SIAM is the key competence to support Bimodal IT


”Bimodal IT is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.”
Gartner IT glossary

For instance – an ERP system is usually considered application infrastructure but the different access channels to it, eg. an intranet or web page, will be dynamic, flexible or even experimental.

This blog will give the fundamentals on why and how Service integration and management (SIAM) supports bimodal IT service delivery.

SIAM is the practice of governing and managing the integration of multiple services and their providers into an aggregated service. Hence it, in fact, not only supports Bimodal but MULTI-modal IT service delivery. This is because SIAM, as a practice and principle, does not limit the number of participating services to achieve the aggregated outcome required by the customer and consuming business processes. Eg. to the example above you might add yet a third component (and more) for an aggregated service – the delivery of the server operations that the ERP system runs on

There are three fundamental principles within SIAM to support multimodal IT service delivery:

  1. Service providers are not legal parties
  2. Every provider encapsulates it internal behaviors and provides negotiated interfaces for external parties to interact with
  3. A service integrator has the responsibility to integrate multiple services into an aggregated outcome

Service providers are not legal parties

Service providers are not legal parties

Within SIAM a service provider is defined as

  • “the smallest entity, or decision body, with responsibility to deliver a specific service”. From this statement you can deduct that a provider is e g a unit within an organization or even a cross-organizational function.

As a definition of service SIAM traditionally uses the classical

  • “A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks”

This gives the opportunity to have multiple service providers within the same legal party or delivering enterprise.

Every provider encapsulates its internal behaviors, interacting only through negotiated interfaces

Assets used to deliver services are, typically:

  • Tools and information – ITSM suites, CMDB, Knowledge management support, report engines etc
  • Processes – eg. incident, change, release, portfolio mgmt.
  • Documentation – Contracts, agreements, policies, documentation
  • Roles and responsibilities – Change mgr, Service owner, Key account mgr and more
  • Organization – eg. Units and functions, delegation and decision mechanisms, escalation routines

If there are multiple providers and services participating in delivering an aggregated outcome then there will undoubtedly be multiple configurations of assets used (a configuration of assets used to deliver a specific service is sometimes referred to as the service’s Service Management Architecture, SMA). In the initial Gartner example the SMAs of the two participating parties will have to be very different. One designed to focus stability and risk aversion and the other to support innovation and fast time to market

In order to cope with different SMAs every participating provider needs to negotiate its behaviors with every other participating party.

A service integrator has the responsibility to integrate multiple services into an aggregated outcome

A service integrator has the responsibility to integrate multiple services into an aggregated outcome

SIAM support the delivery of bimodal IT primarily by introducing the Service integration dimension, where a Service integrator takes on the responsibility to deliver an aggregated service over multiple participating providers and their integrated services.

It is the integrator responsibility to negotiate the common behavior between every participating provider into a common and homogenous SMA, without requiring every provider to give up its native behavior.

Hereby SIAM is a key competence to manage bi- and multimodal IT delivery, independent of the number of involved legal parties and organisations.

Relevant readings:

SIAM_SERVICE_INTEGRATION_v2LRTitle: SIAM: Principles and Practices for Service Integration and Management (english version)
ISBN: 9789401800259
Author(s): Dave Armes & Niklas Engelhart & Peter McKenzie & Peter Wiggers
Price: € 39,95 (VAT Tax.)



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