The Open Group Standard

The Open Group IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, Version 2.1


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The Open Group Standard

The Open Group IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, Version 2.1

Document Number: C171

ISBN: 1-937218-84-3


Published by The Open Group, January 2017.

This document was updated in March 2017 to correct the data flow from the Chargeback/Showback component to the Project component in the R2F Level 2 Diagram (Figure 31 and Figure 56) and also to correct the reference to Actual Service in Figure 30.

This document was updated in May 2017 to replace the list of IT4IT™ Forum members with a URL.

This document was updated in December 2017 to correct the Change Control component in the R2D Level 2 Diagram (Figure 46 and Figure 47). The Change Control component belongs to the D2C value stream and must therefore appear as a gray rectangle.

Comments relating to the material contained in this document may be submitted to:

The Open Group, Apex Plaza, Forbury Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1AX, United Kingdom

or by electronic mail to:


The Open Group

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Readers should note that updates – in the form of Corrigenda – may apply to any publication. This information is published at

The IT4IT™ Forum

The IT4IT Forum, a Forum of The Open Group, enables industry thought leaders to collaborate in the development of the IT4IT Value Chain and Reference Architecture standard for business benefit.

The mission of this Forum is to create and drive the adoption of the IT4IT Reference Architecture standard to manage the business of IT, enable business insight across the IT value chain, increase focus on business outcomes, and improve agility.

Participation in the IT4IT Forum enables IT practitioners, consultants, technology and training vendors, service providers, business managers, and academics to come together in a technology-agnostic, industry-agnostic, and vendor-neutral environment to solve shared IT Management challenges. Participants in IT4IT Forum work groups benefit as they:

  • Increase their depth of knowledge of the standard and how to use it to benefit their organization
  • Gain early access to the latest thinking, before it gets published broadly to the world
  • Learn from collaborating with others and networking with industry thought leaders and competitors
  • Build personal relationships and contacts that will be of benefit long into the future
  • Take advantage of opportunities to build a personal brand and develop professionally

For further information, visit

This Document

The Open Group IT4IT™ Reference Architecture refers to the capability or capabilities required to manage the business of IT, covering IT end-to-end from plan, through build and operate. It assumes the principle that the business of running IT is industry-agnostic and that IT leaders share the same problems and opportunities in managing the service lifecycle effectively. At the core, these problems are rooted in IT structure, competencies, and capabilities and the missing link has been the lack of a business model for IT. The IT4IT Reference Architecture proposes that it is possible to establish an IT standard mapped to the existing IT landscape yet flexible enough to support the volatility inherent in the IT industry and accommodate changing IT paradigms (composite apps, agile development, mobile technology, multi-sourcing, etc.).

The IT Value Chain and IT4IT Reference Architecture represent the IT service lifecycle in a new and powerful way, providing the missing link between industry standard best practice guides and the technology you need to select and execute those processes. The IT Value Chain and IT4IT Reference Architecture are a new foundation on which to base your IT4IT operating model and provide a welcome blueprint for the CIO to accelerate IT’s transition to becoming a service broker to the business.

This document is The Open Group IT4IT Reference Architecture, Version 2.1, an Open Group Standard. It has been developed and approved by The Open Group.

This document is structured as follows:

How to Use this Standard

It is recommended that the reader start by familiarizing themselves with Chapter 3 (Overview) which introduces the concepts of the IT Value Chain. This should then be followed by the IT4IT Core (Chapter 4), and the four IT Value Streams. These are:

  • Strategy to Portfolio (S2P) Value Stream (Chapter 5)
  • Requirement to Deploy (R2D) Value Stream (Chapter 6)
  • Request to Fulfill (R2F) Value Stream (Chapter 7)
  • Detect to Correct (D2C) Value Stream (Chapter 8)

Documentation Structure of the IT4IT Reference Architecture

Figure 1 is a graphical representation of the data objects associated with the IT4IT Reference Architecture. The architecture is comprised of a set of normative documents[1] and a formal model described using the ArchiMate® modeling language and UML. These define “what” the architecture is. The normative documentation includes:

  • IT4IT Reference Architecture Overview
  • IT4IT Value Stream Overview
  • IT4IT Reference Architecture diagrams
  • IT4IT meta-model diagram
  • Glossary

The Reference Architecture diagrams will be available in other formats as part of the licensed downloads from The Open Group website.

