As companies shift towards cloud and Hybrid IT, the impact of bimodal (or two-speed) IT is becoming clearer.
According to our own Hybrid Habits research, 73% of IT decision makers globally are expecting the proportion of their cloud budgets to grow in the next three years.
This will inevitably result in a growing level of complexity as bimodal IT becomes more common.
Gartner defines bimodal IT as ‘the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility’.
Mode 1 generally applies to legacy in-house infrastructure, and puts emphasis on safety and accuracy.
But Mode 2 typically exists in the cloud, where the focus is on speed and agility.
Let’s take closer look at how this approach is likely to impact organisations in future…
Check out Fujitsu’s recent whitepaper for more on the impact of bi-modal IT…
Overcoming fresh challenges
While bimodal IT can bring numerous benefits, it also poses many new challenges for the organisations as adoption increases.
One major impact is the forced structural change to the way an IT department runs and operates. Your sales team could go off on its own and deploy a cloud CRM platform such as Salesforce, all without the help of the IT department.
This bypasses the traditional model of procurement – your team wants to use Salesforce now, and the old way is slow to meet their needs. So they’ll take steps to get it more quickly.
While this may feel like a loss of control for IT, it actually signals a massive change in the way technology is distributed from the bottom up.
Going back to the sales team example, if they had any technical issues using their new cloud CRM solution, those issues could likely be resolved by the external provider rather than having to involve internal IT.
So where does the IT department fit into this new way of doing things?
In the worst-case scenario, the IT team will see its share of responsibilities shifted across multiple subscription services. Instead of sitting with IT, these services would be managed by other departments via user-friendly interfaces and portals.
Getting bimodal right
We’ve talked about overcoming the new challenges bimodal IT will inevitably bring, but the answer to getting this approach right lies first in recognising the need for change and second in approaching those challenges creatively.
Getting bimodal right will open up new roles and opportunities for the IT department, and other parts of the business will benefit from having more nimble and responsive technologies at their disposal.
You can see how the effective execution of bimodal is critical to the Hybrid IT model. But there are still some other points to consider…
IT as an enabler
While it may be easy for other departments to deploy cloud services on their own as needed, it’s not always easy for them to do it the right way. So IT still needs to play a significant role in guiding those teams.
Instead of arguing with departments over who should have control over what, the IT function will become more of a facilitator and enabler for innovation across the organisation.
Rather than fighting to preserve its domain, IT needs to recognise that cloud services in some instances are simply a better choice than building and deploying technology in-house.
But these new services must also work alongside vital legacy systems. This is the ultimate goal of Hybrid IT, and the IT department has a critical role in making sure that smooth integration happens.
Questions every IT department should ask
By providing guidance and a company-wide roadmap, the IT department can make sure new cloud technologies are properly managed while being cost-effective and efficient.
Here are some key questions that every IT department should ask when thinking about adopting new cloud technologies:
- How high up in the technology stack will each cloud deployment go?
- Which party will handle monitoring and management of each layer?
- What are the costs and benefits of each solution?
- How will the different parts – legacy and cloud – work together as a coherent whole?
The successful balancing of old and new technologies requires cultural change across an organisation. Technology disrupts at every corner, and that includes the changing of old traditional job roles into new ones.
Businesses have to adapt to and then embrace these new conditions. Only an organisation that is ready for change and open to new ways of thinking and working will be able to make the leap.
Enjoyed this post? Check out our guide to migrating your data centre from on-premise to a Hybrid environment!