Bimodal IT: Key Highlights from Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations Management Conference 2016


The digitalization of businesses has changed IT. Infrastructure and operations (I&O) teams are now tasked with creating a strategic plan to achieve agility and scalability. The Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations Management Conference that took place in Las Vegas early this month focused on evolving the role of I&O leaders to enable, influence, and collaborate to address enterprise transformation. One theme that dominated all the conversations at the event was that data center, infrastructure, and operations are “@ the core of change.” This is certainly true. Traditional approaches are shifting and enterprises are exploring advanced technologies and methodologies (cloud) to adapt to change. Here we look at a few of Gartner’s recommendations for embracing change to meet business expectations.

Rethink IT values

I&O leaders have to replace their existing IT models with agile methodologies and focus on business outcomes. What does that mean? Enterprises must align IT initiatives (existing and new) to drive business value. For example, in healthcare IT, the business value is to provide improved patient care and not to manage infrastructure, data, or applications. Technology must be leveraged to make healthcare better. The same goes with other industries—banking, retail, education, etc.

I&O teams have to RETHINK their approach towards people, process, and technology. It is not the technology, systems, and data that matter anymore.

Source: Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations Management Conference, Dec 5-8, 2016; [Gartner Keynote: The Infrastructure and Operations Scenario: @ the Core of Change, Dave Russell and Robert Naegle]

Change is the game: Work as one team

Legacy methods are not enough to achieve the agility that digital transformation demands. Everything around IT is changing. Enterprises are looking for an agile infrastructure rather than a stable and controlled delivery. There are more frequent releases than before.

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According to the conference presentation,

Source: Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations Management Conference, Dec 5-8, 2016; [Gartner Keynote: Applications and Infrastructure and Operations: When Worlds Collide, Jeff Schulman and Katherine Lord]

Beyond DevOps, the application development and infrastructure teams must come together to deliver optimized solutions.

Source: Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations Management Conference, Dec 5-8, 2016; [Gartner Keynote: Applications and Infrastructure and Operations: When Worlds Collide, Jeff Schulman and Katherine Lord]

Bimodal IT: The answer to digitalization needs

As businesses are rapidly changing, IT must evolve with this change. According to Gartner, bimodal IT offers a way to address digital transformation.

What is bimodal IT? As described in Gartner IT Glossary, “Bimodal”, “Bimodal is the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work: Mode 1 is optimized for areas that are more predictable and well-understood. It focuses on exploiting what is known, while renovating the legacy environment into a state that is fit for a digital world. Mode 2 is exploratory, experimenting to solve new problems and optimized for areas of uncertainty. These initiatives often begin with a hypothesis that is tested and adapted during a process involving short iterations, potentially adopting a minimum viable product (MVP) approach. Both play an essential role in the digital transformation.

Bimodal IT recommends how IT must be organized to meet the requirements being forced upon it by business units. This helps enterprises to create a rapid path for business application delivery.

Those are just a few of the many IT initiatives discussed during the Gartner Data Center, Infrastructure and Operations Management Conference 2016. It is clearly evident that I&O leaders play a major role in addressing enterprise transformation and building an agile infrastructure.

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* Gartner, IT Glossary; Bimodal, http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/bimodal

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