Why a service integration and management strategy is essential for IT

joshuabrusse.jpgBy Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services

 

I spend a lot of time helping clients transform their IT organizations into ones that are ready for the future. We may talk about consumerization and cloud and how they are affecting IT. But what’s really happening is the democratization of IT. That is, IT doesn’t have the monopoly anymore. Businesses can go anywhere to buy IT services.

 

This leads to an urgent problem for traditional IT. Information services are absolutely necessary. But who will deliver them? Think of this as analogous to the restaurant business. The need for food will never go away – it’s integral to survival. But if you as a restaurant will not provide the right food, your customers will go elsewhere. In the same way, there’s no company in the world that can survive without information services. But the worst-case scenario is that you close your IT shop because the business is buying information services somewhere else.

 

IT leaders who don’t see this and continue with the status quo risk irrelevance, or worse. But for IT leaders thinking about how to transform their organizations for the future, it’s essential to develop a hybrid delivery operating model and thus a service integration and management (SIAM) strategy.

 

What is service integration and management?

If you look at how businesses are run, they have a business model (with business processes) and an ERP (like SAP) that automates those processes and that model. SIAM takes the same framework and applies it to IT so that you can run IT as a business. A SIAM strategy has two key ingredients:

 

  1. A business model for IT: Develop this by asking these questions: How do I model my IT? What are the processes and competencies that I need? What are the operating models that I need? What are the organizational structures and the functions? What are the roles and responsibilities? You can also use your model to build a capability matrix so that as you do service planning you can look at potential suppliers and what they can do.
  2. An ERP for IT: Just as SAP, for example, automates, measures and dashboards business processes, so too should your ERP. (At HP we’ve developed our HP IT Performance Suite to fill this role.)

Essentially, you have your business architecture and you support that business architecture with a technology layer, composed of a set of products that can measure how you manage as well as automate many of the processes in your business model. The technology layer allows you to integrate with your suppliers so that you can have everything in one dashboard and manage everything from one “control centre”.

 

SIAM is common sense

It may be new for IT to think this way, but these are not new ideas. It’s really about applying common sense practices to an IT organization.

 

Other industries are already doing this: manufacturing, for example. If you walk into a Toyota factory, you see they do SIAM; they’ve been doing this for 50 years. They bring all the different components together and build a car, but they’re not building the different components. They have an extremely well-managed supplier network along with orchestration and workforce planning and governance. What we’re doing now with service integration and management is simply applying these concepts to IT.

 

A solution for hybrid delivery

Service integration and management is absolutely key if you are moving to a hybrid delivery model. If you’re a CIO getting into hybrid cloud, there are three things you need to think about:

 

  • Governance: How do you maintain governance in a multi-sourced environment? Even if you’re outsourcing services, you absolutely do not want to outsource your governance. But, considering that some IT organizations don’t even have a solid governance practice in place, this piece can be challenging if you’re dealing with hybrid delivery at the same time. Developing a service integration and management strategy forces you to address governance issues.

 

  • Supplier management: Hybrid delivery is only going to be beneficial if it is possible to choose the right supplier fast and to – when needed – swap to another one quickly when the current supplier isn’t meeting your needs. Questions to ask include: How do I enable an operating model that allows me to do this? How do I maintain a capability model to pick and choose and to quickly onboard potential suppliers? How do I dashboard and  track performance once they are operational? SIAM helps with all of this. 

 

  • Orchestration: Ask yourself: How do I bring together the best group of suppliers, both internal and external, so that the business experiences a seamless delivery of services? If you’re not able to integrate and centrally manage all the partners that deliver the service to the business, you’re simply creating more silos.

A SIAM strategy helps you answer these questions, providing an effective solution for hybrid delivery.  

 

To learn more about HP’s approach to service integration and management visit www.hp.com/go/siam.

 

Related links:

Comments
George Whales | ‎04-26-2012 08:49 AM

 

Thanks Joshua, I like the way you encourage the IT world to start considering basic principles that we see happening around us every day. IT has for a long time been in the luxurious position of being a unique piece in the business jigsaw, a piece that business simply couldn't do without. That has now changed, business can get IT from any one of a number of competitive suppliers.

 

One point I'd like to reinforce is the ability to swap a service provider if they do not perform, this to me is one of the key benefits of mature SIAM. Of course it raises the question of how best to measure your suppliers, another post in the making I think.

 

Lastly... We need clear simple thought like this, all too often we will see an initiative being made to look so complicated to the business that it loses traction before it even starts. High level concepts need to be simple so that they can be articulated, the complexity can be broken down and dealt with but thinking like this is where we start.

 

Thanks - George

JudyRedman | ‎04-27-2012 08:19 AM

Joshua, enjoyed your post.  Sounds like the CIO needs to evolve and become a Chief Integration Officer.

~JR

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