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IT4IT Recognized for Providing IT Guidance for the Digital Enterprise

Mark_Bodman ‎09-16-2016 01:15 PM - edited ‎09-21-2016 03:05 PM

Background

As more organizations are forced into becoming digital, IT is under relentless pressure to rise to the occasion by delivering faster and removing costs, while mitigating risks.  This is done while supporting a variety of significant transformations simultaneously. Those organizations failing to address these demands will likely struggle, some will fail.

Transforming to digital while sustaining existing business with legacy technology is extremely difficult. Implementing the latest trends to modernize IT such as containers, micro services and composable infrastructure for example all requires new skillsets, and some skillsets become less important over time. Businesses have their eye on mobility, Big-Data, and IOT by providing new products and services to access their customers. Cloud and DevOps also provide value to organizations, but requires a large shift in delivery methods.  How can IT possibly do all this? And all at once?

At HPE, we started viewing these challenges through a business lens across the entire IT organization.  So we assemble a consortium to help capture the landscape of what IT does, resulting in a set of 4 crucial value streams that defines the value of IT organizations. Our consortium also decomposed all the functions necessary to manage the modern IT organization from end to end, plus the data architecture that enables IT reporting and integration. 

Lars Rossen , HPE CTO Office, accepting  the 2016 ICGM awardLars Rossen , HPE CTO Office, accepting the 2016 ICGM awardThe resulting IP was recognized as too valuable for this small consortium to keep to ourselves ourselves, so we collectively decided to release the result into the public domain in late 2015.  The Open Group, a standards management body, introduced to the world the results of this effort as the new IT4ITtm standard. HPE stood out as both a key contributor and as an Opengroup Platinum member, recently recognized by ICGM awards program in 2016 for our contribution in creation the IT4ITTM standard.

The driver for consortium participants was struggling to answer one simple question about IT; “How do we accommodate all these trends and practices simultaneously?” Just look at how Marry Jarret from Shell, one of the founding charter members, describes these IT challenges in supporting Shells business.

Is IT4IT just another "flash in the pan", or is this something different?

As humans, we gravitate towards what’s new and interesting, but as experienced IT folks know we are naturally sceptical - cautious about taking new concepts at face value. So, is IT4IT just another flash in the pan? Is it merely an ITIL replacement? What about other frameworks like COBIT, SAFe or ITIL? Or is IT4IT fundamentally something different here? I would argue that IT4IT fundamentally different, and here are just a few reasons why I think IT4IT provides unique value and has staying power for the modern IT organization;

The IT4IT standard re-defines what IT does in terms of value-streams. This is the first time in my own 30 year career where I can see exactly how IT delivers value to the organization. If you have ever led major business transformations before, you will recognize that value-streams provide a powerful new perspective, especially for an IT organization.

IT4IT defined a functional and data architecture for IT, and how IT should work end-to-end at a macro level. Exact process details aren’t fully described in IT4IT, providing the flexibility that most IT organization processes will require given dependencies such as market, history and culture.

IT4IT is an open standard, ensuring it can grow and evolve with the times. Anyone can submit changes which will be incorporated with sufficient vetting amongst other members.

Many large IT vendors like HPE, Microsoft and IBM are adopting IT4IT already, as are large IT organizations such as FedEx, Exxon, Shell and T-Mobile for example. This early adoption is a positive sign by itself that there is merit. IT4IT isn’t really that revolutionary, but it does solve systemic IT management challenges to get all silos working together more succinctly towards business outcomes, that’s powerful.

IT4IT in Practice and Partnership

Through the creation and application of IT4IT, HPE and our customers recognized opportunities to improve how IT can better leverage their automation software, refining opportunities to consolidate, automate and integrate their automation investments.  We also identified where customer under-utilized existing investments, or were not leveraging automation software at all.

One large value point in IT4IT can be seen with IT4IT’s Service Model Backbone concept that is foundational to the standard. Today, most organizations can’t trace their strategic service investment details to the actual service that appears in production . Often, services are re-defined along the delivery process, losing critical detail about the intent and purpose, much like the telephone game we used to play in grade school. The root cause for these disconnects are the lack a common data model that connects all jobs together, and not implementing our automation tool-chain to carry service details through the entire IT lifecycle. IT4IT’s Service Model Backbone prescribes a minimum number of integrations to introduce this necessary traceability, from conceptual services defined in the Strategy to Portfolio valuestream, through actual service instances as managed by operations in the Detect to Correct valuestream.

It’s critical to automate and integrate tools used in IT to gain key automation benefits of those practices.  DevOps practices for example highlight the relentless pursuit for automation, and new technologies like containers and composable infrastructure further accelerate the tool-chains. Because these evolutions tend to happen in isolation, it’s not exactly obvious on how they all converge, overlap or conflict with one another. Adopting Docker for example will not be as effective in the digital transformation if you don’t select the supporting management tools necessary for the entire IT lifecycle.  Setting container based IT policies, adopting design principals, leveraging container management platforms, leveraging monitoring and management solutions all needs to be considered for example.   IT4IT ensures that you consider all impacts for every transformation.

… and the rewards that follow…

To this end, the new IT4IT standard has been recognized by ICMG, an organization that awards significant enterprise architecture work and achievements. HPE was singled out for our leadership in creating the IT4IT standard, following EA methodologies that were worthy of recognition.

At the time of this writing there are only about 100 IT4IT certified individuals in the world, we are clearly in the early stages of adoption. Excitement about IT4IT isn’t about introducing something radically different though, it’s about providing a holistic blueprint for managing IT, using a business perspective, leveraging the many known practices that are required to co-exist and need to operate in unison. If you are looking for a good approach to solve cross functional IT automation, integration and management challenges.  So I really encourage you to check out IT4IT and the compelling stories from early adopters, you won’t be disappointed!

About the Author

Mark_Bodman

Enterprise Architect and strategist helping HPE customers automate and improve their IT organizations. IT4IT certified with a passion for 6-sigma and lean operations.

Comments
chris_tessier
on ‎09-27-2016 06:04 AM

IT4T requires tightly integrated tools/data/application to be in place, how do you best approach and plan this out?

mal_ru
on ‎09-27-2016 12:19 PM

it's important to build a bridge between service provider and customers to make sure that there is still understanding in terms of constantly changing business needs. An the technology is there to support it

Shirish Choudhari
on ‎09-28-2016 12:01 AM

good to see IT4IT making footprints in many organizations

KW2000
on ‎09-28-2016 12:46 PM

Good to see that despite the pressure for faster execution, there is no comprise to standards which can so easily be lost in the pursuit of reduced timescales. Its important to try and use tooling and automation to support policies and best practice as much as possible which IT4T should support, if understood and followed correctly.

Mark_Bodman
‎09-29-2016 07:31 AM - edited ‎09-29-2016 07:35 AM

@chris_tessier, IT4IT was created precisely to help IT organzations implement the tools that automate each function, and provide a standard data model to integraiton IT tools across siloes  A growing number of teams within HPE are applying IT4IT within our customer in order to help them optimize thier IT tools.  I recently presented 5 usecases (the 5th usecase is actually HPE) where we have leveraged IT4IT in this way: Open Group Austin - 5 case studies.

Arun334
on ‎10-04-2016 06:42 PM

IT4IT is definitely getting more attention as more and more organizations are realizing the need to get a end to end view of IT value chain. 

agnieszka_sw
on ‎11-17-2016 04:31 AM

Very nice article. 

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