10. Supporting Functions

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Figure 72. Supporting Functions Model

The Supporting Functions, shown in Figure 72 and defined as part of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, underpin the Digital Value Network and often support multiple value streams and functional components. They are key enablers for managing Digital Products. These Functions are aligned to the Digital Product lifecycle to support the effective delivery of common outcomes and goals. They are typically related to, or are part of the enterprise Supporting Functions such as Finance, HR Management, and Procurement. However, these shared enterprise functions often need specific extensions or even dedicated tools (and integrations with other functions within the Digital Value Network) to manage Digital Products.

For example:

  • Calculating the service cost of Digital Products based upon actual consumption and usage (which requires integration with the Digital Product Backbone)

  • Allocating and managing budgets associated with the delivery of Digital Products (e.g., allocating budgets for Digital Products)

  • Managing relationships with service providers and vendors involved in the Digital Value Network (such as SaaS and IaaS vendors)

  • Managing contracts and purchase orders linked to the Digital Product Portfolio, Orders, Service Contracts, and Actual Product Instances

  • Managing risk and compliance related to the Digital Products

  • Providing data analytics and reporting in the context of Digital Product delivery

  • Providing common communication and collaboration functionality (which need to be integrated into the digital delivery model)

The Supporting Functions consist of functional components and data objects that are essential for delivering and managing Digital Products. They are necessary to optimize value while managing risks, compliance, and costs. Although they play an important role in delivering Digital Products as a shared function, they are not defined in the IT4IT Standard as normative. The Supporting Functions will be defined in more detail in a future release of the IT4IT Reference Architecture.

Each of the Supporting Functions is described in the context of managing the Digital Product lifecycle and highlighting the interaction between the functional components.

10.1. Financial Management Function

The Financial Management function manages the financial aspects of the Digital Product lifecycle, including:

  • Funding of Digital Products (and related Scope Agreements) and managing budgets

  • Cost accounting for Digital Products (and all associated activities)

  • Maintaining Cost Models and calculating product costs (e.g., defined Cost Models, calculate costs based upon actual consumption)

  • Define pricing models for Digital Products

  • Provide billing (or cost allocation) to consumers

The Financial Management function is part of/integrated with the enterprise-wide Financial Management function. This functionality supports the planning and tracking of the costs of managing the Digital Products throughout the entire lifecycle. The IT4IT Reference Architecture defines the flow of information for Digital Product delivery and offers end-to-end traceability for the Financial Management of Digital Products.

The Financial Management function intersects with many functional components, including:

  • Proposal functional component: for allocated and monitoring budgets related to Scope Agreements

  • Product Portfolio functional component: for managing the lifecycle costs associated with the delivery of Digital Products

  • Monitoring and Usage functional components: to collect consumption and usage data

  • Chargeback functional component, to provide chargeback/showback of services consumed by customers

10.1.1. Cost Modeling Functional Component

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Figure 73. Cost Modeling Functional Component Model


The main purpose of the Cost Modeling functional component is to associate cost elements (internal or external) with the resources that bear these costs (hardware, software, or people). The Cost Model serves as the cost reference to feed the Chargeback functional component with elementary costs (costs per unit of work). The Chargeback functional component will multiply these elementary costs by a Usage factor to compute the cost of a service.

The model should also be used to evaluate the total cost of IT and how they are spread over all resources. A simulation, or scenario-based rendering, may also be supported by the Cost Model.

The Cost Modeling functional component supports the value streams:

Functional Criteria

The Cost Modeling functional component:

  • Shall be the reference for cost allocations on the corresponding resource

  • May be structured by categories of resource (type of resources, typically grouped by tower, sub-tower, etc.)

  • May include a simulation capability to evaluate the distribution of all IT costs Cost Model Data Object


The Cost Model data object defines the way a Digital Product accounts for its cost pertaining to delivered services.

Key Attributes

The Cost Model data object shall have the following key data attributes:

  • Id: unique identifier of the Cost Model

  • Name: descriptive name for the Cost Model

  • Description: text description detailing the purpose and principles of construction of the Cost Model

  • Status: indicates if the Cost Model is in use, depreciated, or experimental

  • Version: current version of the model (models evolve over time)

  • Calculation: formula for calculating cost

  • Resource Type: type of resource considered (hardware, software, HR, or external service – IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)

  • Resource Id: identification of the Resource that will incur cost charges

  • Resource Unit of Work: the most granular element for which a cost is charged; e.g., hours, GBytes, CPUs)

  • Cost per Unit of Work: monetary amount per unit of work (e.g., x euros per gigabyte of storage)

  • Time Period: time span for which the cost per unit of work has been calculated

Key Data Object Relationships

The Cost Model data object shall maintain the following relationships:

  • Cost Model to Chargeback Record (1:n): a “live” Cost Model informs the Chargeback Record of the cost per unit of work; for a basic service (i.e., not a composite of other services), the Chargeback Record will multiply the cost per unit of work of the Resource underlying the service by the Usage data from its associated Usage Record

  • Cost Model to Resource: (1:n): the Cost Model must be structured by the various Resource types used in IT

10.1.2. Investment Functional Component

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Figure 74. Investment Functional Component Model


The main purpose of the Investment functional component is to manage the portfolio of all authorized investments. It supports the budget cycle (from budget creation, arbitration, and tracking to multi-year Investment planning, fed from the business and technology strategy and structured by the Enterprise Architecture Roadmaps).

