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StrategySep 11, 2015

Bi-Modal IT: How can IT go faster without completely losing control?

Justin Bell

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In 2014, Gartner coined the term “Bi-Modal IT” to represent an organizational model that segments services and projects into two categories based on application requirements, maturity and criticality.

  • “Mode 1” (Safe, Slow Mode) is traditional, emphasizing stability, efficiency, safety and accuracy

  • “Mode 2” (Agile, Fast Mode) is non-sequential, emphasizing agility and speed

Many companies are asking their CIOs to “make IT go faster”, but without losing control.  CIO Magazine’s article describes some of the challenges CIOs and traditional IT face trying to adapt to this need.

With my clients, I’ve seen a couple of primary success factors:

  • Define the criteria that will determine which “mode” will be used

  • Streamline the project governance and initiation process so that projects don’t stall before they start

  • Automate and streamline the “DevOps” processes for build, test and deploy so that you don’t stall on the back-end and can iteratively make progress

Have you seen an IT department that has successfully implemented a Bi-Modal approach?  What were the key success factors and lessons learned?

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