IT4IT - Managing the Business of IT

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture is a Digital Product Blueprint for Cost Savings and Automation

How many failed and de-railed technology solution implementations has your company been through? It’s past time to reevaluate your digital transformation strategy. Become the hero of your business by implementing a standardized operational backbone that saves money, automates processes, and reduces the waste and friction in your current technology solutions to keep you moving forward ahead of your competitors efficiently and effectively.

Enterprise Architects, Digital Practitioners, Release Chain Engineers, Release Chain Managers, Digital Product Development Teams, and CIOs may relate to many of today’s most common challenges, such as when moving to the cloud, deploying Agile or DevOps, undergoing a digital transformation, or moving to a product-centric operating model. It may seem inevitable to suffer through the risk and pain of fragmentation, redundancy, insufficient structure, error-prone manual processes, and a general lack of understanding across the value chain. Reaching agility, scalability, and extensibility is possible when rationalization, standardization, and automation are the foundation of your processes.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, is a game-changing foundation for digital systems professionals. It provides prescriptive guidance to design, source, and manage services across a full range of value chain activities. It’s a blueprint for increasing operational efficiency so that a company can deliver maximum value for the least possible cost with the most predictability. It may sound too good to be true, so we’ll explain how it’s done and why we’re so confident.

The Open Group completed case studies from a cross-section of vertical industries, including Oil and Gas, Finance and Insurance, and the Technology sector, which show how they have used the IT4IT Reference Architecture to add value to their businesses with automation projects, streamlining software and service portfolios, and transforming to more agile, digital working models.

Known Benefits

It’s been said, “an hour of planning can save you ten hours of doing,” but only when you have a proven and effective strategy.

Digital systems teams running on the IT4IT engine reap large rewards in cost savings and automation freeing up valuable resources for continuous innovation. Especially for teams that act as integrators to multiple suppliers, by having an effective “how” discussion at the start, everyone will benefit from removing costly, time-consuming, and error-prone implementations.

With IT4IT usage at the core, CIOs demonstrate that providing a consolidated, modernized, and automated tool chain which accelerates the adoption of digital transformation while reducing costs isn’t a myth. Release Chain Managers efficiently build an integrated set of tools to facilitate digital product delivery. Digital Product Development Teams seamlessly co-create a target architecture with the business. And with all this success, team members experience less stress, more job satisfaction, and are less likely to quit during an implementation which is even more valuable in today’s challenging job market.

Identifying Challenges, Analyzing Data, and Finding Solutions

Reaching this technology Utopia requires taking a hard and honest look at your current processes and systems. You might find a surprising lack of understanding of the tooling landscape, hidden potential issue areas, poor training plans for demonstrating how digital product tools are integrated with other tools, redundant capabilities, and the potential for these cost-draining issues to occur again and again as your business evolves. What Enterprise Architects, Digital Practitioners, Release Chain Engineers, Release Chain Managers, Digital Product Development Teams, and CIOs have in common is their need to demonstrate that there is effective control of the investment, in both time and money, including the ability to bring in or retire tools with little disruption.

Reliable solutions begin by using the IT4IT Standard. The multi-step process begins with rationalization by creating a structured inventory of your current tools and plotting them against their capabilities and functional components. This includes components such as the application type, estimated costs, user base, value stream and capability map, and scoring the strategic fit, value, risk, and customer satisfaction. Refer to our full case study for a value stream and capability mapping example.

The initial analysis will highlight your business’ key challenges and gaps. Often the most critical find is in multiple tools supporting the same capability which has a direct negative impact on cost and complexity. Whether redundant or not, you may also identify capabilities that are poorly supported either due to their custom-built structure or the number of manual activities required, such as in testing and deployment. Existing tools may also lack the integrations required for data flows between the data objects they host. These findings are extremely common, and many are solvable.

Once analyzed, your business will create a vision of the target tool chain based on a new target technology operating model. This starts by identifying your digital technology management strategy and vision and identifying key gaps that need addressing, including where DevOps may enable improvements in productivity and effectiveness. You’ll explore how you might enable the building blocks for innovation, agility, scalability, and extensibility, deliver self-service, and leverage new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). In the process, you’ll identify existing strategic tools and vendors and opportunities for rationalizing or simplifying your tooling landscape. The result is more integrated and automated processes and support systems which accelerate the flow of work and create transparency and traceability across value streams.

Long-term Outcomes

Businesses worldwide of all sizes and industries using the IT4IT standard report that the benefits are ongoing during and after implementation. The most common long-term benefits include improved support of agile and digital transformation, improved efficiency, and improved effectiveness. Costs are reduced through fewer manual activities, removal of redundancies, and a higher degree of collaboration and information exchange. The insight gained during this process through data transparency will make your business more competitive by ensuring easier adoption of new practices and tools as your business evolves.

Experience the benefits for yourself. If you are an Enterprise Architect, Digital Practitioner, Release Chain Engineer, Release Chain Manager, a CIO, or a member of a Digital Product Development Team, contact us today to learn how tool rationalization and standardization through the IT4IT Reference Architecture can support the building and implementation of your winning strategy.

To learn more about IT4IT Reference Architecture and review the case studies, visit www.opengroup.org/it4it.

Watch this video to see how we’ve used Legos to illustrate and represent the IT4IT experience: https://youtu.be/hyEnlzleStA.

If you are interested in helping to develop, evolve, and drive the adoption of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, then you can find out more about joining The Open Group IT4IT Forum at www.opengroup.org/it4it-forum.

Members of the IT4IT Forum include Enterprise Architects and IT department leaders or industry consultants from Accenture, Achmea, Architecting the Enterprise, Armstrong Process Group, AT&T, ATOS, BP, Capgemini, DXC Technology, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Munich RE, Origin Energy, PwC, Royal Dutch Shell, UMBRiO, and University of South Florida.


One comment

Leave a Reply