The Investment functional component supports the Evaluate value stream.

Functional Criteria

The Investment functional component:

  • Shall be the authoritative source for all investments requested over a given time period

  • Shall manage the entire investment lifecycle

  • Shall receive investment requests for development from the Proposal functional component

  • May receive proposed investments for run and maintain and non-service investments from investment owners

  • Shall assess proposal feasibility for cost, value, etc. and obtain the required approval from Finance

  • Shall communicate the status of the final scoping and investment decisions back to the respective stakeholders Budget Item Data Object


The Budget Item data object is an approved investment pertaining to one or more Digital Products. All Budget Items taken together in a specific financial period comprise the approved budget for the entire Digital Product Portfolio over that time period.

Key Attributes

The Budget Item data object shall have the following key data attributes:

  • Id: unique identifier of the service or investment (e.g., overhead) for which the Budget Item is recorded

  • Financial Period: financial period for which the Budget Item is recorded

  • Investment Type: nature of investment (e.g., run, development, overhead)

  • Approved Budget: approved budget

  • Spend: actual spend

  • Forecast: estimated spend at the end of the financial period

Key Data Object Relationships

The Budget Item data object shall maintain the following relationships:

  • Budget Item to Digital Product (n:1): one Budget Item shall hold budget for a single Digital Product and budget for one Digital Product may be spread across multiple Budget Items

  • Budget Item to Scope Agreement (1:n): helps track how much budget is allocated to which Scope Agreement(s)

10.2. Governance, Risk, & Compliance Function

Managing risk and compliance is an integral part of the development and delivery of Digital Products. The Governance, Risk, & Compliance function ensures that security, risk, and compliance are fully embedded into the digital delivery network, including all involved parties and vendors. The ability to identify and manage risk in an increasingly complex digital environment has become a key priority in organizations. Organizations need to understand the variables that affect their business, so describing, classifying, managing, and mitigating risk factors is very important. Key concepts in this context are “Secure by Design” and “Compliant by Design” (including “Privacy by Design”). This Supporting Function needs to be integrated with the enterprise-wide Risk Management function. It includes the relationships with functions like internal audit, compliance, risk, legal, and finance.

The Governance, Risk, & Compliance function ensures the transparency and traceability of the risks and compliance information related to the Digital Product delivery. It is tightly linked to the Policy functional component where the Policies and related control requirements are maintained.

Examples of activities within this function are:

  • Define risk assessment methods

  • Maintain a risk register (and related mitigation plans and requirements)

  • Perform risk assessments to identify potential risks associated with Digital Products (and their releases and deployments)

  • Assess the risks of vendors in the ecosystem (vendor Risk Management)

  • Define and ensure mitigation plans and actions are implemented to reduce risks

  • Monitor and ensure products are developed according to defined policies and security requirements

  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation of compliance and managing deviations/exceptions

  • Audit management – perform audits to identify issues, exceptions, and determine improvement opportunities

Examples of information managed by this function are:

  • Risk assessments, such as those related to BIA, TVA, and DPA

  • Risks (associated with the Digital Products, Product Release, or Actual Product Instances)

  • Vendor risks

  • IT audits and audit findings

  • Compliance evidence and compliance-related exceptions/issues

  • Risk issues (actual occurrence of a risk item)

Examples of key relationships with other functional components are, for example:

  • Policy: to understand the Policies and control Requirements

  • Product Portfolio: to perform the risk assessments against the Digital Products (and associated Product Releases)

  • Requirements and Product Design: to ensure products are developed Secure by Design and Compliant by Design (e.g., Privacy by Design)

  • Portfolio Backlog and Product Backlog: to add backlog items needed to resolve risk-related issues, audit findings, and non-compliance records

  • Incident and Problem: to ensure risk issues/findings or compliance exceptions are handled by Incident and/or Problem Management

  • Test: to ensure that risk and compliance is part of the test execution

  • Sourcing & Vendor Management function: to manage the risk and compliance of vendors in the digital ecosystem

  • Workforce Management function: to ensure all employees are aware of the security, risk, and compliance requirements

  • Intelligence & Reporting function: reporting and data analytics related to risk and compliance

10.3. Workforce Management Function

The Workforce Management function (for digital) supports the HR Management aspects within the digital delivery model. The Workforce Management function is part of the overall Workforce Management function within an organization.

In a digital ecosystem it is important to support employees in their career, providing coaching and training, as well ensuring the resource portfolio, skills, and competencies are aligned with the strategic direction. This function defines the functional components and data objects which need to be integrated with the digital delivery model.

