2 Definitions

For the purposes of this standard, the following terms and definitions apply. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary should be referenced for terms not defined in this section. Note that the following definitions are ordered to reflect the hierarchy of the definitions.

2.1 Service Lifecycle Data Object (Data Object)

Data or records produced and/or consumed to advance or control the service model as it progresses through its lifecycle phases. Data objects can take a physical or digital form and are produced, consumed, or modified by functional components. Within the IT4IT Reference Architecture there are two classifications of data objects:

•  Key – those that are essential to managing or advancing the service lifecycle.

•  Auxiliary – those that are important but not essential.

Note: Early versions of the IT4IT Reference Architecture used the term “artifact” instead of “data object”. There may remain some inconsistency in some documentation, but the terms should be viewed as the same.

See also Section 2.5.

2.2 IT Value Chain

A classification scheme for the set of primary and supporting activities that contribute to the overall lifecycle of creating net value of a product or service offering provided by or through the IT function. Within the IT4IT framework it is used to describe the operating model for the IT business function. It includes primary activities such as planning, production, consumption, fulfillment, and support. It also includes supporting activities such as finance, human resource, governance, and supplier management.

See also Section 2.3.

2.3 Value Chain

A classification scheme for the complete set of primary and supporting activities that contribute to the lifecycle of creating net value of a market offering. Originates from Michael Porter’s book Competitive Advantage.[2]

2.4 Value Stream

Describes the key activities for a discrete area within the IT Value Chain where some unit of net value is created or added to the service as it progresses through its lifecycle. The IT4IT framework describes four value streams (Strategy to Portfolio, Requirement to Deploy, Request to Fulfill, Detect to Correct).

2.5 Functional Component

A software building block. The smallest unit of technology in the IT4IT Reference Architecture that can stand on its own and be useful as a whole to an IT practitioner (or IT service provider). Functional components must have defined inputs and outputs that are data objects and it must have an impact on a key data object.

2.6 Service Model Backbone Data Object

Key data objects that annotate an aspect of the service model in its conceptual, logical, or physical state. These data objects and their relationships form the Service Model Backbone which provides a holistic view of a service.

2.7 Relationship

Primarily used to depict the connections between (or interactions with) data objects. In the IT4IT Reference Architecture, relationships are based on three design principles:

•  System of record – used to depict the relationships used to control authoritative source data via a system-to-system interface. These relationships are prescriptive in that they must be maintained to ensure the integrity of the IT4IT Reference Architecture.

•  System of engagement – used to describe the relationships between data objects and humans or functional components via a user experience interface.

•  System of insight – used to describe relationships between data objects for the purpose of generating knowledge, information, or analytics.

Note: The current version of the IT4IT Reference Architecture places its primary emphasis on defining the system of record relationships. Some (but not all) system of engagement relationships are described. System of insight relationships have not been defined in the current version of the standard.

2.8 System of Record

A synonym for a system that contains and/or controls authoritative source data.

Note: This term can be easily confused with system of record relationships.

See also Section 2.7.


[2] Reference Michael Porter: Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance.

Copyright © 2015 The Open Group, All Rights Reserved
IT4IT is a trademark of The Open Group.

< Previous ▲ Home Next >