Enabling a Smarter DevOps Culture with the IT4IT™ Standard

By The Open Group

The delivery of IT services to the business has changed significantly in recent times. Largely driven by the consumerization of IT, DevOps is being charged with linking development and operation teams to improve the quality and speed of delivering new offerings to consumers.This shift is being facilitated by the rapidly changing digital landscape and the increased demand for new products and services.

When it comes to the purchase of new software or applications for use within an organization, there are various factors for the modern IT manager to be mindful of. Under their remit, they must take into consideration an increased output of work, the ability to work through tasks in an efficient way, and improve upon flexibility and costs. They’re also in charge of dealing with external pressures around the increase in need for the deployment and production of applications.

This accumulation of pressures is exactly why agility within the DevOps role is so important. The development of software supports close collaboration between developers and consumers through product management and quality assurance, allowing gaps within the system to be filled and ultimately create a better product.

Mending Complexities from Conception to Design

When it comes to DevOps, there’s often a disconnect between how a service gets conceptualized to how it’s actually translated though design. This confusion has created a hurdle for those organizations looking to transform their business environment, and has left many wondering how to implement DevOps in a way that keeps the business competitive amongst challenger brands.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture provides a framework for agile development across changing scenarios related to the management of IT. In the current complex landscape, it helps facilitate the standardization of components and interfaces, allowing teams to seamlessly interchange parts without disrupting the entire value chain. It also ensures that teams are able to establish traceability, making sure that all artefacts and information consistently flow through the pipeline and IT value chain.

In contrast to commercially owned best practice frameworks such as SAFe® (Scaled Agile for the Enterprise), it’s important to understand that the IT4IT standard is not a process framework but rather an information model. It advises organizations on the way data should flow seamlessly across the IT value chain in service to product delivery. It provides the data model for how information should be exchanged between the many functions within IT. This supports traceability and governance, essential aspects of a mature DevOps framework.

Utilizing the IT4IT open standard not only creates efficiencies, but also contributes significant business value. That’s why it’s been particularly relevant, with some of the top tool vendors – ServiceNow, Micro Focus, IBM, and BMC – adopting the framework to help their customers deploy new end-to-end tool architectures. The value proposition for utilizing the framework is clear – it can ensure that service release meets business expectations, makes deliveries predictable, standardizes service deployment, and builds a culture of collaboration between IT operations and development – all while keeping innovation top of mind.

With the rapid adoption of digital technologies – cloud, DevOps, automation – came the glaring reality that most legacy IT management practices can’t keep up. That’s why the IT4IT Reference Architecture is currently the best guide to describe the end-to-end information requirements and data flows needed to guarantee consistency within the IT domain. It not only gives confidence to organizations when recording and linking all data from all stages of digital product delivery across the value chain, but helps them truly understand how to manage services and products from start to finish.

Read more about the IT4IT Reference Architecture and how it relates to enabling a smart DevOps culture, here: Driving Business Outcomes Using the IT4IT™ Standard and SAFe®

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