Project Portfolio Management

How Bimodal IT Can Kill Your Company

Can you really have the best of both worlds without any drawbacks?  Gartner experts claim that bimodal IT is the way to go and the key to success. However, in an article for InformationWeek, Curtis Franklin Jr. explores the opposing view of Forrester’s John C. McCarthy.

The Friction Effect

CIOs are on the hunt for new processes that will help them keep up in the fast-paced, technology-driven world. This is where bimodal IT seems to really shine and be the top pick, but McCarthy questions whether this is the best path for CIOs to go down.

Most companies see the definition of bimodal IT and see how it can help them solve their problems today, and so they move forward with it. Recently, McCarthy took the time to analyze the actual benefits and drawbacks of this solution. In an interview with InformationWeek, he drew a comparison to physics: “What happens when you bring two things spinning at different rates together? Friction. That brings heat, and that brings fire. That’s the tension we were talking about.”

Bimodal IT creates problems for organizations because it does some things that are counterproductive. For example, bimodal IT leads executives to believe that backend systems are safe as they are, which is rarely true. Additionally, it hides important aspects of the IT infrastructure from both the business units and the customers.

McCarthy believes bimodal IT has two pertinent “side effects.” First, customers want and expect fast delivery. However, bimodal IT demands that at least a part of the company is not moving quickly, which slows down the entire delivery. Secondly, bimodal IT causes a portion of the company to not focus on customers, potentially resulting in a situation where, for instance, agile helps the company deliver the “wrong thing more quickly.”

Bimodal IT is not a sustainable, successful solution. So will organizations pull away from this practice willingly, or when they are inevitably in trouble? You can read the original article here:

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