Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Organization Design Toolkit (103-slide PowerPoint presentation). Recent McKinsey research surveyed a large set of global executives and suggests that many companies, these days, are in a nearly permanent state of organizational flux. A rise in efforts in Organizational Design is attributed to the accelerating pace of structural change generated by market [read more]
IT4IT Reference Architecture
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The IT4IT framework is a structured and standardized approach to IT management, aiming to optimize the IT value chain, refine service models, empower value streams, and align IT services with organizational objectives.
IT4IT offers a roadmap to optimize IT operations, streamline processes, and ensure services align with business needs. Through real-world examples and case studies, IT4IT can be leveraged to achieve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance service quality.
IT4IT is not just a framework; it is a paradigm shift. Rooted in its 4 core pillars, IT4IT provides a structured and holistic approach to IT management through:
- Strategy to Portfolio
- Requirement to Deploy
- Request to Fulfill
- Detect to Correct
IT4IT pillars form the backbone of IT4IT, providing a solid foundation for modernizing IT operations and service delivery. Each pillar plays a unique and critical role in the framework, ensuring that IT services are delivered efficiently, effectively, and in alignment with each organization’s objectives.
- Strategy to Portfolio aligns IT strategy with business goals. It helps firms choose services and ensures they support strategic goals.
- Requirement to Deploy guides us through making requirements into services. It includes requirements, development, testing, deployment, and release management.
- Request to Fulfill efficiently serving end-users. It expedites IT service requests and guarantees users receive them.
- Detect to Correct monitors, manages, and fixes operational concerns. It keeps IT services running smoothly and quickly resolves difficulties.
We can further expand these 4 core pillars—or Value Streams—of IT4IT by mapping them and additional processes to an IT Value Chain. In total, there are 9 core processes on the IT Value Chain—let’s explain each of the primary and supporting activities in more detail.
These activities, organized into primary and supporting categories, drive IT’s contribution to business objectives. The IT Value Chain is comprised of 4 primary activities and 5 supporting activities such as:
- Primary Activities
The IT Value Chain consists of four main activities: ‘Strategy to Portfolio’ focuses on aligning IT strategy with business goals, ‘Requirement to Deploy’ translates business needs into IT solutions, ‘Request to Fulfill’ manages daily IT operations and service delivery, and ‘Detect to Correct’ monitors and improves IT operations for better agility and efficiency.
- Supporting Activities
The supporting activities of the IT Value Chain involve managing risks and compliance, maintaining relationships with vendors, gathering performance insights, effectively managing financial and IT assets, and efficiently handling resources and projects to support IT functions. These activities ensure standard adherence, optimal resource use, and effective partnerships.
There are 3 Service Models that lie at the heart of IT4IT—providing glue for design, delivery, and management of the IT services. These are:
- The Conceptual Service Model acts as a bridge between business and IT, providing a high-level view of services and defining their business context and architecture. It addresses the “what” and “why” aspects of services, offering strategic insights.
- The Logical Service Model outlines the “how” of a service, focusing on system design and translating conceptual ideas into technical specifications and feasible designs. It forms the Logical Service Blueprint in conjunction with the Service Release.
- The Realized Service Model represents the fully implemented and operational service, reflecting its actual use by stakeholders and encompassing all necessary technical and operational components for live operation.
These Value Streams in IT management focus on continuously evaluating digital product portfolios, exploring and updating digital products, integrating and deploying product releases, releasing and fulfilling service offers, and operating deployed products to ensure optimal performance and availability. They are essential for maintaining currency, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction in IT services.
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About Mark BridgesMark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.
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