This includes, for example:

  • Onboarding and off-boarding employees

  • Maintaining team administration (defining the teams and related Digital Products)

  • Supporting Product Portfolio Managers and product owners with resource planning, and allocating resources to teams

  • Monitoring and evaluating employee satisfaction

  • Maintaining a competency and skills framework

  • Defining job profiles and their associated roles and responsibilities within the Digital Value Network (such as the Digital Product Manager)

  • Supporting employees with HR-related questions and issues

  • Supporting employees in their career, providing coaching and training

  • Identifying and planning training associated with the introduction of new (or modified) Digital Products

Examples of the information part of this function are:

  • Employee (including external contractors) linked to an Identity in the Identity functional component

  • Job profile and associated roles (linked to the employee and the Identity functional component)

  • Team (e.g., DevOps or support teams) related to the Digital Products (and linked to the Identity functional component) for access management

  • Resource allocation of employees to teams

10.4. Sourcing & Vendor Management Function

The Digital Value Network consists of an increasing number of vendors participating in the development and operation of Digital Products. It is becoming an essential function for an organization to be able to leverage ecosystems to create business value. This includes creating and maintaining a dynamic partner network of vendors involved in the end-to-end digital delivery model; for example, to enable the effective and efficient onboarding and off-boarding of vendors, as well as to manage the relationships with vendors. Vendors in the digital ecosystem are not just providers of services, software, or hardware, but are key partners in co-creating Digital Products and delivering value and outcome.

The Sourcing & Vendor Management function is typically part of an enterprise-wide shared function; however, it requires specific experience, skills, and integrations in the context of Digital Product delivery.

Examples of sub-functions within the Sourcing & Vendor Management function:

  • Contract Management (for Digital Products and services)

  • Procurement

  • Vendor Management

This function enables researching and market intelligence, sourcing vendors, obtaining quotes with pricing, negotiating contracts, managing relationships (and key stakeholders), managing the contracts, purchase orders, monitoring and evaluating performance, managing issues and disputes, benchmarking, and ensuring payments are made according to the contracts and usage of their services.

Examples of information managed within the Sourcing & Vendor Management function are, for example:

  • Vendor: managing the system of record of all vendors involved in the digital ecosystem

  • Contract: managing the lifecycle of contracts associated with the Digital Products and other data objects within the Digital Product Backbone (such as license records in the asset administration)

  • Purchase Order: related to the Digital Product Backbone and other activities such as Scope Agreements or Portfolio epics

10.5. Intelligence & Reporting Function

The Intelligence & Reporting function provides data management, analytics, and reporting to support the various functional components within the Digital Value Network.

A data-driven approach is needed to manage the new digital ecosystem, providing insight, transparency, and traceability for continuous improvement. This function provides a consolidated view of the data provided by the different functional components in the Digital Value Network. The context of the data is provided by the Digital Product Backbone.

The Intelligence & Reporting function typically leverages the company-wide data analytics and reporting functionality (such as data lake or reporting tools). However, for managing Digital Products, specific Intelligence & Reporting solutions need to be implemented and configured. The Intelligence & Reporting function for example the following sub-functions or features:

  • Define and manage key metrics and KPIs (such as those related to value, risk, cost, compliance, and user experience)

  • Publish a standard data catalog and associated definitions (and master data sources)

  • Define data governance and data ownership

  • Collect and consolidate data from the various functional components (e.g., into a data lake or operational data store)

  • Provide data analytics and reporting functionality

  • Support the various functional components in their reporting and analytics needs (e.g., service level reporting for the Service Contracts)

Examples of information managed by the Intelligence & Reporting function are:

  • Metrics and KPI

  • Reports (e.g., service level reports)

10.6. Collaboration & Communication Function

The Collaboration & Communication function supports many other IT4IT Functional Components by enabling optimal collaboration and communication between the various stakeholders and parties within the ecosystem. This includes internal and external collaboration with all parties in the digital ecosystem.

In a modern digital work environment it is essential that all people and teams work together in a transparent way, with a high visibility of work and maximum support from the right collaboration tools. Most of these collaboration tools are part of enterprise-wide collaboration tools (including email, chat, collaboration and communication platforms, etc.).

The Collaboration & Communication function contains various functional components to support for example:

  • Online collaboration (such as Slack™, Cisco WebEx®, Microsoft Teams™, etc.)

  • Email and chat

  • Alerting and notification systems (information stakeholders in cases of critical issues)

This function maintains the different communication channels, involved stakeholders, and their communication preferences. This function needs to be tightly integrated with functional components within the digital enterprise, such as:

  • Publish status updates of new builds, test results, and releases to stakeholders

  • Provide alerting/notification in case of Incidents and support major Incident collaboration

  • Event notification or alerting (for stakeholders to subscribe to relevant Events)

  • Support collaboration between teams to resolve Incidents and Problems