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The role of IT4IT in cloud service management (CSM)

In his book, Cloud Service Management and Governance -- Smart Service Management in Cloud Era, author Enamul Haque explains how the IT4IT framework can help the reader create a plan for cloud service management (CSM) to ensure business managers understand the business value of cloud services. Read an excerpt of Chapter 5 to learn about the use of IT4IT in CSM.

IT4IT and cloud service management

The IT4IT Reference Architecture provides a prescriptive framework to support IT4IT and CSM, a value chain-based IT operating model and service-centric IT management ecosystem, respectively. As Haque writes, the "IT4IT Reference Architecture provides more than just best practices for IT -- it puts IT in the context of a business model that documents how IT initiatives contribute to an enterprise's financial success."

Haque continues, "one of the aims of the IT4IT Reference Architecture is to create a consistent end-to-end model of everything IT delivers. The objective is to do this in a way that allows an organization to rigidly attach more and more of the current information that exists in IT to a 'service model backbone' that connects everything, from planning through development and consumption, into operations."

Haque states that "IT4IT focuses on the true role of IT: to deliver services that make the company more competitive and innovative." He continues on to say, "it supports the multi-sourced service economy, enabling new experiences in driving the self-sourcing of services to power innovation," while also supporting real use cases driven by the digital economy. Haque says, "IT4IT embraces and complements existing process frameworks and methodologies […] by taking a data-focused implementation model perspective, essentially specifying an information model across the entire value chain."

Why is cloud service management so important?

Cloud service management enables businesses to gain control and visibility within their public cloud environments and includes any activity carried out to support the IT operations used in cloud services. As such, CSM (and the different frameworks that can be used with it) are important subject areas for IT professionals and line-of-business managers to understand.

To carry out CSM, management teams have to decide which framework best fits their organization. In his book, Haque provides concrete examples for how other technology-focused frameworks can be integrated with ITIL, COBIT, Scaled Agile Framework, The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and continuous delivery (CD) standards. The IT4IT framework stands out because the latest version of this framework focuses on value chains.

A value chain is a set of activities performed by an organization that profits a business or IT service. Each value stream in the IT4IT standard focuses on streamlining and integrating key areas in a service model. They include:

  • Strategy to portfolio
  • Requirements for deployment
  • Request to fulfill
  • Detect to correct

CSM and IT4IT v3

In his book, Haque explains that the third version of the IT4IT reference architecture focuses on value streams for digital product management. "The IT operating model has transitioned into a digital operating model," Haque writes, "which should be designed for managing digital and leveraging Agile development, CD, and DevOps. At the same time, the digital ecosystem is changing where organizations need to effectively broker and integrate digital services from an increasing number of cloud service providers and other business partners in their business model."

Haque continues to state that "the IT4IT Forum embraces these developments," and with its new version, provides a "holistic guidance for the implementation of digital management capabilities of the Digital Enterprise as part of the converged business ecosystem."

This was last updated in April 2021

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