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Today's information technology products and solutions are becoming increasingly complex and confusing. Customers and solution providers have more product and technology choices than ever before. This complexity will always increase as new products are added to the existing ones—it will never decrease! A framework to guide users through these choices is needed. Just as a construction blueprint helps engineers and builders and a city plan helps city planners, an information technology framework can guide its users in building solutions. This technical note discusses a blueprint in generic terms and uses examples from the transportation industry as an analogy to the information technology industry. The basic stack of IBM's Open Blueprint® is incorporated into a framework that expands the physical network layer into more granular product layers, so that relationships between purchased products and delivered functions can be determined. This allows users to make more thoughtful decisions in a guided approach as they design solutions.
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