“Digital business transformation requires leveraging a broad set of sourcing options to enable rapid digital innovation and accelerated legacy modernization. Sourcing and vendor management leaders will learn how to choose from a spectrum of bimodal sourcing options for digital business success.” –Claudio Da Rold, Analyst at Gartner
In the world of Enterprise IT and innovation, a new concept, a new method of functioning is taking its root: bimodal IT.
The term bimodal IT was coined by Gartner in 2014. The idea here is that businesses are better served by running and managing their IT initiatives under two distinct umbrellas, or in two separate modes.
One Mode is the traditional approach intended to optimize information while having a strong emphasis on safety, stability, and accuracy.
“Mode 1 is essential as it preserves a company’s cash cows. It not only retains a company but also funds the innovative projects that are designed to respond to threats from disruptive upstarts like Airbnb, Uber, and Kickstarter,” said George Spafford, Research Director of IT, Operations at Gartner.
Mode 2, on the other hand, is exploratory, focused more on agility and speed to drive innovation in the organization. As Spafford asserts: “organizations must try different approaches and experiment with IT to challenge the range of needs presented by digital business.”
In order to operate in an evolving business where new digital technologies like IoT, cloud computing, big data are emerging quickly and going mainstream even quicker, you must adapt your business to the rapid technological changes. If you are still clinging to the outdated technology your competitors, are quite likely to gain a competitive advantage over your business. The bottom line is anything that rests only on an outdated technology is a potential liability to the enterprise, and therefore technological upgrades are a must along with a conventional workflow.
Simon Mingay, Research Vice President at Gartner outlines the importance of bimodal IT, saying: “Bimodal capability that marries the renovation of the IT core with the exploratory approach to developing new digital products and services is essential for an enterprise to survive and flourish in the digital era. Both modes will play a crucial role in innovation and digital transformation.”
Today every sector is IT dependent, be it sales, business development, customer or employee engagement. Bimodal IT empowers enterprises to organize their IT needs that provide firm and reliable solutions to run an efficient business and at the same time manage uncertainty to drive digital innovation while meeting various business requirements within an enterprise. According to the survey by Gartner, “more than half of organizations have a clearly defined digital business strategy. The percentage of organizations that have formally implemented bimodal IT has doubled from 6% a year ago to 12%. 36% of organizations have been using some forms of agile/faster modes of operations, and another 20% of organizations plan to implement bimodal in 12 months.”
Enterprises need to understand the importance of both these modes as they offer great opportunities in today’s digital era. Most enterprises are changing their methods and adopting suitable control and a culture which gives them the freedom to experiment with their capabilities and proceed further even when they are unsure about the future. Most of the organizations have not only adopted the bimodal approach but also started getting benefits both internally and externally. Gartner research says Bimodal brings together, capabilities inside and outside IT. It provides an iterative solution or application development methodology, which includes methods such as agile or lean software development.
CIOs and digital business leaders are challenged to align business performance goals and stay up-to-date with the technological trends. According to Gartner’s survey,“CIOs are growing versatilists to drive digital business and bimodal IT, from an average of 21% of IT workforce with a versatilist profile today to 32% in three years.”
Enterprises aiming to undergo a successful digital transformation need to be creative and break the routine process to initiate innovation. Implementing Bimodal IT helps organizations build an agile software & technology-led business innovation.
Digital business leaders need to identify the requirement to design Bimodal IT and how it helps an enterprise to acquire its strategic goals and usher value to the business. Per Gartner’s research, IT operating model entitles an enterprise to determine and configure the optimal balance between centralized, federated and decentralized governance, decision rights and structures. It recognizes the maturity and capabilities in relation to the goal operating model by designing a roadmap for change via Gartner’s ITScore Maturity Model and helps enterprises to enhance its agility, speed, innovation and the renovation of the IT core by simply implementing the bimodal approach.
Yes, it is important for IT leaders to implement the right strategy using the data and analytics to develop new and innovative products. Nick Heudecker, an analyst at Gartner says, “delivering on new, innovative uses of data and analytics requires new approaches to managing data and analytics programs. Data and analytics leaders must master how to react to these different approaches, how they vary as conditions change, and the associated impact on program management.”
Gartner predicted 75% of IT organizations will have a Bimodal capability but only half of those organizations will succeed by 2017 and so far in this digital era bimodal approach has evinced positive responses. Therefore, IT leaders must enact both reliability (Mode 1) and innovation (Mode 2) into their digital strategy to determine key strengths and enhance their capabilities. Gartner’s research report says,“CEOs are predominantly focusing on growth levers, with 35% concentrating on technology among top-five priorities with the customer experience and workforce enhancement, and two-thirds of CEOs are raising investments in technology.”
The enterprises who want to be recognized as a digital business or want to enter into the digital transformation era must start engaging their leadership team now. This model not only empowers enterprises to face uncertainty but also enables CIOs and other business leaders to create and develop the bimodal capability to keep up with the rapid technological changes.