Implementation of multi-vendor management of IT services based on SIAM and MSI approaches

Current situation of the IT environment in organisations

The original model, based on a single, integrated ERP system supported by a single vendor, is rapidly evolving towards building an IT environment with multiple vendors and multiple IT solutions simultaneously used by organisations. The advent of cloud solutions, the increasing popularity of eCommerce services and the search for best-in-class solutions is not only causing greater complexity in IT architecture, but also greater complexity in the landscape of IT providers serving an organisation. Using of multiple IT service providers in place of a single integrator is sometimes an inevitable necessity, often an opportunity, but also a threat to the organisation.

The opposing landscapes of IT suppliers usually look like this:

  • Large integrator – one large supplier providing all competences and required SLAs – Problem: Costs and ‘sluggishness’;
  • Multiple providers – many smaller service providers with high domain expertise – Problem: Dispersion of responsibility.

For this reason, proper multi-vendor management is the key to success for IT managers.

Opportunities and risks of using multiple service providers

The multi-vendor IT services landscape has significant strengths, but it also generates significant risks.

Opportunities Risks
  • Easily expand resources thanks to include new contractors
  • Meeting of changing needs faster
  • Easier resource replacement
  • Solution resistant to the loss of a specific competence by the integrator
  • Increased competition reduces costs
  • More services and competences available to organisations
  •  Reduces time to market
  • Allows the IT organisation to be in a better negotiating position with the supplier
  • Allows the use of best-in-class resources e.g.: niche but highly effective technologies
  • Services in some areas are required for a limited time
  • Each provider has different service level agreements (SLAs) from the definition to the organisation of the call handling process
  • In integrated solutions and complex systems there are many dependencies between areas/systems that make it difficult to identify the responsible vendor
  • Solving a single problem requires coordination of multiple suppliers
  • The user still needs a single point of reporting a issues
  • Separated sustomer and vendors teams can operate independently and uncoordinated
  • Every supplier fulfils its contractual obligations, but no one ensures that the whole end to end process will work as expected
  • Fragmentation makes supervision and management more difficult
  • Providers may focus on blaming others instead of seeking a solution

Key actions to enable effective use of multiple service providers

To effectively exploit the opportunities presented by the use of a multi-sourcing service model, while at the same time eliminating risks, we need to focus on key issues:

  • Responsibility – how do we establish and mutually agree on the responsibilities of suppliers, especially at the interface between services, and then translate these into requirements and provisions in contracts?
  • Coordination – how do we ensure cooperation and healthy relationships between suppliers, establish effective communication channels and methods of coordination, reward cooperation and effective communication?
  • Standards – how to define standards, including SLAs, considering the constraints of individual suppliers, the need to coordinate work and ensure cooperation?
  • Surveillance – how do you measure the effectiveness of an end to end service, how do you build the right KPIs and get the data for them?

For clients wishing to effectively implement a multi-vendor management model and provide a solution that addresses all these issues, we offer a suite of services and tools to properly prepare for multi-vendor coordination and effectively manage services in such an environment. Our consultants will provide:

  • Comprehensive identification of services, service linkages between different providers and their description;
  • A proper description of the responsibilities of individual suppliers and a clearly defined scope and method of cooperation with other suppliers;
  • Establish viable SLAs for individual IT services, aligned with supplier constraints. Identify changes required to the SLA of individual suppliers resulting from collaboration needs;
  • Build KPIs for evaluating collaboration, methods of measuring them and identifying tools for reporting them;
  • Described processes and procedures for users, administrators and providers. Indication of rules for the registration, handling and supervision of specific types of tasks;
  • Describing and assessing the risks, and for each risk identified, describing a plan to reduce the impact and likelihood of occurrence;
  • Implementing multi-vendor management, implementing a multi-sourcing service integrator function;
  • Selection and implementation of IT service management tools in a multi-vendor environment, e.g. JIRA or IFS FSM;
  • Realising the function of the service integrator.

Project flow according to ICA methodology

Thanks to our proven methodology, the implementation of multi-vendor management based on the SIAM or MIS approach can proceed in clearly defined steps with clearly identified deliverables.

In addition to implementing end-to-end IT service management in a multi-vendor environment, our company can take on the role of service coordinator, relieving the burden on the IT organisation and allowing it to focus on strategic tasks.