Attribute-based IT Service Management

Follow-up report on Service North 2019, Manchester by Markus Müller

Service North Conference as the world's only SIAM conference

The Service North Conference is the only conference in the world that is exclusively about SIAM. It took place for the third time in Manchester this year. Last year I gave a practical lecture and this year I was there as a delegate. I have summarized the most important things on this blog.

Keynote by Cheryl Stevens MBE

The keynote this time came from Cheryl Stevens MBE, Vice Director of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who heads IT for the pension insurance company in the UK. Your topic fit like a fist to our Blueponte motto “Bringing Back Trust To IT”:

Cheryl emphasizes the different needs of users in her talk and asks how we can bring IT solutions in line with users’ needs and at the same time be courageous and innovative. In her organization, the motivation is that other people’s money is spent there, in her case taxpayers’ money.

She emphasizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different customers have different needs, which leads to different IT services: “We don’t want just one supplier and we don’t want a solution that is suitable for everyone. And today’s solution is not necessarily what we need tomorrow.

No uniform service standard in the UK

I find it interesting that there is also no uniform service standard in the UK, the home country of ITIL, which all departments in the government have to follow. What I also found very interesting was a very practical case in which Cheryl spoke about the high hurdles that have to do with the organization’s special clientele. Building trust is essential here, because the business model of this authority means that the organization has to gain trust from your customers every day.

The case

“If you cannot successfully complete an identity check online, your online journey is already over and you have to come to the magistrate,” she explains.

Cheryl goes on to explain how the UK Pension Insurance Company has orchestrated its IT services for pension applications from start to finish. Above all, this includes security attributes in order to strengthen the retirees’ trust in the use of IT services. What does attribute-based IT service management mean? In order to confirm the identity of the applicant and to build trust, the organization differentiates between three classes of attributes:

  1. Confidence in the meeting
  2. Confidence in the act
  3. Trust in the person

SIAM enables IT departments to take back more responsibility from service providers and thus resolve the risk of being dependent on them. In this way, knowledge about business processes is increased again, which is essential for digitization. The focus is placed on the control of IT services and enables the further outsourcing of IT commodity services at market prices.

Dynamic Trust Hub

What I also found very interesting in this example of applying for a pension is not only that every transaction is different, but that it also comes through different channels. DWP deals with it in such a way that a so-called “comprehensive real-time trust rating” is calculated in real time, based on the attributes already mentioned, what constitutes trust for this service. Here is an excerpt:

  • Trust in the exchange of information
  • Trust in guidelines
  • Consent Management
  • Service Orchestration
  • Behavior analysis
  • risk management
  • Transaction risk

The entire management of such trust attributes has a name at DWP: It is called the ‘Dynamic Trust Hub’. Can someone from the Austrian Pension Insurance Institution tell us how the service for applying for our pensions is being digitized there?

Orchestration of service attributes

For me, what I take away from this lecture is: The end-to-end orchestration of service attributes is crucial for the perception of service quality. A nice article on how service delivery did not go optimally if services are not planned from start to finish can be found here.

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