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SIAM for the Digital World

Andre Peppiatt
13 Sep 2022

When you want to implement a SIAM model: how do you decide what form that should take and how do you go about implementing it – my Blog on SIAM for the Digital World covers some things to consider.

Whenever I think about SIAM, there are three key things that drive the direction I want to go in:

  • People first – Focus on the Customer and Employee Experience
  • Data Led – Use metrics that matter to guide our decisions
  • Outcome Driven – Trace the value and uncover the leading indicators for success

Implementing SIAM is about transformation and transformation is about enabling organisational change. SIAM Transformations often involve aligning contracts, data, processes and tools across multiple providers.

There is no single framework that can provide all of the answers we need in order to enact this change. If we take a North Star for where we want the organisation to go and then create an engine for change that can iterate and evolve with the business, then that engine can power the iterative and safe design and implementation of the transformation framework that the organisation needs from the ground up.

In that way, we can ensure that the nuances are captured, and the core values of the organisation are upheld.

To follow that North Star, it’s important for a SIAM operating model design and framework to be emergent and to be created through aligning the organisation to best practices and a core set of principles and drivers.

The organisational change empowered through operating model design needs to be carried out through a repeatable process of small changes followed by measuring the results so that the organisation can evolve into one that is continually learning, improving and innovating for its customers and employees (stakeholders).

There are three types of transformation :


  • Working in the same way we are today with more efficient tools
  • Using new technology to solve existing and old problems
  • Focusing on single areas of improvement such as processes, services or domains
  • Example – Replacing the ITSM tooling at the heart of an existing SIAM model whilst keeping the model and processes intact


  • Changing our ways of working to be more effective and efficient
  • Using technology to evolve how the organisation thinks about and delivers value
  • Spanning the organisation across business and technology functions
  • Example – Moving to a product centric operating model with new team structures, or FinOps adoption


  • Creating a new type of organisation that is always learning and adapting
  • Using technology to solve problems no one has thought of yet
  • Redefining the organisation from top to bottom
  • Example – Amazon went from selling books to providing cloud computing services and making tv shows and movies.

Once you’ve selected the type of transformation you need, you can begin the journey and focussing on the right details at the right time will pay dividends.
Firstly, form a high-level strategic view of the building blocks, define what the transformation is and why we need it, and create a rough shape of what the future looks like. It’s important here to think about what level of control you want to retain (commercial, operational control, mixed model or complete SIAM control) and you need to understand what that means for your organisation along with what parts you might want to “outsource” or “keep insourced”.
Next, take a closer look at the patterns and models that will be used, loosely define how the change will be driven, and create a more accurate picture of the future
Lastly, and where most of the work lies, determine the details of who, what, when and how. Define the framework for the operating model for the organisation. Define the rules and guardrails while still allowing for autonomy and accountability.

Evolving Service Management in the New Model

Traditional SIAM has been around for some time now and fundamentally provides an operating model that enables consistency of delivery amongst a number of technology service providers. It provides a consistent framework for people, processes and tools to work smoothy together to focus on the business outcomes of the organisation it is supporting. Almost always based upon ITIL, it deploys standard policies, processes, procedures and work instructions for different teams working under different contracts to work together as one so that seamless end to end IT services can be delivered.

The aim of traditional SIAM is to provide a consistent framework to enable the provision of diverse services and contracts from a number of IT Service providers such as Networks, Application Management and End User support.

Traditional SIAM can be scaled from small to large organisations and can be implemented in a phased approach that delivers change at a pace an organisation can digest – so implementing the key basis functions that link all the parts together to begin with and then developing that further with additional functions once the core is stable.

Digital Service Management (DSM) is a framework that enables the evolution of service management alongside a transformation towards a high frequency product-oriented DevOps delivery model. It can be implemented as an evolution from either Service management or Traditional SIAM. DSM is sometimes referred to as eSIAM.

The role of Service Management in this transformation is key to ensuring that as we move to the new target operating model, that we can manage the new hybrid nature of the organisation as it intersects with other building blocks of the operating model.

The DSM model creates a bridge between different ways of working in IT Delivery, from ITIL to Agile, across Service Design & Introduction, Service Coordination and Service Enablement & Experience.

The aim of DSM is to provide a consistent framework to enable the provision of services from diverse business Products. Those would vary depending on the business but for a manufacturing organisation may include Product Design, Marketing, Manufacturing, Logistics for example.

DSM (sometimes known as eSIAM) provides a best-in-class digital services capability powered by technology and accelerated delivery, providing transparency and safety through consistency across value streams and the supplier ecosystem, whilst ensuring the organisation can build products that customers want by placing the user at the heart of everything we do.


DSM creates greater control around technology spending by reducing reliance on infrastructure and servers through Cloud adoption. It streamlines delivery practices by utilising Product and DevOps concepts to bring down TCO across the digital services portfolio and it adopts automation and observability practices to reduce service governance overheads.

Reliability & Resiliency

Implementing Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) practices as a part of the operating model throughout every stage of the transformation embeds reliability as a first principle. Reducing the size of releases lowers the blast radius of change and impacts to reliability. Adopting the ‘You Build It, You Run It’ principle ensures that the best team to support a product is the one that built it.


Using SIAM transformation models and blueprints avoids the need to re-invent the wheel and learning from previous implementations can avoid the potholes and bear traps that previous transformations have encountered.


Collaboration amongst teams is created by embedding a consistent approach to service delivery, ensuring a consistent and common language, creating pre-defined team structures, clearly articulated roles and responsibilities, a Digital Standard (similar to GDS) and pipelines that enable incremental low risk change and the ability to fail fast when needed. All of these mean that different teams know what’s expected of them, so they know how to work together. It’s important to work out what levers you need to enable collaboration – there are various commercial ways of achieving it but the way in which you operate the SIAM layer day to day is key as well. A lot of collaboration is achieved through getting the disparate supplier teams to work together as one and that is where a good SIAM provider can pay dividends.


The model enables transparency around how value is delivered and how different types of work items are prioritised. Flow metrics unify a value stream into a single view of how value flows through the business to the customer.


It’s important to ensure at all times that we are using metrics that matter to measure success against our key business drivers and that the transformation is aligned to the overall business strategy and focused on business outcomes. Creating a culture of trust, transparency and accountability through observability.

Accurate and consistent data is vital to drive smart decisions and to enable personalised automation and a good SIAM model enables that.

Metrics play a vital role in the modern digital organisation and form a core aspect of transformation and creating a data led and outcome-driven operating model.

Velocity of change

Decoupling services allows for smaller faster release cycles and for getting new ideas into customers hands as soon as possible. Bringing teams together into value streams reduces handoffs and concentrates knowledge.

Moving from SIAM to eSIAM

The ideal way to implement eSIAM (DSM) is to identify a simple and non-critical product within the business and then to deploy DSM as a proof of value for that one product. It would have the autonomy to deliver change rapidly but also have the central services to support it. Once that is implemented and the mechanism and model tweaked to fit the landscape, a second product can be implemented into the model. That process would then continue with suitable check points and adjustments until the support for all of the products deemed suitable for the model were transformed.

Along that journey, some products may naturally fit together and would be aligned into portfolios with their own autonomy over the support they needed. There may well be parts of the organisation that need to stay in the original SIAM model and that can be catered for with a smaller team to support them in a legacy fashion


SIAM transformations are significant and often challenging programmes of work. But if you know where you want to get to, they can articulate the benefits of getting there and know how to make the journey a positive experience, which can then unlock huge value for organisations.