Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ITIF in a nutshell?

The ITIF simply represents a uniform information model for IT planning, project, and operations management. When an organization uses a consistent information (and nomenclature) model across its organization, it can realize enormous value; connecting and organizing disparate repositories as well as building substantially better reporting for internal and external stakeholders.

Is the ITIF a recommended organizational structure or organizational chart?

No. The framework does not represent or promote a specific organizational model for how an IT organization should organize its resources to fully meet its requirements. However, it is likely certain sub-organizations will have more involvement with some model objects than others.

Is the ITIF an alternative to the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) models?

No. The FEA represents a hierarchical taxonomy for classification of IT and the framework fully supports and implements the FEA within its broader framework of IT information classification.

What are the primary benefits of the ITIF to an organization?

The primary benefits of the framework are:

> Improved Impact and Value of IT/IM Strategic Planning
Significantly improves relevance and value of strategic planning by formally linking goals and strategies to an organization’s real planned and ongoing activities - creating true 'line of sight' between what the organization wants to do and what it’s actually doing.

> Improved Budgeting and Budget Prioritization Processes
Increases budgeting transparency and enables more comprehensive prioritization based on an organization’s priorities, individual investment planning maturity, mission alignment and more.

> Improved Accuracy, Visibility, and Value of the IT/IM Portfolio
Enables true portfolio visibility and management by embracing a model in which investments are comprised of, but defined separately from, systems and services, enabling the organization to use a common connected 'language' for different functions.

Improved Value and Impact of Enterprise Architecture
Transforms enterprise architecture from paper-based, snapshot efforts into actionable visibility into an organization's technical footprint, substantially increasing product reuse and adherence to enterprise standards.

> Reduced Compliance Burdens and Improved IT/IM Productivity
Helps eliminate one-off spreadsheet snapshots used only for compliance and instead promotes a sustainable approach to managing IT planning, budgeting, and investment management.

Can the Framework be modified to meet different organizational needs?

Yes. The ITIF represents only a starting point for organizations, which can and should modify, extend, or otherwise alter the model to fit specific needs.

What is currently being considered in future revisions?

The ITIF is new and evolving. It is expected to continuously evolve and improve over time, further clarifying and refining IT information elements and the relationships between them. To that end, areas for future enhancement include:

  • Objects and elements associated with IT security and customer relationship management
  • Planning information including traditional business case elements, requirements definition, and alternatives analysis
  • More definitive integration with the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) service and configuration data model
  • Field-level mapping and definitions

Although a draft field-level model is under development, significant work is required to validate and refine the field-level definitions and alignment. For current field-level mapping and definitions, please send a request via the feedback form located here.

How else can the ITIF be leveraged besides simply acting as an information/data model?

The ITIF is an information framework, but using the framework as a general concept of leveraging and enforcing a unified approach within an IT organization can provide significant value. The ITIF can, in essence, help develop and communicate a technical business model for effectively managing the people, money, and other resources the organization uses to accomplish its mission. It can not only drive a common language for IT, but communicate the relationships between key business concepts. The framework can serve a range of uses to an IT organization:

As a tool for better integrating disparate IT functions…
By associating specific model elements with various IT sub-organizations or functions, the ITIF acts as a tool that helps organizations better understand their process integration points, information hand-offs, and other natural linkages between various IT sub-organizations.

As a blueprint for change…
The ITIF can act as a ‘to-be’ model for organizations, representing a framework for analyzing the current state roles, processes, and supporting technologies; identifying and pin-pointing gaps; and helping define the required changes to establish better management, decision-making, or service delivery.

As a communications and/or training tool…
The framework can also be leveraged to help communicate or educate a range of stakeholders, from organizational leadership and branch management to IT staff about how IT functions and disciplines work together to delivery IT services.

As a model for organizing and managing IT planning, project, and operational data…
An obvious use of the framework is to instantiate the model in software to enable full management of IT data and maintain the relationships between data for full planning, operational, and portfolio reporting.

Simply put, the ITIF represents not only an information architecture, but a tool for helping individuals consider or examine a wide range of IT organizational and operational concepts, including its roles, processes, and systems as well as its information.