The global skills and competency framework for the digital world

#1443 Removal of SYSP change request accepted

Text from Garry Tyrrell Lead Editor for SFIAplus. Cannot add the comments himself. What is the rationale behind the loss of SYSP? This has been an important aspect of SFIA that I have used with Clients on many occasions. The Change Log does not indicate that there has been any change request to remove it. Neither does it seem to have been fully absorbed into ITOP, which might be considered to be closely aligned. I would like to know why it has been terminated and whether or not its content has been moved elsewhere.

See above.

Proposed change applies to System software

Current status of this request: accepted

What we decided

To reinstate SYSP following feedback and further review of SFIA 8 beta.

What we changed

Systems software (SYSP) has been revised and updated for SFIA 8.

Andrew Thomson
Jun 28, 2021 02:02 PM

Like Garry, I used "System Software" (SYSP) many times in skills profiling over the years but less so as updates became more vendor-automated and almost not at all since the emergence and now predominance of SaaS. As Garry notes, ITOP is a closely-aligned skill and has wider relevance these days.
I've posted the detail behind this proposed change as CR #1447.

Matthew Burrows
Jun 28, 2021 04:54 PM

Notes from Andy Thomson:
"The skills in 'System software" (SYSP) that relate to software updates are covered in the proposed SFIA 8 "IT infrastructure" (ITOP). If the proposed ITOP changes are implemented, SYSP is no longer required in SFIA.

In SFIA v7, the activities described in SYSP overlap with ITOP, although ITOP doesn't refer to software updates explicitly.

However, when SYSP was examined in the general SFIA 8 review for skills readability, some issues were apparent:

SYSP Level 3 description "Carries out agreed system software maintenance tasks." is already entirely covered by ITOP Level 3 ("Carries out agreed operational procedures, including infrastructure configuration, installation and maintenance.)
Therefore SYSP Level 3 is not needed

SYSP Level 4, " Reviews system software updates and identifies those that merit action. Tailors system software to maximise hardware functionality." and
SYSP Level 5 " Evaluates new system software, reviews system software updates and identifies those that merit action. Ensures that system software is tailored to facilitate the achievement of service objectives."

are not sufficiently different to distinguish the levels of responsibility.
Therefore, without Level 3, SYSP has effectively only one skill level.

The overall description for SYSP says that the skill is " The provision of specialist expertise ...", which appears to be a specific instance of "Specialist advice" (TECH), rather than a distinct skill in its own right.

A significant refresh of ITOP is proposed for SFIA 8 (CRs #1432, #1434). By ensuring that software updates (and other infrastructure updates) are included in ITOP, then SYSP would no longer be required as a separate SFIA skill.

In the SFIA 8 Beta version of ITOP:

Guidance notes include "maintaining and enhancing the IT infrastructure and infrastructure components", which would include managing and applying software updates
The new ITOP Level 5 includes "Oversees the planning, installation, maintenance and acceptance of new and modified infrastructure components and infrastructure based services."
ITOP does not explicitly refer to 'software updates' but uses a broader description instead, which includes IaaS, SaaS, etc. services as well as installed HW/SW infrastructure components."