Unifying IT Best Practice Frameworks and Standards within TOGAF

April 2011

All IT best practice frameworks and standards have a common goal; building and operating IT effectively and efficiently to add value to the business it drives and to maintain information assurance. An enterprise successfully applying best practice frameworks and standards will more likely have advantage against its competitors as it develops a clear IT strategy reflecting the requirements of its business strategy, makes effective and transparent investments, manages its performance, and acts in compliance with regulatory and contractual requirements.

There are various work groups and institutions compiling best practices and defining standards with similar motivations. It is sometimes confusing for an organization which framework or standard to follow and very often there is a need to align more than one standard or framework due to varying reasons, such as competitive, contractual or regulatory requirements. The dispersion of requirements across various organizational functions and the duplication of information contained within different frameworks may often cause distractions, lack of ownership and stakeholder commitment, and long running redundant efforts with fragmentation issues. Demonstrating the return of investment can also be challenging in many of these projects.

While there are many assessments and guidance available examining IT standards, best practices and architecture frameworks, they usually make standalone analysis or one-to-one comparisons between domains of the frameworks without providing a conclusive view for an organization to decide which framework(s) to follow and how to integrate their practices within the organization’s existing operating model. This article addresses these issues by developing a unified approach and strategy to align popular IT best practice frameworks and standards under the common umbrella of Enterprise Architecture. TOGAF, with its generic modeling structure, has been chosen as the Enterprise Architecture framework, and popular best practice frameworks and standards are presented with their specific set of practices, integrating into TOGAF to adapt and build a unified IT management framework.

Next: TOGAF as the Master Framework