The framework is comprised of core objects representing the primary business concepts used in effective IT planning and operational management. In addition to the core objects, a number of supporting or cross-cutting objects exist in the framework and are linked to one or multiple core objects. All objects within the framework are expected to possess one or more attributes or information fields that comprise the object.
In many ways, the ITIF simply represents a uniform information model for IT planning, project, and operations management. This concept alone can provide enormous value; enabling an organization to connect and organize disparate repositories as well as build substantially better reporting for internal and external stakeholders.
However, just the 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. As illustrated below, the ITIF can serve a range of uses to an IT organization.
The framework is designed to accelerate an organization’s ability to organize their IT data as well their associated processes into a more cohesive and integrated approach. The framework relies on the establishment of:
- A definitive set of core information objects (e.g., investments, systems, projects)
- Formal relationships/linkages between objects (e.g., Strategies are linked to respective Goals, Activities are linked to Systems/Services)
- Linkage integrity between objects (e.g., an Activity cannot be associated with more than one Goal, a System/Service’s Activities cannot be associated with more than one Investment)
- An unlimited ability to create new attributes/fields to the framework without interfering with the model’s integrity (e.g., adding security boundary information to a system)
- The ability to create new objects in the framework (e.g., making security boundary an object with its own attributes which is then linked to the system object)
Future versions of the ITIF™ are expected to provide a more comprehensive data dictionary of IT information encapsulated by the framework.