to-end services

Technology practices: for example, creating a tooling strategy

1.7.2 SIAM functions

Each organization in a SIAM ecosystem will have its own structure, processes and practices. In each layer, there will be processes and practices that are specific to the role of the organization.

The service integrator layer includes functions relating to operational governance, management, assurance, integration and coordination. These will not be the same for the customer organization or the service providers. In each SIAM ecosystem, careful consideration must be given to the activities carried out by each organization and how they interact with other providers.

1.7.3 SIAM roles

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities ensure that a SIAM ecosystem will work effectively. A common cause of SIAM implementation failure occurs when roles and responsibilities have not been considered or fully understood.

Roles applicable to the different SIAM layers are defined and implemented as part of the SIAM roadmap. Each SIAM model will have its own specific requirements, and these need to be defined, established, monitored and improved. This includes the roles and responsibilities of each layer, organization, function and structural element.

1.7.4 SIAM structural elements

The term ‘structural elements’ refers to entities that have specific responsibilities working across multiple organizations and SIAM layers. These structural elements connect the functions from each layer to the processes, practices and roles across the SIAM ecosystem.

There are three types of structural elements:


Process forums

Working groups

Structural elements include representatives from the service integrator, service providers and, where required, the customer organization. This encourages collaboration and communication across the ecosystem, so that all parties work together to achieve shared goals.

1.7.5 SIAM models

There is no single ‘perfect’ SIAM model. Each organization develops its own model based on its own requirements, the services in scope and desired outcomes. Organizations may draw on proprietary models provided by an externally sourced service integrator or external advisors and consultants engaged during the SIAM transformation. Whichever SIAM model is chosen by the customer organization, it will share common characteristics, as shown in figure 6.

Figure 6: A high-level SIAM model

1.8 SIAM roadmap

The SIAM roadmap describes the high-level stages and activities required to create and transform to a SIAM model. It consists of four stages, shown here with their objectives and main outputs.

1.Discovery & Strategy: initiates the SIAM transformation project, formulates key strategies and maps the current situation.

Outputs include:

An established SIAM transition project

Strategic objectives

Governance requirements and high-level SIAM governance framework

Defined principles and policies for roles and responsibilities

Map of existing services and sourcing environment

Current maturity and capability levels

Market awareness

Approved outline business case for SIAM

Strategy for SIAM

Outline SIAM model

2.Plan & Build: completes the design for SIAM and creates the plans for transformation.

Outputs include:

Full design of the SIAM model including:

oServices, service groups and service providers (the ‘service model’)

oThe selected SIAM structure

oProcess models


oStructural elements

oRoles and responsibilities

oGovernance model

oPerformance management and reporting framework

oCollaboration model

oTooling strategy

oOngoing improvement framework

Approved business case

Organizational change management (OCM) activities

Service integrator appointed

Service providers appointed

Plan for service provider and service retirement

3.Implement: manages the transition from the current ‘as-is’ state to the ‘to-be’ SIAM model. The output from the Implement stage is the new operational SIAM model supported by appropriate contracts and agreements.

4.Run & Improve: manages the SIAM model, day-to-day service delivery, processes, teams and tools, and continual improvement.

Outputs from the Run & Improve stage fall into two categories:

Run outputs: business as usual (BAU) outputs including reports, service data and process data.

Improve outputs: information used to evolve and continually improve the SIAM model.


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