The number of companies shifting their IT into a multi-sourcing model for the provisioning of their IT services is consistently growing. In that model, the Customer contracts separate service providers to deliver required IT services. The idea behind it is to contract the best of breed providers for particular domains and to extend it to cloud providers which in effect would create an ecosystem of multiple service providers collaborating with each other for a greater good which is Customer business success. The key word is collaborating – it is a challenge to establish organizational culture and governance framework that would support the one team spirit among the service providers. This is the role of Service Integrator.
Service Integration is defined by Capgemini as “The management of separately contracted and supplied IT services to ensure they consistently work together to deliver business benefits.”
This trend brings the benefits of having the best of breed providers of service components and opens the door to adopt cloud providers, but also brings additional complexity to the business services which delivery relies on several parties. Understanding of the structure of critical business services, their support models, dependencies and service levels is more important than ever. It is the role of Service Integrator to ensure that the business customers are provided with the services they contracted and the provision of these services is controlled so that there is a visibility of how each element of the supply chain of IT service performs. The Service Integrator is expected to use Configuration Management to even greater extent than ever before. The smart use of CMDB provides capability to materialize benefits promised by majority of service integration and management disciplines. It enables efficient support of IT services, proactive assessment of impact of new developments, monitor performance of service providers and finally exploit cost savings opportunities.
Service Assets, Configuration Items and Service Records are managed across the enterprise where the Customer and its service providers participate in delivering the infrastructure supporting the IT services. The data contained within the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is central to this environment, and if that data is not securely managed and controlled, the outputs of the multi sourcing model managed will rapidly fall into disrepair.
Service Asset and Configuration Management (SACM) enables all actors in the Service Integration/ multi-vendor ecosystem to make informed strategic, tactical and operational decisions by providing a sound understanding of the business services, IT services, their components and relationships. This relies on the complete and accurate data in the CMDB and wider Configuration Management System (CMS). Reliable and available CMDB/CMS data is the key and the only success factor for the SACM service.