How Bimodal IT Is a Key Step In Elevating IT Maturity

    July 20, 2016
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    By Per Bauer

    In today’s diverse IT environments, IT managers must create new ways of achieving business goals without losing focus on day-to-day activities. They need to simultaneously monitor and innovate — the bimodal IT framework provides a means to do precisely this.

    Elevating IT Maturity means being able to effectively do multiple things at once. IT managers need to oversee day-to-day operations, analyze data to diagnose and solve current problems, and predict and avoid future ones, all while never losing sight of business objectives. With increasingly complex IT infrastructures and the advent of things like virtualization, dynamic computing, and cloud computing, keeping all of these balls in the air becomes all the more difficult, according to ComputerWorld.

    That’s where the tenets of bimodal IT come in. Introduced by Gartner Research Group in 2014, bimodal IT is the notion that in order to maximize efficiency, organizations need to bifurcate their IT into two distinct modes of operation with two distinct speeds.

    Mode 1 concerns itself with system maintenance, daily upkeep, analytics, efficiency. This unit is process-oriented, structured and methodical. The focus is on accuracy, safety and efficiency. Mode 2 is all about speed, agility, and innovation, and continuous improvement — it’s about turning business ideas into reality. This mode operates more like a start-up than your traditional IT department.

    IT Professionals Wear Multiple Hats

    The current IT climate is far too complex for managers to simply spend their days monitoring day-to-day operations and putting out fires, expending all their energy monitoring daily processes and mitigating crises as they occur.

    ITSO maturity requires that you establish automated processes for collecting and analyzing data to diagnose the root cause of problems, then for using that data to make accurate predictions about future circumstances, thus increasing the quality of IT service. This enables you to better prepared for future capacity or budget shortages, knowing what steps and actions are needed in the event of predicted issues.

    But while analytics allow you to handle IT maintenance more proactively, ITSO maturity doesn’t conclude with data analytics. The highest level of ITSO maturity entails the full alignment of analytics with business goals. Since business objectives are constantly changing and evolving, creating new digital initiatives that can achieve those objectives requires time and effort that many harried IT professionals can’t afford.

    The key is to not only perform day-to-day functions effectively and efficiently, but to automate it enough so that a significant portion of your team can dedicate itself to high-level projects that advance the goals of the business. Businesses must evolve in order to remain competitive, and as IT organizations become more directly tied to business success, they must develop the ability to evolve along it.

    The Need for Bimodal

    It’s a lot to ask IT managers to do both data analysis and think about the development of the organization, to be both watchful guards of IT service and also dynamic, forward-thinking innovators. Nonetheless, the current IT climate calls for precisely this sort of multifaceted approach.

    While dividing an organization’s IT department into two distinct teams (and figuring out how these two teams might coexist) poses a whole set of challenges, the bimodal framework provides a tidy answer to the problem faced by IT organizations today. Discussion of whether bimodal is the right lens through which to view IT’s challenges is sure to continue, but the need to achieve two equally important goals is clear.


    Tags: gartner