A set of guidance documents has been developed to accompany the architecture, intended to describe “how” to apply the architecture in practice. Guidance documents include:

  • Definition of IT Service White Paper
  • Service Model Management White Paper
  • Service-Level Management White Paper
  • Multi-Supplier Management White Paper
  • IT Financial Management Scenario
  • Agile Scenario

Figure 1: Documentation Structure of the IT4IT Reference Architecture

Documents/artifacts that fall into these two categories are governed by The Open Group Standards Process. In addition, The Open Group will maintain a set of White Papers that complement the architecture and elaborate on its applicability and use in various settings.

IT4IT, Version 2.1 Release Highlights

The following topics have been included/enhanced in Version 2.1 of the IT4IT Reference Architecture.

  • Service Model simplification and enhancement – The data objects which make up the Service Model Backbone have been simplified and better defined to lead to a stronger understanding of the Reference Architecture in its entirety. The Service Model is the backbone of the entire standard.
  • Financial Management supporting functionality – The Reference Architecture has been updated to highlight how financial management capabilities are now supported by the standard. Financial Management is one of the supporting functions in the overall IT Value Chain and has impacts on core functions and data objects which have been updated to more effectively support this capability.
  • General consistency and flow of the overall standard – The Reference Architecture 2.0 was the first version of the standard which was published. There were certain sections, naming conventions, and content which lacked some consistency throughout the standard which have now been resolved.

Related Industry Standards

Most IT management standards fall into one of two categories: process and/or method-focused technology and/or implementations-centric. There are no standards that prescribe both the IT model and automation guidelines for running the IT function. Therefore, the IT4IT Reference Architecture fills this gap and as such complements a number of existing standards and best practices such as:

  • ISO/IEC 19770:2012: Information Technology – Software Asset Management
  • ISO/IEC 20000:2011: Information Technology – Service Management
  • ISO/IEC 38500:2008: Corporate Governance of Information Technology
  • ISO/TC 258: Project, Program, and Portfolio Management
  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
  • Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT)
  • Business Process Framework (eTOM)
  • The TOGAF® standard
  • The ArchiMate® modeling language
  • The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)
  • The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)


ArchiMate®, DirecNet®, Making Standards Work®, OpenPegasus®, The Open Group®, TOGAF®, UNIX®, UNIXWARE®, X/Open®, and the Open Brand X® logo are registered trademarks and Boundaryless Information Flow™, Build with Integrity Buy with Confidence™, Dependability Through Assuredness™, EMMM™, FACE™, the FACE™ logo, IT4IT™, the IT4IT™ logo, O-DEF™, O-PAS™, Open FAIR™, Open Platform 3.0™, Open Process Automation™, Open Trusted Technology Provider™, Platform 3.0™, SOSA™, the Open O™ logo, and The Open Group Certification logo (Open O and check™) are trademarks of The Open Group.

CMMI® is registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

COBIT® is a registered trademark of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and the IT Governance Institute.

eTOM® is a registered trademark of the TM Forum.

ITIL® is a registered trademark of AXELOS Ltd.

OASIS™ and TOSCA™ are trademarks of OASIS.

OMG®, Unified Modeling Language®, and UML®, are registered trademarks of the Object Management Group, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

All other brands, company, and product names are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks that are the sole property of their respective owners.


This standard was prepared by The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum.

When The Open Group approved the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture, Version 2.1, an Open Group Standard, on January 25, 2017, the membership of the IT4IT™ Forum was as follows:

Steering Committee

Rob Akershoek, Logicalis SMC, Chair
Karel van Zeeland, Logicalis SMC, Vice-Chair
Linda Kavanagh, The Open Group, Forum Director
Andrew Josey, The Open Group, VP Standards & Certification
Cathy Fox, The Open Group, Technical Editor

Lead Architects

Core Group: Lars Rossen, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Service Model Management: Sue Desiderio, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, USA

IT Financial Management: Philippe Geneste, Accenture

IT Asset Management: Charlie Betz, Armstrong Process Group

Service-Level Management: Ohad Goldfarb, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Lead Value Stream Editors

Core: Lars Rossen, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

S2P: Jim Johnson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

R2D: Sue Desiderio, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, USA

R2F: Dan Rosenzweig, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

D2C: Ohad Goldfarb, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


The Open Group gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the following members of the IT4IT™ Forum in the development of this standard:

