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EA context for IT4IT
Moderator(s): Len Fehskens
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8/11/2016 at 11:45:37 AM GMT
Posts: 1
EA context for IT4IT

I read the special issue.Generally I thought some EA context was missing. 

In terms of EA, the IT dept/group, can be considered a segment architecture (TOGAF term), other segments might be sales, production, distribution, finance, HR, Facilities etc. Then IT has interactions with those other segments; A very major one for IT operations is facilities management. The IT equipment sits in buildings they manage whether that be a data center or distributed (print rooms etc), it is a vital interaction for IT (no good if someone outside the data center turns the power off). Similarly the IT delivery dept usually interacts with Procurement (to engage with IT vendors), HR (people) & Finance. None of this was mentioned in the issue. 

It might also be pointed out that theory requires an architecture to describe the relation to it's environment; don;t really see that on the IT4IT ref arch. depiction.  

There is a broader comment about IT4IT that it seems to consider IT to be a business in it's own right. This is not the usual aim of a company (through Strategy and EA) - more usually IT is to be run as an integrated part of the business of the company, not in it;s own right. The use of value chains is an illustration of this (Porters value chains model is concerned with value to the external market, not intracompany). Another illustration is the idea that the IT group needs an "operating model"; it's more like - the operating model of a company is set at enterprise level (as part of the strategy then contextualised in EA). Each segment / group / dept then operates according to that model and best practices / methods for their function so the IT dept of a bank is run according to the operating model for the bank, BIAN and IT best practices (ITIL etc).         

This IT4IT approach might be seen as reinforcing the "IT silo". In one of the articles, it was claimed that IT4IT can help break down the silos, but this seemed to be within the IT organization; the broader perspective is to ensure no department/group operates as a silo (unless the strategy says that).     

Some of the claims of the deficiencies of other best practices (ITIL, COBIT, PMP etc) seem a bit suspect. It might be more a matter of a lot of companies have not followed them and done things piecemeal and now are under pressure to shape up rather than the best practices being deficient, generating demand for something new like IT4IT ! 

If IT4IT is covering development (ADM) - as it shows in R2D - it's a bit questionable whether the process starts with "requirements" - they are defined in the development process through an examination of the processes and use cases etc. The EA (top level) should also cover R2D as the development must be in line with the EA.  

 All in all, an interesting issue but I think it's written from an IT service delivery perspective (maybe a future topic could be the EA perspective on IT4IT !).    

 



RJ Hillier


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