back to article Bimodal IT: Let the backlash begin

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 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed”. I find myself more than a little …

  1. Wilco

    Whenever someone comes up with a name for something, hoary old IT greybeards immediately pipe up with "we've been doing that for ages, what's everyone so excited about?". The fact is that giving abstract ideas names enables people to have conversations about them, to refine them, to decide how they apply to their situation and to secure backing to roll them out. See also agile, DevOps,

    1. anothercynic Silver badge


      Well... it *is* Gartner...

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: Gartner

        Congratulations, El Reg, for not just posting the Gartner press releases after the modest harrumphing in the comments of the "Gartner says DevOps are a thing" cycle of articles. Gartner seem to make up press releases for insecure managers to give them new boardroom buzzwords to chase, with no real grounding in technology.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The problems start when non-greybeards think they understand something, just because some marketing-minded person gave it a fashionable new name.

      Or worse: that they can sell it, whether they understand it or not.

  2. David Roberts


    Sound like UK government IT over the last few years - "agile" dicking about with a web page but no real integration with the major back end systems.

    Still, it is going exceptionally well.......

  3. yoganmahew

    Maint and Dev...

    You mean like having a maintenance team properly funded and a development team in the same LOB? Goodness, what will they think of next!

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Why the ice cream?

    This article needs the picture of "f*cking cowboy" or sweating towel guy.

    I have found that modern IT veers into the tri-modal mode whereby the third mode is "too fast and too furious", where you are fully agile, have impossible deadlines imposed from on-high with "roadmaps" (such as they exist) kept secret lest the peons beome restive and "it has been decided that funding will not be increased in the foreseeable future". The only way to "work" in those conditions is having another tea.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Why the ice cream?

      My last manager was like that, (the 'too fast and too furious') only kind of like Godzilla:

      He came, He f*@ked up all our stuff, and then left just before it all blew up in his face, leaving us to clean up the mess and make some sense out of what he did.

      Thankfully, his replacement is *much* better and has at least half a clue and a willingness to listen to his staff when they say 'hey, we tried that four years ago and it sucked then and unlikely improved in the interim'.

      Beer, because it's friday, and I'm going to need one to get rid of the PTSD flashbacks from Godzilla manager.

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The fact is that giving abstract ideas names enables people who couldn't actually do any of it to save their lives to have conversations make money out of about them, to refine them

    1. Wilco

      Yep, that's the point. The people who have the money can't usually do any of it. That's not their job - their job is to make decision about how the money gets spent. It was much harder to get those people to invest in automated deployment before we started calling it DevOps.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Sounds a little like my response when I had ITIL explained to me.

        "Ah yes, sounds like someone's making money selling common sense again."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          ITIL's very nice. It's "the book". "Common sense" doesn't cut it because not having "the book" means having to reinvent the wheel, and who has the time or the team to do that?

          Teaching to the book costs. So does uni (which is arguably "common sense" at least in engineering).

          (Did the Deming cycle exist before Deming? It sure did ... but you had to find the guy who would explain it to you)

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Hm. I've yet to get into it, but it looks to me, given the variety of wheels out there that every particular instance of a wheel being needed they do indeed reinvent it to fit that application. They certainly don't hammer a prototypical wheel onto something just because. And as for the Deming Cycle... I prefer organic.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would I want to manage two separate modes of activity?

    I think Gartner would rather like to manage, or at least pontificate about, this duality for you for a very reasonable fee.

    Whilst I think that the output from Gartner is akin to what comes out of a London sewer in a storm, this one's not so idiotic because it might encourage the heads of IT in large organisations to try something a bit different for a change, rather than just get in SAP, patch up production again, and trebles all round. It also provides the right level of isolation so your young keen Fintec coders can be kept safely away from the core system that runs your clients' pensions, but can still perhaps contribute.

    Anyway, my company is about to embark on this very concept (hence AC) - I've suspended my cynicism (or at least turned it down a notch or two) - and I'm diving in with my silver fox (never use the g-word) beard bristling in the technological hot air.

  7. phuzz Silver badge

    I had a green tea and lime lolly the other week, it was quite nice actually.

    What's that? "Bimodal IT"? Sounds like a load of DevOps to me mate.

  8. Whiskers

    Bimodal? That sounds like what we did when we first started to try using computers to do some of the paperwork. The trick was to get the paper and electronic systems to deliver the same answer; whether that was the correct answer was a different matter entirely.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "f*cking cowboy"

    Let's not forget that this "f*cking cowboy" will quickly blame his team/colleagues for a lack of skill or commitment when this new idea, modal, process, system, devops, etc. doesn't work as pitched.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gartner? again

    Is it journalism to keep churning over what Gartner reports, says, releases (take your pick) not that they are a very reliable organization that deserve as much attention as possible.

  11. razorfishsl

    The article needs a picture of a spit roast.

    This is where the Management team decide to undermine the actual IT staff by backdooring IT policy to any underling that will take the bait.

  12. Markflett

    15 minutes of fame

    I also love the way that Agile is now seen by many (mostly recruitment agencies ) as simply 'Structure Lite,' almost the antithesis of Prince2 (other structured approaches are available)

    It's like industry embraced PM Methodologies until they realised how slow and hence expensive it was, and could you get anyone to turn up to a bloody project board? - could you bollocks.

    Hence Agile was born. Some call it make-it-up-as-you-go-along management ( I concede it's more than that) but until industry accepts that you can't run these projects on shoestrings, they need proper governance then these new ideas will pop up from time to time gain popularity for a short while and fade just as fast.

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