What is IT Architecture?

EA Principals
Apr 3 · 2 min read

IT Architecture is a broad term that can mean different things to different people and in different organizations. In this brief article, we cover what is IT Architecture and how the IT4IT Architecture Framework can help benefit organizations.


IT architecture (Information Technology Architecture) is the design of information technology at the structural level. IT Architecture is a broad area that includes several distinct practices. A common interchangeable term for IT Architecture is IT Enterprise Architecture. While these two terms reference similarities, the main difference is the IT Enterprise Architecture refers more to the IT Architecture at a high level within the enterprise, so the IT Architecture that applies to the whole enterprise, rather than specific departments.


The IT4IT Architecture Framework is The Open Group® standard that describes how to manage the IT function within the enterprise where IT is a service provider. The primary purpose of the standard is to assure efficiency and agility of the IT function within the enterprise. The framework describes core and supporting IT department activities across 4 main value streams. It also provides the reference architecture for the IT function within the enterprise.


The ultimate benefit of the IT4IT standard is to guide the improvement of the entire IT management capability of an IT organization using a value chain approach.

Use of the IT4IT Reference Architecture will:

  • Provide the capabilities for managing the business of IT that enable the IT function to effectively execute across the entire IT Value Chain in a better, faster, and more cost effective manner, while reducing risks
  • Reduce expenditure on IT management tooling by using tools that are IT4IT compliant and therefore easier to integrate
  • Increase resilience and efficiency in operations by better information provisioning and a higher degree of automation
  • Increase agility in development by providing quicker and better feedback
  • Increase throughput from development to operations by providing an end-to-end framework

Find out more about the IT4IT Reference Architecture here.

Originally published at www.eaprincipals.com.

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