Does this sound like you? You are struggling to keep track of all your services, finding out who is using what service from what vendor, when each service is being used and the purpose of all. Add cloud to the mix, and you have mind-boggling complexity and a major challenge trying to manage multi-source environments.
While systems integration was once the big concern, today’s CIOs need to look to services integration. Companies today need to obtain services from multiple vendors so that they can get best-of-breed solutions, cost efficiencies and the flexibility needed to meet ever-changing and ever-more-demanding business needs.
That means your IT department provides a service to the business, but that service might actually be composed of networking services from Verizon, infrastructure services from HP and application services from SAP. When something goes wrong, where is the problem located? Who’s responsible? To make all these services work together and meet security and compliance policies, you need a comprehensive strategy for service integration and management (SIAM, for short). Otherwise, you’ll be left with the dreaded “supplier sprawl,” a huge challenge to IT in terms of governance, security, reliability and more.
But how does IT integrate these external services with existing services delivered by IT? And what if IT didn’t even source these services to begin with?
Supplier sprawl makes IT’s job more complex and can reflect eroding corporate confidence in IT. What’s required is the creation of a service integration layer that makes it possible to have a big-picture view and real-time visibility into the state of IT services in the organization. The IT department needs to establish a standard IT architecture and integration model for all services. This helps IT expedite the on-boarding of future suppliers and release of new services at reduced cost and complexity.
6 questions to get started
One of the first things you need to do is get a handle on the extent of supplier sprawl in your organization. You need software and services that help identify all the services—cloud and traditional alike—that are being used across the organization. Start by establishing ownership for service integration and management. For each major IT service provided for your businesses, determine who owns:
- The procurement process for IT services?
- The budget for that IT service?
- The final decision on service level agreements?
- Sign off on external supplier contracts?
- Onboarding and integrating new IT services?
- Researching new IT services?
Once you create your baseline, you can create a services integration program in-house, or you can look for an experienced vendor who can help you build the critical capabilities to become an IT service broker.
Steps to follow in becoming an IT service broker
Creating an integrated, transparent IT service supply chain requires an organization to assess its strategic goals and portfolio of services carefully—and be able to rapidly institute change when it is required. First, you’ll need to define the future state of your organization starting with the business impact. Then, using the questions above, you should create a current-state assessment that establishes the gaps with the future state. You’ll need to establish a baseline so that you can measure progress toward your ideal future state. And, you should create a business case that spells out the quantified value and benefit of the future state. Then you need a comprehensive project and schedule to transform your organization. This is where SIAM is an opportunity. A comprehensive service integration strategy with key performance measurements tracked throughout its execution gives you the chance to show how IT is providing business relevant, high performing services. It’s an opportunity for IT to reassert itself–to start acting as the organization’s service broker rather than just a service provider.
The new white paper, HP Service Integration and Management , serves as a guide to help any IT leader get closer to the ideal state and avoid the inevitable pitfalls of supplier sprawl.
For more on SIAM, visit www.hp.com/go/siam.