I recently took a look at IT4IT’s version 3, and while there’s a wealth of information in there, I’m not sure it’s for me. Frameworks and standards such as ITIL and IT4IT provide huge bodies of knowledge, but today’s complex digital services demand a simplified and sustainable management system.

As the name suggests, IT4IT is limited to digital services. In fact, the IT4IT standard not only changed IT service to digital product it ‘changes this focus to address technology or code as the main actor in the delivery of an outcome of a service, removing those services performed by human labor[1].’

People are still actors in the delivery of outcomes. USM provides a sustainable management system for any enterprise service, not just IT services, so it applies to everyone in the enterprise. This also makes it far easier to consume than the IT4IT standard.

Again, as the name suggests, IT4IT is inside-out. The seven value streams described in the standard are designed to ‘combine all of the necessary capabilities to deliver value and support to the dependent parts of the Digital Product lifecycle’.

USM describes customer-driven service delivery. Four of the five processes and five of the eight workflows are customer-facing; USM is very much outside-in!

IT4IT provides a very detailed reference architecture that is designed to manage the business of IT. It ‘prescribes the value streams and capabilities required to manage the Digital Product lifecycle’. Similar to ITIL, IT4IT is practice-oriented; it provides ways to perform tasks in actual situations.

Whether IT4IT is for you depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Jan van Bon posted about this years ago. I think large enterprises in particular will find plenty of good information in the IT4IT standard, and it should find a place in the enterprise reference library.

But what all enterprises need today is a dose of simplicity, and the Unified Service Management Method delivers that very well, as outlined in a single book.

USM is a method that provides the architecture and the management system to deploy any combination of practices in one integrated system, for any combination of teams or organizations, in any line of business.

Get a simple, sustainable management system in place with the USM Method; then pick and choose what other parts of your reference library apply to you.

[1] The Open Group IT4IT Standard, Version 3.0

Published by myservicemonitor

I am an independent service management consultant with two decades of experience helping customers.

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