The four pillars of the IT4IT framework

Stephan Badal
4 min read

In any IT organization project — solving any challenge, building any solution — the four pillars of the IT4IT™ framework[1] guide understanding of why an IT service was created in the first place. What purpose was it intended to serve? How was it developed? How well does the service deliver on its objective?

Observing any areas of mismatch in this logical flow is the starting point for making (cost-)effective changes to a service. Is the next step investing or cutting back? Developing, retiring, or rebuilding a platform? Whatever the fork in the road ahead, the four IT4IT pillars act as an organization’s touchpoint for decision-making throughout its digital transformation.

In brief: The four pillars of IT4IT

We can summarize the four pillars of IT4IT as follows:

  1. Strategy to Portfolio (S2P) focuses on the design stage
  2. Requirement to Deploy (R2D) builds IT services based on your S2P design
  3. Request to Fulfill (R2F) delivers the services created in R2D
  4. Detect to Correct (D2C) oversees maintenance and management of current IT services

Through utilizing the four pillars, businesses gain instrumental insights into how to achieve successful digital transformation. Crucially, the pillars enable tailoring transformation strategy to the organization’s specific requirements.

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IT4IT: Guiding smart decision-making in digital transformation

Many organizations fall into the trap of introducing a new technology just because it’s the latest trend. It has an appealingly complex look and feel. It promises great things. Oh, and their key competitors are all using it.

None of these factors, however, should be decision drivers. This is IT4IT’s central teaching point — and guiding light. New technologies must always benefit business demand. No implementation should be invested in without a clear-cut use case being presented for it. This ensures a cost-efficient, agile, and flexible approach.

How? Time isn’t wasted by needing to explore new technology to its fullest before its business-specific advantages can be found. If there even are any! Instead, a solid use case for a new technology enables it to deliver value faster. Tracing utility to business demand allows for implementation where, for example, a solution can generate impact at 20% of its full roll-out. Value generation on this timespan cultivates confidence, alongside the ongoing buy-in and investment needed to see the solution through to 100%. Put simply, there’s no business sense in rolling out full-force Jira and DevOps just for the name!

Interlinking IT4IT, ServiceNow, and a strong data foundation

Successfully implementing ServiceNow with IT4IT stays true to this gradual, strategic approach. ServiceNow best practices always come back to defining clear business value. Likewise, when building an organization’s data foundation. A clear use case enables building a secure, usable data backbone with only the data points required.

Then, this backbone can be used to initiate the process of transformation with IT4IT. At the same time, the data foundation itself will deliver on concrete use cases, even in its early stages. Overall, delivering upfront value in a controlled transformation journey via the IT4IT pillars.

Utilizing IT4IT reference architecture to find transformation priorities

For organizations working with ServiceNow, the four pillars of IT4IT are crucial to identify gaps within the IT value chain. Usually, this starts with a simple question: Looking at your ServiceNow implementation, who owns the design, framework, blueprint, and capabilities stated in the portfolio or value stream?

Unsure of the answer? For 90% of our clients, that’s the case. Fortunately, that’s where we can come in to help. Gaining this traceability is the first step toward shaping a strategic vision for digital transformation. From this vision, a plan of action can be formed. Designing it using the four pillars of IT4IT ensures your organizational needs are met. In addition, the pillars framework safeguards manageable, step-by-step implementation of your transformation. Ensuring your core IT services can stay running even as you transform, keeping the process under calm control.

Now let’s put this into the pillar context:

  1. Strategy to Portfolio (S2P): The purpose (business-oriented use case) of the design and its proposed capabilities is clear. Likewise, design ownership is laid out.
  2. Requirement to Deploy (R2D): A dedicated product owner constructs the design in ServiceNow.
  3. Request to Fulfill (R2F): The service is rolled out to users within the organization, with structures in place to monitor usage and effectiveness, alongside flagging improvements needed.
  4. Detect to Correct (D2C): Measuring consumption, defining control metrics based on business value, and ensuring availability and quality performance. Enterprise architects have the insights needed to gauge performance and lifecycle management, alongside data controls and governance.

Harness the benefits of the IT4IT framework 

Keen to find out more about transforming your IT organization with IT4IT? Read our free whitepaper with actionable pointers to implement effective, lasting IT transformation. If you want to check if your IT business is ready for IT transformation, you should take our IT transformation readiness check.

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[1] IT4IT is a registered trademark of The Open Group 

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