IT4IT is a vendor-neutral Reference Architecture for managing the business of IT, consisting of a formal IT operating model, based on the value chain concept that revolutionised manufacturing, known as the IT Value Chain.


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What is IT4IT™?

The Value Chain

The IT Value Chain comprises of four major IT Value Streams, which align to what IT traditionally calls “Plan, Build, Deliver, and Run”. The standard is also made up of a three-level functional Reference Architecture, and a set of supporting activities.

IT4IT Value Chain

The Four Value Streams

The four major IT value streams are:

  • Value Stream One - Strategy to Portfolio, or S2P. Define your strategy to balance and broker your portfolio
  • Value Stream Two - Requirement to Deploy, or R2D. Prioritize every requirement to build the best services and deploy them
  • Value Stream Three - Request to Fulfill, or R2F. Handle each request by streamlining the process to fulfill it
  • Value Stream Four - Detect to Correct, or D2C. Seek to detect issues and to correct them before they impact the user

The Reference Architecture

At the center of the Value Chain sits the Reference Architecture, underpinning and tying together the Value Streams.

IT4IT Reference Architecture

This diagram shows the first level of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture. On first appearance it looks rather linear, but this is not the case. It actually reveals a continuous flow, with feedback running all the way through it.

The blue boxes are the Functional Components, which act upon the Key Data Objects (the black circles).

Notice that the Key Data Objects are tied together with solid lines. These lines represent the Relationships between Objects.

The purple circles represent a special designation of Data Object, the Service Backbone Data Object. These are characterized by physical objects in the Service Model.

The IT4IT Reference Architecture stripped downIT4IT Reference Architecture Stripped Down

Finally, strip off the Functional Components and you have a great view of the Relationships between all of the Key Data Objects, and how you can trace them from the beginning to the end, and from the end to the beginning by referring to the Service Backbone Data Objects.

The Service Model

The Reference Architecture is itself characterized by the Service Model. The Service Model depicts the lifecycle of a service as it moves through the Value Streams.

The IT4IT Service Model IT4IT Service Model

IT4IT™ identifies three lifecycle phases during the journey through the Service Model:

  • 1. The Conceptual Model
  • 2. The Logical Model
  • 3. The Realized Service Model

The Conceptual Model could be described as the “marketing plan” of the service. It represents the beginnings of understanding why you’re offering the service, who the customers are, and when and how you are going to offer it. It is the first thoughts regarding the service’s costs and benefits.

The Logical Model encompasses the typical models you might use in software development and project management, and the actual creation of the capabilities that the service needs to operate.

In the Realized Service Model, the service may be released or deployed into the operating environment, and staged in the Service Catalog for the customer to subscribe to. It becomes a true physical service.

You can read more about the principles of IT4IT in this article.

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