What is IT4IT?

It's a reference architecture which provides a set of standard approaches and guidelines for the delivery of IT services. It supports agile and lean methodologies and allows organisations to manage their IT like a supply chain. IT4IT places an emphasis on the IT value chain and four high level, end-to-end value stream components which all play a part in delivering IT services to customers: strategy to portfolio, requirement to deploy, request to fulfil and detect to correct.

What are its benefits?

Many IT models and frameworks are often implemented from the perspective of the IT organisation first, based around individual processes or functions in place. IT4IT is an end-to-end model that looks at the whole ‘supply chain’ and works back from there, covering all areas of IT. It’s not perfect or complete but a useful approach and fits well with ITSM / ITIL. Unfortunately the name goes against the grain of what it's trying to do – i.e. make IT for the business, when the industry has been trying to move away from IT being about IT.

What will its future be?

I think IT4IT will continue to grow and build a reasonable customer base, although the extent of that depends on other technology or consulting organisations seeing the value in it, and that’s still up for debate. Certainly some big name organisations have already embraced it at different levels. I don't think it will replace ITIL, as IT4IT doesn't cover in any detail many of the areas that ITIL covers. IT4IT can work with ITIL and DevOps and other models – it’s in the mix of options. I think IT service managers have a portfolio of different approaches and can cherry pick bits from each.