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IT4IT ™ – Maybe the best kept secret in business 


IT4IT – Serious Experience!

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an event held by the secret society of IT and business professionals called “The Open Group”.  I am not sure what I was expecting – perhaps everyone in cloaks and alter praying masses. All jokes aside, I packed my best suit and shirts and polished my shoes to a military shine ready to be in the presence of some serious IT professionals. I was not disappointed when I met with some folks from The Open Group IT4IT Forum – they have some serious experience under their belts!

The people involved with IT4IT standard are not only some of the industry’s brightest thought leaders but also passionately dedicated to creating a framework for addressing the real-world problems that businesses face as they embark on digital transformation journeys.  Technology, Energy, Consulting, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Services – the companies contributing to the IT4IT forum represent a broad cross-section of global industry.   On this occasion, I had a chance to meet with Linda Kavanagh (IT4IT Forum Director and HPE, BMC and Peregrine alumni), Dave Lounsbury (CTO of The Open Group) and Mark Bodman (Sr. Product Manager at ServiceNow and chair of the IT4IT Forum Adoption working group).

Discovery and Debate

The Open Group provides a setting where companies can set their competitive differences aside and come together to discover, debate and resolve the strategic issues that will face companies for years to come.  As the name suggests, The Open Group is an organization built on the concept of open collaboration, the sharing of ideas and companies coming together to collaboratively solve pressing business problems  Each of the forums of The Open Group are specialized in support of specific topics and outcomes – from the stalwarts of UNIX and TOGAF to the Security forum, Open Platform 3.0 and Open FAIR and is supported by a process for standards development, training, certification and publication to harvest the fruits of collaboration and take them to the masses.

The IT4IT Value Chain and Reference Architecture are newer standards of from The Open Group, having launched formally in October 2015 and are a play book for how modern IT operates.  Instead of the suggestive/theoretical guidance of past standards, the IT4IT standard is a pragmatic and prescriptive approach to looking at the capabilities, functional components and key data objects that must be managed closely to create an effective IT value chain and provide the data transparency we’ve all been wanting in order to be able to have visibility across the IT service life cycle. Whether you are a small company, a multi-national enterprise or a government organization the functional components and service model backbone outlined in the IT4IT reference architecture and value chain operating model give you a blueprint of how modern IT works to support digital business.

Flexible guidance

It’s like having templates to get stuff done.  Templates are not rigid…but flexible to accommodate things like DevOps, cloud, agile and multi-supplier models.  They give a starting point for thinking about what capabilities you want to have within your business and how you might interact with suppliers, service providers and partners for the things you don’t want to do yourself.  Once you’ve identified where you want to source the various functional components, the IT4IT data model provides guidance on how to stich them together effectively to deliver value to users and transparency to enable management insights to where further improvement might be needed.

In the era of digital enterprise where technology plays an integral part of all businesses, the role of IT and Service Management are more important than ever.  The modern business architecture for IT isn’t just about the IT department, it isn’t just about your company – it is about how people, processes, information and technology come together across companies to create value for customers.  Thought leaders agree that the problems that companies face around managing technology are the key to unlocking competitive advantage in modern business and the only way to solve them is coming together. The IT4IT standard from The Open Group was developed from the experience, failures and lessons learned by some crazy-smart people from industry leading companies and may be one of the best kept secrets in business today.

Training – Positive Reaction

In 2017, The Open Group launched a Foundation Level Certification program for IT4IT through an ecosystem of training partners to begin educating businesses on the new standard. The feedback from those who have been through IT4IT training has been overwhelmingly positive. Companies are finding that the IT4IT standard provides them an intuitive framework for rationalizing their IT capabilities and a common language for working with technology and service provider partners. With only 287 certified globally, it is clear the ITSM masses haven’t discovered the hidden gem of IT4IT yet.  It will be interesting to watch this number take off. The Open Group has published their roadmap and you can follow their progress.
To learn more about the IT4IT™ standard including publications, information on certification and opportunities to interact with the thought leaders directly at one of the upcoming Open Group global events, visit

You can find more articles about IT4IT here

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