Advantages of Bimodal IT Operations

Bimodal IT Operations can be described as IT operating in two different modes and speeds. Mode 1 being the traditional and safe approach while mode 2 is the agile and disruptive approach. According to Gartner, “Enterprises must learn to operate in two essential modes”. Bimodal IT (McCall, 2015). There are advantages and risks when embarking on a dual-mode IT model. This article will focus on the advantages associated with Bimodal IT for an organisation. Before discussing the advantages of Bimodal IT, let’s review what the 2 modes.

Refer to article 1 in the series where I explain what Bimodal IT is all about. What is Bimodal IT Operations?

Mode 1 – Traditional IT Role

Mode 1 of Bimodal IT focusses on the traditional role played by the IT department. In this mode delivery and operations are reliable, scalable and secure. Mission critical applications still use traditional IT, and will continue to do so while senior management remains reluctant to move these systems out of Mode 1.

Mode 2 – Agile IT Role

A driving force behind the concept of Bimodal IT is the inherent difficulty of experimenting with innovative applications and their toolsets on legacy systems. Agile IT (Gartner, 2015) is disruptive, yet it fosters innovative solutions in an Agile, fail-fast fashion. This innovation is made possible by removing the monolithic and solid modularity traditionally found in the Mode 1 space. A prime example of Mode 2 Agile development is the growing availability of Cloud-based applications available in the market.

Benefits of Bimodal IT

Explore and test new technologies without the risking business continuity
This step requires a lot of research and planning to ensure that you do not alter any business critical processes and defeat the process of going Agile.

Reduce IT costs and empower staff with new technologies
Selectively implement an Agile approach saves money ad gives the IT staff time to learn, try and test new technologies without disturbing the flow of the business.

Reduce shadow IT
Bimodal IT helps reduce the use of unauthorised applications and software by quickly supplying the business users with applications they need.

Focusing one part of IT on delivering solutions quickly enabling business as a whole to move faster.

Focusing one part of IT on speed and innovation will enable the IT department to drive technology forward.

Business disruption is a growing trend across all industries. Often organisations are too slow to adapt and are unable to keep up with their more Agile rivals. However, with
one section of the IT team focussed on technology innovation, places your business in a better position to adapt.

It is also important that we also consider the major drivers behind Bimodal IT.

Drivers of Bimodal IT

New Trends in technology (social, mobile, cloud and big data) are driving business to become Agile enabling them to respond to customer needs more quickly.

Satisfy the Need for Speed inherent to being a digital business.

Elimination of the risks posed by shadow IT.


It is important for Business leaders to understand that Bimodal IT does not address all the issues IT faces, but it is a process to speed up the organisations response to customer needs. The challenge is getting all parties to work together, including staff, processes and technology, to fully realise the benefits of Bimodal IT.


McCall, T 2015. Gartner: Available: How to Innovate with Bimodal IT. [2016 April 15]

Moor, S 2015. Gartner , Available: Highlights 10 Things CIO’s Need to Know about Agile Development, [2016 April 15]

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