One often hears from business people that IT is very complex and hard to understand for anyone outside the IT world, and thus difficult to manage. IT Standard for Business (or IT Standard in short) has been developed to support decision makers both in business and IT to have a holistic picture of how IT should be managed in order to provide maximum value for business. Since the business needs should be the main driver in IT management, the emphasis in the IT Standard is on the cooperation between business and IT.

IT Standard for Business differs from many other IT standards and frameworks because it is simple and written in everyday language. This makes it useful for everyone who wants to understand how IT functions should be governed in an organization. The basic framework illustration, called the grid, gives an overview of the five principle elements of IT management which are the following:

  • Enterprise Development turns business development initiatives into operational actions in IT.
  • Strategy and Governance defines how IT operates and creates value for the business.
  • Sourcing and Supplier Management ensures that the company has the services that best fit its business purposes.
  • Project and Development Management is essential for organizations to improve and create new solutions to succeed in competitive environments.
  • Service Management offers business-aligned services that ensure efficient and uninterrupted business operations.


The IT Standard collects the know-how of hundreds of individuals who possess extensive experience in the IT field. It has been developed with a community of IT professionals and business executives whose collaboration benefits the entire information society. It is an open source framework, available for everyone at www.itforbusiness.org and can be freely used to improve the company’s IT. Training partners collaborating with the ICT Standard community can also offer certification courses on IT Standard for Business (Certified IT Standard Professional) and on IT Management (Certified IT Management Professional). For more information on further education and certification exams, please visit the community developing the IT Standard, ICT Standard Forum at www.ictstandard.org.

The first edition of IT Standard was published in 2009 under the title of ICT Standard for Management. The development was done by an IT management advisory company called Sofigate. Since publication, the IT Standard raised a lot of interest and was taken into use in numerous Nordic companies. ICT Standard Forum was then established to develop the framework further and to ensure global visibility. Many renowned IT leaders took part in the development of the second version, which was published in 2012.

This third version is an e-Edition format published in 2015, which includes the results of the extensive development programs carried out with globally operating companies, such as, Fortum, KONE, Neste, Pöyry, Saab, Sanoma, and VR Group. In addition to the new models and best practices such as the new IT Operating model, business-focused Project Model and the five elements of Service Management, this version places special focus on the requirements of digitalization.

Digitalization underlines the importance of professional IT management as it impacts each and every area of any business today. IT Standard for Business is one of the first widely used management frameworks that has been thoroughly renewed to fully support digitalization to its full extent. Even if the actual word “digitalization” is not found in the name any of the functions of the IT Standard grid, digitalization runs through the whole IT Standard and impacts every single function.

We hope that IT Standard for Business helps organizations to better manage and develop their IT functions. In closing, we welcome all feedback, development ideas, and experiences on using the IT Standard. All new members are welcome to join the community at www.ictstandard.org.


Juha Huovinen

Chairman of the Board

ICT Standard Forum


Katri Kolesnik

Head of CIO Innovation Center



The IT Standard for Business 2015 has been developed in cooperation with the Business and IT executives. The members of the IT Standard development community include:


Editorial Team

Sofigate: Juha Huovinen (Editor in Chief), Katri Kolesnik (Managing Editor), Jari Andersson, Ari Nuutinen, Elena Van Leemput, Jarmo Jätyri, Lotta Deau, Erja Klemola, Jari Raappana, Jori Kanerva, Menno Huijben,Mikko Talsi, Tuomo Malinen


Special thanks to the following individuals for development and editorial support:

Caruna: Heikki Linnanen (CIO)
City of Helsinki: Ilkka Kautto
City of Vantaa: Antti Ylä-Jarkko (CIO), Hannu-Pekka Polttila
Destia: Jaana Saarela (CIO)
DNA: Janne Aalto (CIO), Tiina Moberg
Fingrid: Kari Suominen (CIO), Marko Haikarainen
Fortum: Pekka Eira (CIO), Eero Kukkola, Jukka Rautakallio, Matti Nurmi
HKScan: Tero Lindholm (CIO), Christer Widegren
KONE: Kati Hagros (CDO), Antti Koskelin (CIO), Galith Nabornik, Milla Saaristenperä
Konecranes: Juha Pankakoski (CDO), Samuli Pahkala
Lähitapiola: Mikko Vastela (CIO), Jari Koivumäki
Neste: Tommi Tuovila (CIO), Esa Nykänen, Marko Mäki-Ullakko
Pöyry: Vesa Erolainen (CIO), Andy Checkley
Sanoma: Mikael Nurmi (CTO), Antti Kervinen, Turkka Ihalainen
Sofigate: Sami Karkkila (CEO), Antti Glad, Aki Karhu, Ari Nuutinen, Eero Korhonen, Elina Pelto, Hans Gillior, Heikki Kylmäniemi, Jaana Nurmi, Jarkko Lommi, Jarmo Pyykkönen, Juha Kauhanen, Juho Pasanen, Jukka Heikkinen, Jukkapekka Riikkilä, Jyrki Martti, Kaisa Ala-Jääski, Kare Piekkola, Kari Vääränen, Kimmo Koivisto, Lauri Kivistö, Liisa Korkiakoski, Miikka Salmi, Pasi Lahtonen, Pauli Lönnroth, Pavel Haimi, Peter Westerholm, Petri Havukainen, Pirjo Myyry, Praveen Panicker, Reto Wyss, Sanna Suomela, Satu Nuutinen, Seppo Kainomaa, Tommi Selinheimo, Tuomo Koskenvaara, Valtteri Rantala
Technopolis: Tommy Kankkonen (CIO)
UPM: Turkka Keskinen (CIO), Jari Ilmonen, Mikko Wecksten, Timo Kaulio,
Veikkaus: Reni Waegelin (CIO), Timo Paajanen
VR (Finnish Railways): Jukka-Pekka Suonikko (CIO)

Release notes

Release Notes v3.3

In the 3.3 release, the IT Standard have been added with the following sections and updates:

3.7 Security, Risk Management and Quality Assurance

A more in-depth section for information security is provided in this update. In the digitalized world where everything is interconnected, the traditional company boundaries are more complex and therefore, information security has to be redefined accordingly.

5.2 Project Portfolio Management

This update enhances the project portfolio section with Lean approach to project portfolio management as well as provide templates for project status indication and project classification. Learn how to improve flow efficiency by minimizing throughput time to enable benefit realization as early as possible.

6.7 Service Operation and Support

This chapter is updated with Digital Service Desk and Digital Worker sections. Many organizations in different industries are constantly seeking new ways to increase the user satisfaction and lower the operational costs. This can be achieved by improving the interaction between the use, Tier 0 and automating the support routines. Digital Worker enhances the service support from both functional and organizational point of view.




Contact us IT for Business as PDF


Looking for answers to your questions about IT Standard? Get in touch.