Richard Aarnink Linda Kavanagh
Rob Akershoek Mark Luchtmeijer
Chris Armstrong Lakshmi Malhotra
Charles Betz Sylvain Marie
Georg Bock Gunnar Menzel
Mark Bodman Satya Misra
Paul Buckley Brian Ng
James Caruso Dan Rosenzweig
Eran Cohen Lars Rossen
Sam Courtney Vasu Sankhavaram
Sukumar Daniel Peter Scheffczyk
Dwight David Ryan Schmierer
Christopher Davis Rick Solis
Sue Desiderio Ken Street
Ulrich Feyer Mary Street
Mike Fulton Etienne Terpstra
Philippe Geneste Richard Tian
Ohad Goldfarb Erik van Busschbach
Mark Gray Kees van den Brink
Claudia Guli Karel van Zeeland
Trey Harris Gerlan Verlouw
Rob Hengeveld Prafull Verma
Brian Hodgdon Floris Verschoor
Keith Jahn Ulrich Wanka
Jim Johnson Erik Witte

Technical Reviewers

Technical reviewers are those individuals who have submitted comments during the company review, or participated in the resolution process during the development of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, Version 2.1.

Sam Courtney Andrew Josey
Chris Davis Martin Kirk
Sue Desiderio Randall Ramsey
Thorbjörn Ellefsen Lars Rossen
Ohad Goldfarb Mark Smalley

IT4IT™ Forum Members

An up-to-date list of Forum members can be found at:

Referenced Documents

(Please note that the links below are good at the time of writing but cannot be guaranteed for the future.)

Normative References

Normative references for this standard are defined in Section 1.4.

Informative References

The following documents are referenced in this standard:

