Group pushes framework to help CIOs better manage technology

An association of vendors has created a group to promote the emerging IT4IT open standard and reference architecture for managing information technology.

The Open Group said Monday its IT4IT Forum will be an online place where IT executives can meet to learn about and lead development of this new architecture for portfolio management.

The reference architecture — which proponents say will complement process frameworks like ITIL, CoBit, SAFe and TOGAF — “will enable the provision of data-driven insights that help IT organizations focus on business outcomes while delivering solutions faster and with reduced cost and risk,” the Open Group said in a release.

Hewlett-Packard, one of the original backers of  IT4IT says it “enables IT to achieve the same level of traceability, predictability, and efficiency that supply chain management delivers to most businesses.”

Separately, HP said it has incorporated the IT4IT reference architecture in its IT management software portfolio.

“The IT4IT open standard provides vendors, service providers, and businesses with a common blueprint to guide all products and solutions for interoperability, compliance and business insight,” HP said in a statement.

HP products aligned with the IT4IT standard include

  • HP Propel  – A front door for all IT services providing users a unified, consumer-oriented services shopping experience. HP Propel’s open architecture aggregates current systems and rapidly on-boards new services and suppliers.
  • HP Enterprise Maps  – An enterprise architecture solution HP says helps identify waste and redundancies to successfully drive IT transformation.

The Open Group’s initiative to drive IT4IT towards an accepted industry standard is an important move to simplify and improve IT operations overall,” Ajay Singh, HP’s senior vice president and general manager for IT operations management, said in a statement.

HP is a founding member of the IT4IT Forum. Others include enterprise architects and IT leaders from organizations such as Royal Dutch Shell, Accenture, Achmea, Munich RE and PricewaterhouseCoopers. They and others have been working on IT4IT for two years, according to one team member.

Earlier this year the first formal presentation on IT4IT was made at an  Open Group meeting in Amsterdam. A blog inviting people to that meeting said that  “there are many IT standards and frameworks. But a major gap remains: there has been no development of a complete IT reference architecture under open governance. Consultancies and analyst firms have proprietary material, and some authors have explored the concept. But unlike other industry verticals and functions, there has been no broadly accepted end to end architectural representation of the full span of activities across the IT value chain. Retail has the ARTS model; telecommunications has eTOM; banking now has BIAN; and similar efforts can be found in other industry sectors. But the guidance for IT has been fragmented, or domain-specific, or primarily narrative – not expressed with the full architectural rigor of a multi-view reference model.

IT4IT is “a framework specifically targeted to architects who find themselves supporting IT management, IT service management, Agile development, DevOps, and similar concerns. Based on a value stream model, capability architecture, ontology, and systems architecture, the framework provides a comprehensive architectural view of IT management.”

An IT4IT industry standard to truly enable the business of IT “is long overdue,” Rick Ancona, PwC’s chief technology officer, said in a statement. “The industry is ever changing and IT needs to evolve to meet the needs of the business while effectively managing the IT services provided both internally and externally.  By driving an industry standard at the reference architecture level, we will truly achieve interoperability among our software vendors providing the strongest IT environment available, thus allowing us to focus our energies on differentiating the business services instead of focusing on how best to manage IT.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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