Supporting Functions

id 9a6daee0950246c393f8a12a2ab10a42
Figure 1. Supporting Functions Model

The Supporting Functions, shown in Supporting Functions Model and defined as part of the IT4IT Reference Architecture, underpin the Digital Value Network and often support multiple value streams and functional components. They are key enablers for managing Digital Products. These Functions are aligned to the Digital Product lifecycle to support the effective delivery of common outcomes and goals. They are typically related to, or are part of the enterprise Supporting Functions such as Finance, HR Management, and Procurement. However, these shared enterprise functions often need specific extensions or even dedicated tools (and integrations with other functions within the Digital Value Network) to manage Digital Products.

For example:

  • Calculating the service cost of Digital Products based upon actual consumption and usage (which requires integration with the Digital Product Backbone)

  • Allocating and managing budgets associated with the delivery of Digital Products (e.g., allocating budgets for Digital Products)

  • Managing relationships with service providers and vendors involved in the Digital Value Network (such as SaaS and IaaS vendors)

  • Managing contracts and purchase orders linked to the Digital Product Portfolio, Orders, Service Contracts, and Actual Product Instances

  • Managing risk and compliance related to the Digital Products

  • Providing data analytics and reporting in the context of Digital Product delivery

  • Providing common communication and collaboration functionality (which need to be integrated into the digital delivery model)

The Supporting Functions consist of functional components and data objects that are essential for delivering and managing Digital Products. They are necessary to optimize value while managing risks, compliance, and costs. Although they play an important role in delivering Digital Products as a shared function, they are not defined in the IT4IT Standard as normative. The Supporting Functions will be defined in more detail in a future release of the IT4IT Reference Architecture.

Each of the Supporting Functions is described in the context of managing the Digital Product lifecycle and highlighting the interaction between the functional components.