  • Agile Alliance: Agile Manifesto and Principles (2001); retrieved 4/13/2011, from
  • J. Allspaw, J. Robbins: Web Operations, Beijing China, Sebastopol CA, O'Reilly (2010).
  • ASL Foundation: Application Services Library (2005); retrieved 11/13/2005, from
  • K. Behr, G. Kim et al: The Visible Ops Handbook – Implementing ITIL in Four Practical and Auditable Steps, Eugene OR, Information Technology Process Institute (2005).
  • R.J. Benson, T.L. Bugnitz et al: From Business Strategy to IT Action – Right Decisions for a Better Bottom Line, New York; Chichester, Wiley (2004).
  • C.T. Betz: Architecture and Patterns for IT: Service and Portfolio Management and Governance (Making Shoes for the Cobbler's Children), 2nd Edition, Amsterdam, Elsevier/Morgan Kaufman (2011).
  • P. Bourque, R.E. Fairley, Eds.: Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge, Version 3.0, IEEE Computer Society (2014).
  • J.A. Carbone: IT Architecture Toolkit, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall (2004).
  • CMMI Product Team: CMMI for Acquisition, Version 1.3. Pittsburgh PA, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (2010).
  • CMMI Product Team: CMMI for Development, Version 1.3, Pittsburgh PA, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (2010).
  • CMMI Product Team: CMMI for Services, Version 1.3, Pittsburgh PA, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (2010).
  • A. Cockburn: Writing Effective Use-Cases, Boston, Addison-Wesley (2001).
  • M.A. Cook: Building Enterprise Information Architectures – Re-Engineering Information Systems, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall (1996).
  • P.M. Duvall, S. Matyas et al: Continuous Integration – Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Addison-Wesley (2007).
  • J. Humble, D. Farley: Continuous Delivery, Boston, Addison-Wesley (2011).
  • IEEE 730-2014: IEEE Standard for Software Quality Assurance Processes.
  • ISACA: Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT 5); refer to
  • ISO/IEC 2005: Regional or National Adoption of International Standards and Other International Deliverables (Guide 21-2).
  • ISO/IEC 2008: Uncertainty of Measurement (Guide 98-3).
  • ISO/IEC 2013: ISO/IEC Directives.
  • ISO/IEC 19770:2012: Information Technology – Software Asset Management.
  • ISO/IEC 20000:2011: Information Technology – Service Management.
  • ISO/IEC 27002:2013: Information Technology – Security Techniques – Code of Practice for Information Security Controls.
  • ISO/IEC 38500:2008: Corporate Governance of Information Technology.
  • ISO/TC 258: Project, Program, and Portfolio Management.
  • J.D. Kaplan: Strategic IT Portfolio Management – Governing Enterprise Transformation, US, Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath Inc. (2005).
  • H. Kern, R. Schiesser et al: IT Production Services, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference (2004).
  • L. Klosterboer: Implementing ITIL Change and Release Management, Upper Saddle River, NJ, IBM; London: Pearson Education [distributor] (2009).
  • D. Leffingwell, A. Yakyma et al: Scaled Agile Framework, from (2014).
  • T.A. Limoncelli, S.R. Chalup et al: The Practice of Cloud System Administration: Designing and Operating Large Distributed Systems, Vol. 2, Pearson Education Ltd. (2014).
  • D.C. Luckham: The Power of Events – An Introduction to Complex Event Processing in Distributed Enterprise Systems, Boston, MA; London, Addison-Wesley (2002).
  • B. Maizlish, R. Handler: IT Portfolio Management Step-By-Step: Unlocking the Business Value of Technology, Hoboken, MJ, John Wiley & Sons (2005).
  • J. Martin: Great Transition: Using the Seven Disciplines of Enterprise Engineering, ISBN: 978-0814403150, Amacom (January 1995).
  • F.W. McFarlan: Portfolio Approach to Information Systems, Harvard Business Review 59(5): 142-150 (1981).
  • OASIS: Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA), Version 1.0 (2013).
  • G. O’Donnell, C. Casanova: The Configuration Management Database (CMDB) Imperative: How to Realize the Dream and Avoid the Nightmares, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall; London: Pearson Education [distributor] (2009).
  • Office of Government Commerce: Application Management, London, The Stationary Office (2002).
  • M. O’Loughlin: The Service Catalog: A Practitioner Guide, Zaltbommel, The Netherlands, Van Haren Publishing (2009).
  • M. Porter: Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, ISBN: 978-0684841465, Free Press; 1st Edition (June 1998).
  • Project Management Institute: A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) (2013).
  • T.A. Quinlan: Chargeback and IT Cost Accounting, Santa Barbara, CA, IT Financial Management Association (2003).
  • T.A. Quinlan, S.J. Quinlan: Readings in IT Financial Management, Santa Barbara, CA, IT Financial Management Association (2003).
  • Rational Software: Rational Unified Process: Best Practices for Software Development Teams (2011).
  • D. Remenyi, A.H. Money et al: The Effective Measurement and Management of ICT Costs and Benefits, Oxford; Burlington, MA, CIMA (2007).
  • R. Schiesser: IT Systems Management, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall (2010).
  • R. Schiesser, H. Kern: Enterprise Computing Institute: IT Systems Management, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice Hall (2002).
  • SOA Reference Architecture, an Open Group Standard (C119), December 2011, published by The Open Group; refer to:
  • S.H. Spewak, S.C. Hill: Enterprise Architecture Planning – Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications, and Technology, Boston, QED Pub. Group (1993).
  • R. Sturm, W. Morris et al: Foundations of Service-Level Management, Indianapolis, IN, SAMS (2000).
  • The Stationery Office: ITIL Continual Service Improvement, Norwich UK (2011).
  • The Stationery Office: ITIL Service Design, Norwich UK (2011).
  • The Stationery Office: ITIL Service Operation, Norwich UK (2011).
  • The Stationery Office: ITIL Service Strategy, Norwich UK (2011).
  • The Stationery Office: ITIL Service Transition, Norwich UK (2011).
  • TOGAF Version 9.1 (English version), an Open Group Standard, available online at, and also available as TOGAF Version 9.1 “The Book” (ISBN: 978 90 8753 6794, G116) at
  • W. Ulrich, N. McWhorter: Business Architecture: The Art and Practice of Business Transformation, Tampa, FL, Meghan-Kiffer (2010).
  • Unified Modeling Language (UML), Object Management Group (OMG); refer to:
  • W. Van Grembergen: Strategies for Information Technology Governance, Hershey, PA; London, Idea Group Publishing (2004).
  • W. Van Grembergen, S. Haes: Enterprise Governance of Information Technology – Achieving Strategic Alignment and Value, New York, Springer (2009).
  • E.A. Van Schaik: A Management System for the Information Business – Organizational Analysis, Englewood Cliffs; London, Prentice Hall (1985).
  • P. Weill, J.W. Ross: IT Governance – How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results, Boston, MA, Harvard Business School; [London: McGraw-Hill] (2004).

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