IT Operations Management (ITOM)

Introducing IT4IT Reference Architecture: A blueprint for the end-to-end lifecycle of IT services

Introducing IT4IT Reference Architecture: A blueprint for the end-to-end lifecycle of IT services


Guest post by Tomer Engel and Keith Jahn – Product Foundation Services, HP Software



If you’re in an IT organization at a reasonably large enterprise, you know how long it can take to adapt to new approaches to managing IT. But you also know that as hard as it may be, the disruptive nature of consumerization, cloud, big data and mobility are forcing big technological and structural changes.


The pace of business change has increased to levels never seen before, and the traditional IT operating model cannot keep up. An IT shop can no longer do everything itself. Now IT must become a service provider/broker, combining internal services with offerings from multiple external providers. It’s a difficult transition, made more complex by IT increasingly delivering all offerings on a subscription basis through a catalogue-type service experience.


In the midst of all these changes, IT organizations still need to optimize their budget in order to support the legacy systems of record that power the core business processes along with the innovations that come with the new style of IT.

This is about much more than shifts in technology. A new approach to the IT operating model requires changes in behavior, which are often harder to embrace.


A new style of IT demands a new IT operating model


Next week at The Open Group conference in London, senior HP technologists will play key roles in launching IT4IT Reference Architecture, a new industry standard for the business of IT.


IT4IT is an operating model for the new style of IT that spans the end-to-end lifecycle of the services that IT delivers.


Designed over two years by a consortium of IT leaders from multiple industries, IT4IT was borne out of a recognition that how IT manages itself needs to evolve for the new service-centric era.


What is IT4IT?


Intended to be more prescriptive and architectural than ITIL or COBIT, IT4IT is focused on defining, sourcing, consuming, and managing IT services by looking holistically at the entire IT value chain. While traditional frameworks and standards place their primary emphasis on process, IT4IT is process agnostic, focused instead on the data needed to manage a service through its lifecycle. It then describes the functional components (software) that are required to produce and consume the data. Once integrated together, a systems of record fabric for IT management is created that ensures full visibility and traceability of the service from cradle to grave.


It is meant to be a prescriptive blueprint for running IT at enterprise scale (e.g. large, global multi-national companies).

Although initiatives like the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) focus on how to scale up agile software development for large IT organizations, IT organizations have a much broader scope than just software/application development.





As you can see in Figure 1 above, IT4IT focuses on the entire IT value chain; everything from help desk, data centers, end user training, and hardware infrastructure to the administrators and technicians that keep everything running as part of its Requirements to Deploy or the Detect to Correct value streams. Other value streams include Strategy to Portfolio (planning) and Request to Fulfill (consumption).


Services Not Software


Within the context of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, IT services could be software-centric (applications), but applications are not the only services provided by IT.


Help desk, collaboration, communication (mobile phone), personal productivity (laptop) and repair services are examples for non-software centric IT services that are typically offered by IT organizations. The IT4IT Reference Architecture provides a process-agnostic framework for defining, sourcing and running services.


It places equal emphasis on delivery and consumption, which is new and different than traditional approaches. It is also meant to foster vendor- and product-agnostic integration architecture, focusing on information model of the IT domain (IT data objects and proper linkages between these data objects throughout their lifecycle).


The IT Value Chain


Ultimately, IT4IT enables IT to achieve the same level of traceability, predictability, and efficiency that supply chain management and CRM provides for businesses, so you can deliver the right service at the right time for the right price.


Learn more


IT4IT is an important initiative within HP, and the launch at The Open Group will be supported with presentations by Lars Rossen, Distinguished Technologist and Chief Architect of IT4IT initiative; Solution Architect Kees van den Brink; and Georg Bock, Senior Director of Portfolio Strategy for HP Software IT Management.


You can read more and contribute to The Open Group’s IT4IT Forum here.


Drive IT Transformation

HP Enterprise Maps can help you understand your overall IT landscape and business architecture to improve strategic business planning and drive IT transformation plans to adopt IT4IT.

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