Business Service vs. Product Thinking

By Myles Suer, #CIOChat Facilitator, CIO.com Contributor, and Dell Boomi Head of Global Enterprise Marketing

Many years ago, I was asked to review an early draft of ITIL Version 3.0. I remember even taking the draft service strategy book on vacation with me. My wife asked me at one point why I was getting so excited about a ‘tech manual’ while she said that she was reading something truly exciting, a romance novel. In the end, I made many comments and suggestions as a business strategist. Most did not get accepted.

A Case Study on the Origin of the IT4IT™ Standard

Like many of technology’s better creations, the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture standard was born out of necessity.

The IT landscape is continually shaped by innovation. Despite that being a cause for celebration for consumers and end-users, the introduction of these new technologies – such as the mainframe, the PC, client servers, the Internet, cloud computing, IoT, etc. – meant that the IT function had, effectively, lost track of what it needed to manage and control.

An open standard architecture-based approach to managing the business of IT was needed. This would have to be a holistic, end-to-end, service-based description of everything the IT function needs, and to be a good steward of all the IT components, solutions, and services within its remit. It was this issue that set in motion the train of events that brought us to where we are today. But there are no grounds for complacency. The work continues.

Even today the complexity and pervasiveness of, and the dependency on, IT systems continues to grow. In many cases, in many organizations today, the management solution is a loose collection of siloed processes. We are still not paying enough attention on how to remain in control. That is why the IT4IT standard is such an important instrument to manage IT, and why we have chosen to document how it came to be.

The Future Enterprise Architect

Before describing the future Enterprise Architect, we will reflect on the current Enterprise Architect, one of their customers – a current line of business leader – and the strained relationship between them. For the sake of personalization, we will call the current Enterprise Architect ‘Archie’, and current line of business leader ‘Loretta’.

In the future state of Enterprise Architecture, the relationship between the two evolves towards one that is more productive and trusted. We describe what a future Enterprise Architect might look like and summarize the salient differences.

Why the IT4IT™ Standard is Key to Driving Business Value for CIOs

Forrester predicted that 2019 would be the year of rebuilding foundations and measured innovation for the CIO. As part of this, they suggested that CIOs not put the proverbial ‘cart’ before the ‘horse’, and to focus on providing solid foundations while taking a measured approach to innovation. Yet despite the guidance to focus on practicality, many CIOs still aspire to be seen as a technology evangelist and to work with smart business partners to create major change within the organization. This has left many CIOs at a stalemate in regards to their role and responsibilities, especially as the CEO and CDO roles continue to evolve.

Implement Agile IT Strategic Planning with Enterprise Architecture

In this modern age, Digital Transformation continues to be a priority for company executives. They know that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IOT), and Big Data are driving their ability to improve customer experience, stay ahead of the competition and generate business growth.  However, with IT teams entrenched in managing day-to-day technology, it is difficult for IT to stay abreast of the strategic discussions occurring at the business level and proactively plan for associated IT upgrades, modifications, or new systems. This disconnect can result in a lagging approach to IT planning especially as business decisions are made in fast-moving agile environments.

The Interesting Case of Who’s Using the IT4IT™ Standard – Part Two – The Oil and Gas, IT, Retail, Logistics, and Engineering Sectors

The Open Group IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group uses a value chain framework that applies this concept to IT by defining an integrated IT management framework focusing on the lifecycle of services. This allows IT to achieve the same level of business predictability and efficiency that supply chain management has allowed for the business.

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