Thanks to the increasing importance of technology in business, information technology is a critical line item in business objectives this year, and Gartner is predicting that this will be the year of bimodal IT. By next year, Gartner estimates that “75 percent of IT organizations will have a bimodal capability.” But, what exactly does it mean, and is it absolutely necessary to adopt this new process? In this new series, we’ll take a look at what bimodal is so you can decide if it’s time to make a change.
What On Earth is ‘Bimodal’?
As we covered in our previous post, Gartner was one of the first to tout the idea that IT is no longer just about technology, but about driving the business as a whole — describing it as “two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility.” Gartner points to two modes:
- Mode 1 — A “linear approach to change, emphasizing predictability, accuracy, reliability and stability.”
- Mode 2 — A “nonlinear approach that involves learning through iteration, emphasizing agility and speed and, above all, the ability to manage uncertainty.”
Essentially, they say, these two new roles are the result of not only the importance of the digital aspect of a business, but also the uncertainty that comes with it. Mode 2 will have the flexibility to react to new issues or opportunities that arise as you expand the technology you have in your company.
Bimodal IT Brings Everyone Together
Gartner states that bimodal IT encompasses “broader business capability to create business change, including an approach to innovation, sourcing, cultural change and governance, as well as how the organization makes decisions.” This means that the IT department will have an impact on how the company as a whole creates processes and influences a number of areas, including, according to Gartner:
- An “iterative solution or application development methodology, which, when it involves software development, includes methods such as agile or lean software development”
- Innovation management
- Adaptive sourcing
- “Empirical governance based on a sense-and-respond capability to provide rapid and direct feedback from the eld to the solution development teams”
- A “renovated core of legacy systems and sourcing partners (see ‘Renovate the IT Core: Laying the Foundation for Digital Business’)”
It is Not a Magic Cure for All Ailments
The success of bimodal relies upon all modes to work together, and for the business to come together to reach goals. Bimodal is a methodology, not a single process, and relies upon the principles and practices to “support and reinforce each other, a failure of one can cause a reduction in the overall impact, or even the failure of all of them.” Basically, you’re going to have to work to make it work, but the two modes are already in tune with how people naturally work, so after a period of adjustment, you should be able to get it going.
To Sum it Up
Here at Samanage, we’ve been talking about the changing state of IT for a while now. You’ll have to determine what methodology is right for you, but the most important thing to remember is that IT is changing and gaining a greater role in business decisions — and that’s something to celebrate.