Bernard De Lisi

How to set up your multi-source integrator (MSI) for success

As IT delivery evolves from an on-premises model to a hybrid model combining cloud and traditional IT, organizations are using a variety of sourcing approaches, from full outsourcing to multisourcing to brokerage.

In my previous blog—Four things to look for in a multi-source services integrator (MSI)—I shared essential criteria to use when choosing an integrator for a multi-source IT services ecosystem. In this part 2 post, I explore the critical actions needed to ensure the chosen integrator is enabled and empowered to be successful in today’s highly complex environments.

Let’s start by recognizing that a multi-source integrator should have as its primary goals to optimize end-to-end service quality, maximize cost savings and improve customer satisfaction across the four C’s of cross-functional, coordination, control and collaboration:

cross function

Cross-functional

  • Enable smooth delivery of multi-sourced services
  • Accelerate agile service adoption

Coordination

  • Align IT with business needs
  • Emphasize financial and operational value

Control

  • Minimize operational cost
  • Provide governance to mitigate risk

Collaboration

  • Instill a partnership mindset
  • Facilitate continuous improvement

Building a multi-source integration or service integration and management (MSI/SIAM) framework designed to meet these goals is imperative, and it must be proactive and deliberate. Above all, it must include a solid governance model that addresses the people, process and technology aspects to ensure continued success for both the integrator and the client.

  • Strategy: The move to an MSI/SIAM model requires a clear and consistent definition of the “as-is” and desired “to-be” states, including investments and projects required to achieve the vision. Defining this strategy early on, even at the stage of choosing the multi-source integrator, helps set the foundation from which all stakeholders will work. A well-defined and documented strategy also communicates a strong message throughout all levels of the organization.
  • Governance: A best-in-class governance model is essential for effectively managing multiple relationships. Key policies must be established to ensure all roles, responsibilities, processes and measurements are clearly defined within the MSI/SIAM ecosystem. Governance must work in tandem with strategy to ensure all parties remain aligned to improve operational effectiveness and deliver against the “to-be” state. It also provides the proper parameters in which the multi-source integrator should operate.
  • Operations: Key roles and processes must be identified and personnel must be trained to ensure effectiveness in their roles across the entire IT delivery chain. As I mentioned in part 1, having an expert leadership team with deep experience in large IT projects, service integration and service management are key criteria when choosing a multi-source integrator. However, having the right team to manage the integrator is equally important. Experience in running operations is not akin to managing an integrator that must deliver against a strategy within a defined governance model. In addition, this is not a once-and-done step. Ensuring the right personnel and skillsets for this delivery model across all stakeholders is part of continual process improvement.
  • Technology: An effective MSI/SIAM function should be underpinned by a technological foundation to automate and integrate these multiple, disparate services. If a multi-source integrator brings the tools and best practices to support service delivery and reduce risk exposure, the next step is to ensure those tools stay current and that automation and continual process improvement are core to delivery in the well-defined governance model.

Adopting an MSI strategy, in this cloud age, does create challenges for CIOs and raises the need for a well aligned IT governance model. With these success factors in place, coupled with the 4 critical attributes used in selecting your multi-source integrator, both the MSI and the client will have a strong foundation for long-term success.

I invite you to read more about key factors for success in our white paper, Multisource Management in the Cloud Age Keys to MSI and SIAM success in Hybrid IT environments

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