CIOIT Best Practices

6 Reasons Bimodal IT Is Wrong for You

The ongoing hostile debate over bimodal IT continues. This time, it is Curtis Franklin Jr. writing for InformationWeek on offense against bimodal IT. He identifies six problems in the concept, any of which he feels should be reason to be weary of it. Here is what he believes bimodal IT does that is so risky:

  1. Prizes stasis
  2. Sets quality versus speed
  3. Complicates IT
  4. Means at least two IT staffs
  5. Discourages backend transformation
  6. Ignores the business

The Danger of Dual Wielding

Franklin worries that a big part of bimodal IT’s initial adoption came from businesses that were eager to not actually change much. Mode 1 IT can be viewed as business-as-usual, keep-things-stable IT, meaning it can stay put just the way it is. But too much stasis, even in an area prized for its reliability, can be dangerous in the long term. The same principles apply to the backend and rate of transformation there. Franklin continues to say this:

Bimodal IT assumes that quality is demonstrated in stability, and that stability cannot be achieved in an agile, dynamic development methodology. By setting quality and agility as opposing qualities, bimodal thinking almost guarantees that it will be more difficult to achieve both within the same organization, because it implicitly says that you shouldn’t expect both as a result of a single development and management methodology.

Bimodal IT effectively doubles the complexity of IT in spite of being roughly the same size, which on paper just sounds wrong. It also demands having two separate, dedicated IT staffs who do not mingle often. This almost immediately limits how the skills of a person on one side of the fence will progress over time.

Lastly, Franklin believes that a shift to bimodal IT happens as a result of IT’s needs rather than the business’s needs. But business needs should be the catalyst for everything that occurs in IT. One could of course make the counterpoint that bimodal IT is much better equipped to support the business, just as one could attempt to argue against most of the above points. If you have opinions, let us hear them. The battle continues.

You can view the original article here:

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