Service Integration and Management (SIAM) projects are some of the most complex undertakings an IT department can embark upon. This is because there are so many end-points to the work you are doing. Each team, third party, supplier and customer is going to have unique needs, ways of working and technologies, which you will need to make and mould your project around.
We’re lucky. We have worked with easily 100+ SIAM projects now; we have seen every kind mistake and all manners of successes. Reflecting on this here are three simple(ish) questions you can (or must) ask before you make one of the mistakes that many-a-IT teams have made before you…
1. Have we consulted enough people?
Most IT leaders don’t consult anywhere near, far or wide enough, before making big SIAM decisions. Consulting is a big part of any IT project, for sure. However, unlike a cloud migration or lengthy OS update, the results of SIAM will reach into corners of your business that you never knew existed…
The undocumented monthly software updates, the quick and easy shortcuts to running service desk reports, and the weekly calls that your service desk manager gets from your NetOps third-party provider – just to name a few.
The list of things you don’t know, which are going to affect the day-to-day work of your IT staff is endless. This might seem like an easy job of just asking ‘these people’ to switch to ‘these tools’ but it’s never as easy as that.
So, roll up your sleeves and spend some more time on the ground. You want to intimately understand, which tools your staff use, what processes are not documented and what kind of communication is going on already between the parties you are looking to integrate. Changing tools and processes have practical and emotional implications on people, and you want to be sure that you are not creating friction in places unnecessarily.
2. Have we adequately audited our processes?
As much as we’d like them to, most processes don’t live in a neat word document that’s conveniently shared and named in a well-thought-out file structure. Some are… but most aren’t. In fact, most aren’t even written down anywhere.
They exist within the living memories of teams as they’re shared through teamwork, collaboration and discussion. And in reality, for many teams this will be the most effective way of managing their processes.
A big part of any SIAM project is to understand what processes exist within two or more teams, then creating a plan that allows those two processes to co-exist in a way that best supports the end customer.
But when most or many processes live undocumented, auditing these processes is not something you can do from the comfort of your desk. You need to spend time experiencing the work and asking the right questions.
3. Are we expecting too much from one tool?
You should never see ‘one tool to rule them all’ as a valid SIAM solution. For many years, big consulting originations would sell in this vastly long and expensive integration solution. You would mop up all the smaller tools in use across your organisation and then lobby your suppliers to get on board with your own instance of BMC or ServiceNow.
Everything in one place sounds nice… to you. But for everyone else (customers included) it’s a nightmare. This is because the small tools which people and teams already have in place are usually highly specialised and were chosen and invested into so that those teams can perform their work to their highest ability.
Generalising tools leads to dulling down what people are capable of achieving with the technology and tools available. Knowing this leads SIAM to quite a different place. Where instead of integrating people and processes around a single platform – you use a centralised integration hub, which enables every team to keep their selected tools while working how they need to work, so they can focus on the customer.
The integration part of tools now happens behind the scenes, data, information, tickets and transactions are directed and trafficked through an integration hub. This brings about 2 major benefits. The first being what we’ve described above, in teams being able to continue working in the most effective way possible. The second is that you no longer need to weigh your business down with lengthy and expensive projects. No big changes to people, process or tools, means you’re saving time, money and human resources.
If you would like to learn more about how your businesses could leverage the benefits of a Next generation integration platform, get in touch with our expert team today, who would be very happy to talk to you about integration ideas, goals and challenges.