The Open Group at its London event announced the launch of its latest forum, The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum, to provide a vendor-neutral environment for IT executives to meet, gain knowledge and lead the development of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture for IT portfolio management.

The IT4IT™ Forum has been established by enterprise customers, IT service providers and tools vendors to help IT departments address the strategic challenges brought about by the changing IT landscape. It will create and drive the adoption of the IT4IT™ standard to provide a vendor-neutral Reference Architecture that supports management and execution across the IT value chain. The Reference Architecture will enable the provision of data-driven insights that help IT organizations focus on business outcomes while delivering solutions faster and with reduced cost and risk.

The IT4IT™ standard is intended to enable the IT function to achieve the same level of business discipline, predictability and efficiency as other business functions. The new standard will also embrace and complement existing processes and methodologies (e.g. ITIL®, CoBIT®, SAFe® and TOGAF®) by taking a data-focused implementation model perspective across the entire IT value chain.

Founding members of The Open Group IT4IT™ Forum include Enterprise Architects and IT leaders from organizations such as Royal Dutch Shell, Accenture, Achmea, HP, Munich RE and PwC. This group is now extended with members from Cap Gemini, BP, Logicalis SMC, UMBRiO, ATOS, IBM, Architecting-the-Enterprise and Microsoft.

“The IT function in many of our member organizations is under constant pressure to provide improved capabilities to the enterprise while at the same time lowering total cost”, said Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group. “This customer led initiative is both timely and valuable and I look forward to supporting the development, adoption and integrity of this important standard through the application of The Open Group processes.”

“Gartner research suggests that many IT functions are struggling to contain IT cost and many companies see base cost (run and maintain of the estate) going up, leaving less funds available for innovation and the new business applications. The insights that IT4IT™ promises to deliver will enable opportunities for cost reduction to be identified, freeing up funding for innovation. Gartner estimates that for a $1b per annum IT function, this benefit could be five to 20 percent of total budget.”


“Like many other companies, Shell faces challenges around matching IT capabilities to core business needs, and reducing IT spend while delivering IT solutions faster. Rapid technological developments like Cloud computing, IT consumerisation, and Big Data add further complexity, and we find ourselves in a position where we are increasingly stretched to respond to rising demand and a need for greater agility.
In 2011, we decided to change our approach and we initiated discussions with HP Software to jointly design a comprehensive and integrated model for managing the business of IT and to deal with the challenges identified. This arrangement paved the way for Shell and several other companies to share their expertise. Significant progress has been made since on the IT4IT™ initiative, and in fact we are on the verge of seeing an open standard for IT management come into place.
We stand to benefit from this work in various ways e.g. by enabling crucially needed interoperability in multi-vendor ecosystems and gaining a much deeper insight into what is happening in the IT function that will highlight opportunities for cost improvement, quality enhancement and risk reduction. We believe that the emerging IT4IT™ standard from The Open Group will drive a change in the market that will enable us to consume IT management capabilities as a service and to streamline future sourcing decisions by including adherence to the standard in relevant contracts.”

Alan D. Matula, Royal Dutch Shell Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer

“Hybrid architectures, new sourcing models and new delivery models mean that the IT environment is more complex than ever, making it challenging for CIOs to maintain control whilst maintaining the agility and flexibility they need in today’s digital environment. Tools are available to help, but so far tend to be point solutions, developed in siloes.
With IT4IT™, we envision the development of industrialized IT operations, supported by integrated automation that uses a common framework across the value chain, from investment portfolio management to the delivery and management of IT operations. As a founding member of the IT4IT™ Forum, Accenture seeks to work with IT customers and vendors within The Open Group to make this vision a reality.”

Daniel Benton, Global Managing Director, IT Strategy, Accenture

“In our industry, control of the end-to-end IT Value Chain is mandatory. That particularly includes effective and dynamic management of a multi-sourced landscape, which can only become a cost-efficient and high quality reality with the right level of standardization. We’re committed to the IT4IT™ initiative, as we strongly believe in a community driven open standard as the basis for sustainable competitiveness. We’ve done it in other areas and know that it works.”
Ton van der Linden, CIO, Achmea

“HP applauds The Open Group’s initiative to drive IT4IT™ towards an accepted industry standard and we are enthusiastic supporters of its growth across the industry.”
Ajay Singh, SVP & GM, IT Operations Management, HP Software

“Cloud services and multi-provider outsourcing are adding new degrees of complexity to IT service management. The IT4IT™ Forum will use its real life cross-industry expertise to define a new operating model for IT – and will drive tool vendors to deliver toolsets optimized to support this new IT4IT™ industry open standard.”
Dirk Heiss, Global Infrastructure Services Officer, Munich RE

“An IT4IT™ industry standard to truly enable the business of IT is long overdue. The industry is ever changing and IT needs to evolve to meet the needs of the business while effectively managing the IT services provided both internally and externally. By driving an industry standard at the reference architecture level, we will truly achieve interoperability among our software vendors providing the strongest IT environment available, thus allowing us to focus our energies on differentiating the business services instead of focusing on how best to manage IT.”
Rick Ancona, CTO, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP