Adapt Your Service Desk for Bimodal IT

The enterprise IT environment is very dynamic. Business needs evolve and solutions are sought to address new challenges quickly to remain competitive in the market. The modern service desk must be flexible in design and incorporate what Gartner refers to as Bimodal IT (Wigmore, 2013). In other words, it must be configurable to manage the stable business applications of Mode 1 while also managing the fast-paced Agile Mode 2 development environment. A solution like BMC’s FootPrints.( van der Merwe, 2016) can help you with your Bimodal IT strategy.

Bimodal IT is an approach to IT infrastructure that leverage’s both traditional and Agile IT Modes. Gartner research vice president Mary  Mesaglio (McCall, 2015) explained that one IT Mode will not address the complex needs of Today’s enterprise, so business should utilise the Bimodal IT initiative.


Introducing Bimodal IT into the enterprise is not an easy task. There are pro’s, Advantages of Bimodal IT (Danvers, 2016) and cons, Disadvantages of Bimodal IT (Danvers, 2016) to the process that the CIO needs to be aware of. However, when done successfully, Mode 2 creates the desired flexibility needed for fast-paced, Agile development, without impacting on stable, Mode 1 business applications.

Bimodal IT and the Service Desk

One of the first steps in the Bimodal Service Desk journey is to ensure that your Service Desk team starts at what Gartner refers to as Mode 0, the current situation. This is the foundation from where Bimodal will begin. The next step is to group your Service Desk tasks into Mode 1 and Mode 2 operations. The workspace design of a product like BMC FootPrints allows the CIO to separate the Mode 1 service desk operations into one workspace, and the Agile Mode 2 service desk operations into a separate workspace. This technique allows a more controlled approach to service desk management in Mode 1 and a dynamic, Agile, change management and problem resolution process in Mode 2.

Bimodal Service Desk Mode 1

Traditionally, all business critical applications are managed by the stable, Mode 1 Service Desk team.

Bimodal Service Desk Mode 2

Typically, Agile development using SCRUM methodology to fast track short projects with a fixed start and end date are managed by the Agile, Mode 2 Service Desk team.

Bimodal Service Desk Change Management

The design of the Bimodal Service Desk with its multiple workspaces allows change requests to be generated from the Agile Mode 2 workspace and managed within the Mode 1 workspace. An example of this type of request is when a developer in Mode 2 requesting a change to a production server managed by the Mode 1 IT team. In cases like this, the more rigorous change management process of Mode 1 will dictate if and when the change will take place.

When a change that impacts a Mode 2 server is requested by a developer, the change management process is far less rigorous, and Mode 2 change management rules apply.

Bimodal Service Desk Incident and Problem Request

As is the case with the Change Request, Incident and Problem Requests will be managed by the relevant Mode 1 or Mode 2 team. It goes without saying that Mode 1 tickets will be governed by the Mode 1 business rules and Mode 2 tickets will be governed by the Mode 2 business rules.


Applying the Bimodal IT framework to a service desk must be planned carefully to avoid making a mess of the process. Done correctly, the CIO can ensure that the service desk can manage the competing business demand for application stability and fast Agile development.


Danvers, R 2016 Onsoft. Available: Advantages of Bimodal IT. [2016, May 5]

Danvers, R 2016 Onsoft. Available: Disadvantages of Bimodal IT. [2016, May 5]

McCall, T. 2015. Gartner. Available:  Why Digital Business Needs Bimodal IT. [2016, May 5]

van der Merwe, S 2016. Onsoft. Available: BMC FootPrints. [2016, May 5]

Wigmore, I. 2013. Gartner. Available: Bimodal IT [2016, May 5]

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