One standard to rule them all

Karel van Zeeland
2 min read

The world of IT management is abounding with standards and frameworks. These standards address various aspects of management and in many cases, they are overlapping or provide contradicting guidance. As a result, much time and effort are expended in IT organizations to design and implement a comprehensive method for managing the business of IT.

This begs the question of whether we really need all those standards and what benefit they provide or if there is perhaps an alternative way of setting up IT management in a more successful way.

What is wrong with this?

The list of standards and frameworks for IT management is long and growing. Dating back as far as the 1980’s we have seen concepts like ITIL, COBIT, ISO 20000, IT-CMF, VerISM, ISM to name a few. Next to that, a wealth of purpose-specific management methodologies exist in the world of IT, like Prince and PM-BOK for project management, Waterfall, Agile, SAFe and SCRUM for software development and concepts like DevOps and CI/CD are being widely used. It can be hard to make sense of all these and apply them in the right way.

The problem becomes more complex even if we want to select and deploy technology solutions (tools) to automate the implementation of these methodologies. In practice, we find that IT organizations pick and choose from the available plethora of methods and solutions and develop their own flavor of an IT management landscape, often at great expense.

As we are moving into a world where IT organizations no longer develop, deliver and support IT solutions for their businesses all by themselves, but work with supplier-partners, the many variants of IT management are starting to create unnecessary complexity and cost and are slowing down the effort of the IT organization to enable the digital transformation of the core businesses they are an ever increasing critical part of.

That doesn’t sound good, does it? Is there really no way in which we can make IT management less of a burden to the IT organization and transform it into a way-of-working that enables IT to become that strategic partner of the core business? Fortunately, there is.

What can be done about this?

Since late 2015 there is an open standard called IT4ITTM that addresses the problems outlined above. IT4IT looks at the business of IT from a Value Chain perspective and identifies all capabilities that are required to gain a comprehensive insight into how well IT is performing. The associated IT4IT reference architecture helps IT organizations to design and establish the IT management landscape in a step-by-step manner and drive IT organizational maturity in a manageable way.


Adopting IT4IT as a framework for IT management in your organization does not require you to abandon everything you have done in the past. A cleverly constructed plan ensures a smooth transition to a significantly more mature IT organization, where collaboration and flow of information is the norm and the core business will thank you for that.

If you are interested to learn more about IT4IT and how it is being applied in many organizations around the world, then go and have a look at

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