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SIAM - The Fifth Pillar

Time to understand what differentiates SIAM from traditional Service Management

Satyendra Seth / October 20, 2021

We all know, traditional Service Management (SM) rests on 4 pillars, People, Process, Product and Partner. These 4 pillars encapsulate the ITIL SM framework and provide the basis for effective Service Delivery (SD).

If we look at the ITIL service lifecycle pictorial representation, we find Service Strategy at the crux and all other lifecycle phases revolve around it.

This in other terms also mean that if the Service Stratification phase is robust, then all the other phases will start aligning themselves around the same and will be able to deliver effective SD. This is yet another key aspect of discussion, however I say maybe for some other day.

Now if we look at the 4 Ps of Service Management, which are also known as the 4 Pillars of SM, they provide foundation for effective Service Delivery using ITIL as the best practice. SM is something we have now been doing for decades, so the pivotal question is what SIAM brings in for us in terms of improved SD.


What is the Fifth Pillar in SIAM?

I have been asked this in multiple workshops, trainings, webinars and likewise as to how can I describe SIAM in 1 word. Well, the first time I was asked, I am sure I could not do it, however later when I turned back the pages of my professional life and started relating it to what am I doing in SIAM, I was able to figure out that 1 word to describe SIAM. Governance, is that key word that differentiates SIAM from traditional SM. Ironically we have been interchangeably using Delivery and Governance at our will / convenience, which is actually not the case. Delivery focuses on delivering the services and Governance deals in governing the delivered service.

Governance is a structured methodology to achieve Value Creation. In principle through SIAM we need to ensure governance in and around:

  1. E2E (End to End) Service Governance.
  2. Contract Governance across provider(s).
  3. Ecosystem level Governance across provider(s).
  4. Governance around Tools and Process standardization across provider(s).

SIAM weaves up the multi-vendor environment into a single ecosystem, where the philosophy is “We succeed together and / or we fail together”, and the objective is to eliminate “Blame Game” and “Coexist in Harmony”. And just in case if you are wondering, these are not some good-looking English statements, we have many examples to exhibit this on records. And this is exactly “The Fifth Pillar” which I think is introduced by SIAM to ensure efficient and effective SD, elevating the traditional SM to the next level. And this is how I perceive SIAM and “The Fifth Pillar”.

All very well said, however yet not done. What does SIAM need for apt Governance?

  1. SIAM Enablement / Empowerment: SIAM should be empowered to act on Client’s behalf in every aspect of SD. SIAM should have that power and control to act, recommend and improvise independently to the very possible extent and later in conjunction with Client to be able to Govern the SD lifecycle End to End.
  2. SIAM Acceptance / Collaboration: Client organization is a huge pool of stakeholders and to bring in Governance through SIAM, it requires a conscious effort at Client end to embrace SIAM within their ecosystem. This acceptance is the key attribute for SIAM’s success in enforcing Governance framework across Partner(s) and Client. Once SIAM is accepted, collaboration starts percolating and irons out the SD as would have been expected from SIAM.
  3. Technology Strategy: SIAM needs to be enabled with Technology Strategy and have a deeper understanding of Client’s outlook towards Business Technology and the landscape as it would be in near and far future.
  4. Tools Strategy: SIAM will need understanding of Client’s Tools Strategy to ensure the partners adhere to the same and work as one team and not in silos.
  5. Process Strategy: Well defined Process Strategy from the Client will empower and enable SIAM to ensure the same is percolated well within the Partner ecosystem.
  6. Partner Strategy: A well-defined Partner Strategy will enable SIAM to be more vigilant and aligned towards apt Partner selection and ensuring Client’s Process, Tools and Business Strategy are well embraced / adopted within the Partner ecosystem.

Looks easy, however is it that easy to adopt and adapt SIAM? I’ll be continuing these aspects in the coming blogs to understand and discuss about the minute details in detail.

Happy reading and keep abreast.

P.S. These are my opinion based on years of experience and engagement in the SIAM space. Further views are solicited and appreciated.

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Satyendra Seth
Senior Delivery Manager


Satyendra Seth

Senior Delivery Manager

Service Integration and Management (SIAM) Fact Sheet

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