The IT4IT initiative offers a new level of standardization for the management of IT. It allows the IT function within an organisation to achieve the same level of business discipline, predictability and efficiency as other functions in the business, such as HR and finance.
The IT4IT standard addresses a perceived gap where an IT reference architecture was missing. Mature industry verticals (e.g. retail & telecom) and professionalized management functions (e.g. finance, supply chain & HR) all have evolving reference architectures. The IT function has none.
- The IT4IT standard enables IT management to work across the entire Value Chain in a better, faster, cheaper way with less risk.
- It provides a vendor-neutral, technology-agnostic, and industry-agnostic reference architecture for managing the business of IT, enabling insight for continuous improvement.
- It is industry-independent to solve the same problems for everyone.
- It is designed for existing landscapes and accommodates future IT paradigms.
- It is process-agnostic. It is intended to support Agile as well as waterfall approaches, and Lean Kanban process approaches as well as fully elaborated IT service management process models.
The IT4IT standard comprises two parts.
Part one: A formal IT operating model based on a value chain approach known as the IT Value Chain (see Figure 1).
Part two: A three-level functional reference architecture (see Figure 2) encompassing the four major IT value streams from the IT Value Chain.
The IT Value Chain
A value chain is a sequence of activities required to design, produce, and provide a specific good or service, along which information, materials, and worth flows. Value is added at each stage of the chain.
The IT4IT standard is organized around the IT Value Chain.
The IT Value Chain is made up of four value streams. Each stream is centered on a key aspect of the service model:
- Strategy to Portfolio (S2P)
- Requirement to Deploy (R2D)
- Request to Fulfill (R2F)
- Detect to Correct (D2C)
The Supporting Activities
The supporting activities help ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the IT Value Chain and primary value streams. These can be corporate or administrative functions that are hosted in the lines of business and/or IT.
The five supporting activities for the IT Value Chain (see Figure 1) are:
- Governance Risk & Compliance
- Sourcing & Vendor
- Intelligence & Reporting
- Finance & Assets
- Resource & Project
The IT4IT Reference Architecture
The IT4IT Reference Architecture breaks down the activities in the IT Value Chain into four key pillars for IT:
- The Service Model
- The Information Model
- The Functional Model
- The Integration Model
Each IT Value Stream is centered on:
- An essential element of the Service Model
- The configuration of key data objects (the Information Model)
- Functional components (the Functional Model)
The IT4IT standard’s Relationship to Other Standards
The ArchiMate language is used as the primary method for communicating the IT4IT Reference Architecture specification.
The IT4IT standard embraces ITIL as guidance in the definition of the IT Value Chain-related capabilities and process-driven dependencies.
The TOGAF framework has been used to develop the IT4IT Reference Architecture: the IT4IT Value Streams and Reference Architecture thus include the EA capability.