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IT4IT™ Reference Architecture - Frequently Asked Questions

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture is a management standard - an operating model for the “business of IT.” It provides the capabilities for managing the business of IT which enable IT service delivery across the entire Value Chain in a better, faster, cheaper way with less risk.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture is an evolving Open Group standard that provides a vendor neutral, technology agnostic and industry agnostic reference architecture for managing the Business of IT, and enabling insight for continuous improvement.

The vision for the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture is aligned with The Open Group vision of “Boundary-less Information Flow” .

  • Lack of cooperation across all IT
  • Insufficiently integrated IT management toolsets
  • Inability to gain true insight
  • Struggle to tackle disruptive innovations like cloud, agility, mobility, BYOD.

Adopting an IT Value Chain-based model can transform IT into an agile, proactive,and cost-effective broker of services to the business better able to leverage leading-edge technologies such as Cloud, Mobile, Social, and Big Data.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture will enable IT Leaders to manage highly automated IT, whereas the process-driven IT Management approach doesn’t work that well in this space.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture allows you to run the IT function within an organisation as a production-based business in its own right.

The IT Value Chain comprises four major IT value streams, which align to what IT traditionally calls “Plan, Build, Deliver, Run”. This transformation reinvents Plan, Build, Deliver, Run to be modernized into “Plan, Source, Offer, Manage”.

  • The Strategy to Portfolio (S2P) Value Stream - Define your strategy to balance and broker your portfolio. [Watch video]
  • The Requirement to Deploy (R2D) Value Stream - Prioritize every requirement to build the best services and deploy them. [Watch video]
  • The Request to Fulfill (R2F) Value Stream - Handle each request by streamlining the process to fulfill it. [Watch video]
  • The Detect to Correct (D2C) Value Stream -Seek to detect issues and to correct them before they impact the user. [Watch video]

The Strategy to Portfolio (S2P) Value Stream - Drive IT portfolio to business innovation

  • Provides the strategy to balance and broker your portfolio.
  • Provides a unified viewpoint across PMO, enterprise architecture, and service portfolio improves data quality for decision making.
  • Provides KPIs and roadmaps to improve business communication.

The Requirement to Deploy (R2D) Value Stream - Build what the business needs, when it needs it.

  • Provides a framework for creating, modifying, or sourcing a service.
  • Supports agile and traditional development methodologies.
  • Enables visibility of the quality, utility, schedule, and cost of the services you deliver.
  • Defines continuous integration and deployment control points.

The Request to Fulfill (R2F) Value Stream - Catalog, fulfill & manage service usage

  • Helps your IT organization transition to a service broker model.
  • Presents a single catalogue with items from multiple supplier catalogues.
  • Efficiently manages subscriptions and total cost of service.
  • Manages and measures fulfilments across multiple suppliers.

The Detect to Correct (D2C) Value Stream - Anticipate & resolve production issues

  • Brings together IT service operations to enhance results and efficiency.
  • Enables end to end visibility using a shared configuration model.
  • Identifies issues before they affect users.
  • Reduces the mean time to repair.

It addresses the complexity of managing separate organizational entities to deliver services and improves IT’s ability to manage suppliers and evaluate or access their data sources across the service lifecycle to drive for transparency in, and quality of, business insight. Establishing the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture as the standard that your suppliers must meet removes lengthy discussions of “how” to integrate and makes the on-boarding and off-boarding of suppliers, faster, easier, and more cost-effective on both sides.

There has been much IT management guidance, but there are a number of gaps and issues.

  • Most of what the broader community thinks of as “IT standards” are technical e.g. TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML.
  • Existing standards are proving slow to adapt.
  • Most existing standards are proprietary.
  • IT management standards are not developed explicitly as a full, multi-view reference architecture.

The data-driven IT4IT™ Reference Architecture enables insight for agile improvement that brings an increased IT focus on business outcomes. The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture provides prescriptive guidance to design, source, and manage services in a business value chain-based framework called the IT Value Chain.

The framework helps organizations to look at IT as a set of interconnected “Value Streams” and create

  • a Service Backbone model,
  • an integration model,
  • a functional model
  • and a data model for IT Organisation.

This could help practitioners to implement a set of IT Management tools to support the value chain.

As a framework, it inherently covers or borrows from all the popular industry frameworks/standards, e.g., ITIL, COBIT, CMMI, TOGAF etc., yet does not enforce practitioners to follow the traditional process thinking.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture does not replace anything, it complements and enhances your current structures.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture is not a process model yet it is complementary to process models. It is an information model based on the concept of an IT Value Chain and supported by the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture all for the successful management of the business of IT.

It is not in the scope of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture to be normative around process models. It only identifies the service endpoints to those capability and process models using ArchiMate models.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture and ITIL are complementary.

ITIL is a process and capability-based framework that provides best practice guidance for IT Service Management. ITIL offers a reasonable statement of requirements for finer-grained IT management processes. However, ITIL moves directly from the highest-level concept of the Service Lifecycle to its 25 granular processes.

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture provides an information (data-driven) model and reference architecture that offers prescriptive guidance across IT management. The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture provides a foundation upon which best practice-based process models like ITIL may run. The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture will provide an important middle ground by defining the major value streams of Strategy to Portfolio, Requirement to Deploy, Request to Fulfill, and Detect to Correct.

The mission of The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum is to develop, evolve, and drive the adoption of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture.

Nearly all of The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum founding members have work-in-process to rationalize and align areas of IT with the support of their IT Executives and some are leading transformation efforts based on the forthcoming IT4IT™ Reference Architecture to change their IT to become more like a Service Broker to the lines of business.

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 by emailing

To make certification available to individuals who have knowledge and understanding of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, Version 2.0 standard.

To provide validation that the candidate has gained knowledge of the terminology, structure, basic concepts of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, and understands the core principles of the reference architecture and the IT Value Chain. The focus is on knowledge and comprehension.

IT4IT™ Level 1 certification will be achieved through a 40 question exam following a course of self-study or attendance at an Accredited Training Course.

Certification to a given version of the Body of Knowledge does not expire, so there are no recertification or renewal requirements.