Journal on Data Semantics,
November 2017 · doi:10.1007/s13740-017-0084-9
A domain-specific ontology for IT benchmarking has been developed to bridge the gap between a systematic characterization of IT services and their data-based valuation. Since information is generally collected during a benchmark exercise using questionnaires on a broad range of topics, such as employee costs, software licensing costs, and quantities of hardware, it is commonly stored as natural language text; thus, this information is stored in an intrinsically unstructured form. Although these data form the basis for identifying potentials for IT cost reductions, neither a uniform description of any measured parameters nor the relationship between such parameters exists. Hence, this work proposes an ontology for the domain of IT benchmarking, available at https://w3id.org/bmontology . The design of this ontology is based on requirements mainly elicited from a domain analysis, which considers analyzing documents and interviews with representatives from Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Information and Communications Technology companies over the last eight years. The development of the ontology and its main concepts is described in detail (i.e., the conceptualization of benchmarking events, questionnaires, IT services, indicators and their values) together with its alignment with the DOLCE-UltraLite foundational ontology.