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25 terms to know before taking the IT4IT Foundation exam

IT4IT is a reference architecture created by The Open Group for managing enterprise information technology (IT). The IT4IT Reference Architecture provides a framework to support value chain-based operating models and service-centric IT management ecosystems. As Enamul Haque, author of "Cloud Service Management and Governance - Smart Service Management in Cloud Era," writes, the "IT4IT Reference Architecture provides more than just best practices for IT -- it puts IT in the context of a business model that documents how IT initiatives contribute to an enterprise's financial success."

We've gathered some essential terms you need to know before you begin studying for the IT4IT Foundation exam. This certification validates the test-taker's knowledge about the terminology, structure, and basic concepts and core principles of the IT4IT Reference Architecture and the IT Value Chain. The examination consists of 40 multiple choice questions and can be taken at a Pearson VUE test center or online through Pearson OnVUE Proctoring. Candidates are eligible for an OpenBadge certificate if they score 65 and above on the exam. 

General terms you need to know

Value. The perceived benefits or importance of something. Value can be added through increased productivity, reduced costs, expanding markets, mitigating negative impacts and other methods.

Value proposition. These are statements that clearly identify the benefits a company's products and services will deliver to its customers. A value proposition statement should be viewed as an opportunity to tell customers why a company, its product or service is the best one to buy.

Value chain. A series of activities made by an organization for a product or service that provides value.

IT value chain. A set of activities performed by an organization that adds value to either a business service or IT service.

Service management. A set of specialized organizational capabilities that provides value to customers. Service management is a customer-focused approach to delivering and managing IT services.

IT service. A service that enables value through IT infrastructure that can help facilitate outcomes for end users.

Data objects. A collection of one or more data points that creates meaning when viewed together. There are also special data objects that can represent abstractions for specific services.

Terms for IT value streams you need to know

Strategy to portfolio. Also called S2P, it defines a strategy for balancing and brokering portfolios.

Requirement to deploy. Also called R2D, it sets up requirements to build services and deploy them.

Request to fulfill. Also called R2F, it streamlines the process to fulfill requests.

Detect to correct. Also called D2C, helps detect issues and before they hurt the user.

Terms you need to know about IT4IT Reference Architecture core concepts

Value stream. Open Group identifies a value stream as a sequence of activities that create a positive result for customers, stakeholders and end users. A value stream consists of data objects and their relationships.

Service model backbone. It is a structure that binds different abstraction levels of the used service model together. The Service Model Backbone provides data entities, attributes as well as any necessary relationships between them.

Relationship. This is in reference to the essential relationships between data objects. Data objects with their relationships and dependencies together make a system of record integrations.

Service lifecycle data object. A service lifecycle data object represents authoritative source data used for managing the business in IT.

Functional components. A functional component is the smallest unit of technology that can stand on its own. They should have defined inputs and outputs of data objects and have an impact on key data objects. Functional component controls are used to manage a single type of data object.

IT service model terms to know

Integration model. This is a data model that includes a Systems of Records, Systems of Engagement and system of insights.

Service model. This is a model that is constructed using conceptual service models, logical service models and realized service models, all of which can help make a functional model.

Functional model. This is a data model that includes functional components and data objects.

Information model. This model includes key data objects, auxiliary data objects and data relationships, all of which help form an integration model.

Additional terms to know

System of record. A system of record, also called an authoritative source system, is the service lifecycle data objects that are used to manage IT businesses. The system of record is made up of authoritative source data.

Primary functional components. These are functional components that are aligned with specific defined value streams.

Secondary functional components. These are functional components that affect key data objects for a specific value stream, but are not considered a primary component to the value stream. IT4IT uses different colors to label primary and secondary functional components.

OMG. Stands for object management group and is a computer industry standard consortium. It was created for the purpose of creating a standard architecture for distributed objects.

Logical Service Blueprint data object. The Logical Service Blueprint is the logical design of a service based on requirements and the conceptual service blueprint. Source code and infrastructure are based around the Logical Service Blueprint, as well as the Service Design Package and IT Initiative priorities.

This was last updated in April 2021

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