Configuration Management in SOM or SIAM Model

SOM (Service Oriented Management) or SIAM (Service Integration and Management) is described “an approach to manage multiple Suppliers of Services (Business Services as well as IT services) and integrating them to provide a single business-facing IT organisation. The aim is to seamlessly integrate interdependent services from various internal and external Service Providers into end-to-end services in order to meet business requirements.” Might sound bookish however the key things to remember are “Service Providers“, “Seamless Integrations” and “Single Business facing IT Organisation“.

On the other hand, CMDB (or Configuration Management Database) as we know is one of the most critical component required to deliver your Services successfully and support ITSM processes. The CMDB, which stores your CIs and Relationships centrally, provides answers to the important questions, such as –

  • What do we have?”
  • Where it is Located?”
  • How it is Related?”
  • Which Services does it Impact?”
  • And “Who Manages or Supports it?”

Hence a fully populated, integrated CMDB is also referred as a “Single Source of Truth” for your IT Organisation data.

Now, in the SOM / SIAM model of operations, where your Services are provided by multiple Service Providers some interesting questions do arise, which came up during recent discussion with a Service Architect at one of the biggest media organisations –

  • The whole point to have a Service Provider is, to provide “Services” to your organisation. Hence is it not Service Provider’s responsibility to manage and maintain their infrastructure and update their CMDB required to deliver their Services? Given that, how relevant updating Service Owner’s CMDB is, in this context?
  • What is the level of information do you store in Service Owner CMDB? And how do you decide what is stored in a Service Owner CMDB?

While there may be no absolute right or wrong answers – some Service Owners may store Service Providers’ component-level detail, others maintain the Service Provider details at a “Service” CI level. However, having done some of the biggest SOM/SIAM implementations in UK, here are the Key Questions to be asked, to explore these scenarios:

  • Do you care about Where or How your Services are delivered from?
    There could be good reasons you do, and there may be valid reasons you don’t (especially in cases of Cloud Service Providers you may not).
  • What are the key parameters to Measure the Services (and Service Providers)?
    Is this availability of the Service? Number of P1 / P2 Incidents and so on.
  • What do you need to support your SLAs and Reporting Requirements?
    Typically some of these might be driven by contractual requirement between the Service Owner and the Service Providers, however it is important to understand reporting requirements from the system for the periodic Service Reviews.
  • What do you need to Support day-to-day ITSM processes which consume the CMDB data?
    For example, which CMDB CI level will you raise Change Requests. Is this on a Technical Service or individual component level?
  • Do you record any Outages / Planned Works notifications from your Service Providers?

Based upon the responses to the questions, you may be able to draw the CMDB “CI Eligibility Matrix”.  The Eligibility Matrix based upon the above criteria will help identify the CIs to be implemented for purposeful, efficient CMDB to be implemented from a Consumer point-of-view, in a SOM / SIAM model of operations.

The Configuration Management can be (sometimes) a long journey, but is always an exciting one; and there is incremental value at every step along the way! All the best!


Hrishi Nandedkar
Solution Architect

Interested in learning more about the real-life use cases? Or see how a Federated CMDB can help resolve CMDB in SOM/SIAM issues? Contact Fusion Global Business Solutions.

By Daniel Swann