Mastering Chaos for IT Managers Through the IT4IT™ Standard

By The Open Group

From cloud computing and big data, to the Internet of Things and digital product delivery, the nature of IT has changed dramatically. As a result, today’s IT departments are under enormous pressure to help organizations remain competitive throughout the digitalization process. Traditionally, IT departments have not been built to focus on  development, and are not yet agile enough to handle a business environment that must constantly adapt to an ever-evolving marketplace.

Although the role of IT has changed in recent years, the way in which it runs often remains the same. This is because IT departments are still run by engineers and technologists – or anyone whose main focus revolves around creating technologies. As a result, business models within IT have been slow to evolve, and have – up until now – been seen as a non-priority. This lack of interest has restricted IT from becoming the self-functioning business machine that it has the potential to be. Looking forward, IT departments must change and adopt to a model where IT is managed more effectively. If not, these departments run the risk of dealing with the impending chaos that often ends up hindering their organizations.

Importance of Technology for the IT Role

Today, the main priority of the IT manager is to take a wider view of the business function, being able to identify solutions or make quick decisions as the business function continues to move along. They are in charge of solving problems quickly, effectively and are entrusted with keeping the bottom line top of mind.

When identifying solutions, it’s up to the IT manager to ask the right questions and understand the difference between valuable technological advancements and those that are simply trendy for the time being. This can be especially hard in this current landscape, with seemingly-innovative technologies being introduced on a regular basis. But really understanding when to invest – or when not to invest – in certain technologies is key. Using the wrong technology within an organization can disrupt the entire IT function, stop it from running smoothly and drain resources from other parts of the organization.

A Framework to Support the IT Value Chain

One of the essential principles behind the IT4IT Reference Architecture is the idea that the IT function should be both organized and managed as a business. This is because – similarly to the organization – it has its own value chain and processes, and it needs its own information systems and tools as support. The problem is that the IT function has traditionally worked in silos, and has never been constructed with a holistic design and vision in mind. Instead, it has has been organized through a series of ad doc and fragmented initiatives. Though it has worked this way for years, it’s becoming more of an issue as the demand for new technology trends continue to increase. The modern IT function needs to reorganize itself, keeping the IT value chain at the heart of everything.

The IT4IT Reference Architecture helps am IT leaders keep a focus on which functional components and data sets are critical in order for IT departments to manage the IT value chain. This open standard simplifies and accelerates creating a seamless service or product delivery pipeline in IT. For example, many businesses have looked to the IT4IT standard to simplify and accelerate  their IT Tool Rationalization initiatives. The IT4IT Forum has interviewed its many members and collected their best practices for Tool Rationalization initiatives into a single set of steps to follow when utilizing the IT4IT Reference Architecture to organize this activity across IT as a whole.. Utilizing this initiative decreases costs, tool complexities, and improves interoperability across value streams and productivity across the organization. Ultimately, it helps teams make the transition from costly tool duplication and redundancy to an optimized, streamlined, and automated pipeline of integrated tools supporting the delivery of digital products.

In the end, the pressure to use the most innovative and future-proof technologies will continue to be a key driver for organizations. The onus of researching, recommending and implementing the right solutions – all while keeping tabs on the bottom line – will remain with the IT manager. Luckily, the IT4IT open standard provides the means to map  and assess all requests for new tools as part of the whole IT value chain, putting IT in the context of a business model and allowing it to become a contributor to the enterprise. In this way, the IT4IT standard provides a roadmap for digital businesses looking to compete and thrive amongst competitive organizations for years to come.

To learn more about how IT Managers can utilize the IT4IT Reference Architecture, please download our guide here: Tool Rationalization using the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture Standard     @theopengroup