The proliferation of cloud, mobile and social technologies in the enterprise have made possible a world of real-time innovation, enabling even the most established of businesses to behave as nimbly as startups and react almost instantaneously to the ever-changing business environment. In fact, according to Gartner “digital business will be one of the main mechanisms for delivering value from technology in 2015 and beyond.” Those organizations that adapt their IT strategies to respond to disruptive business moments will ultimately be better equipped to deal with the rapid and continuous changes that characterize the new pace of business.
At the same time, as IT organizations explore new policies and protocols to becomes more fluid, they cannot afford to sacrifice security and safety. Bimodal IT refers to two modes of operation that can help IT professionals navigate this challenge. As defined by Gartner, Mode 1 is “safe,” and designed to “support the delivery of safe, accurate and predictable systems.” Mode 2, on the other hand is “fast,” and in addition to delivering faster results also offers more freedom of choice to business users in how they respond to business opportunities in real time. In the digital business ecosystem, many organizations are operating in Mode 2, and as such, IT has no choice but to adapt.
However, striking the optimal balance between the two can be challenging, as developing two fully-functional modes of operation and seamlessly translating between the two requires a large commitment of time and resources from IT, especially as retrofitting existing policies and systems is not a viable long-term solution.
Despite these challenges, it is critical that IT take steps to account for the unpredictability of business opportunities in the new digital business environment, especially when it comes to integration. By not doing so, organizations run the risk of missing out on business opportunities, lost revenue, and ultimately becoming obsolete as competitors who can more quickly respond, gain market share.
Furthermore, business users will create their own workarounds in order to maintain productivity if they feel IT-sanctioned methods are not responsive enough to meet their needs. These ad-hoc solutions open up the network to a variety of risks, as IT no longer has visibility into the connections being made with internal and external applications and partners.
Business users must be empowered to safely create data connections on the fly in response to real-time business demands. This fluidity and adaptability will come to characterize “business as usual” and organizations that begin developing and implementing the bimodal approach now will succeed, while those that don’t will be left behind.