December 1, 2015

Continuation of last edition….

It’s a Sustainable Solution: Unfortunately, the Bimodal IT model does not even present a cogent long-term solution to the oversimplified agility-stability problem. Let us imagine that an enterprise actually and faithfully implemented a two-mode overhaul. What would be the logical implications? Well, four dire consequences come flying off the top of the deck:

*Artificial Silos: The first and greatest impact would be the creation of artificial silos for products, processes and people. This is the opposite direction of every IT and organizational health trend since the term “functional silo syndrome” was coined by Phil Ensor in 1988. Bimodal IT’s reliance on silos is simply muddle-headed thinking as proven out by countless studies over the past four decades.

*Mode 1 Stagnation: The bimodal approach applies a bandage over the wound in traditional platforms but does nothing to stanch the bleeding. This model institutionalizes stagnation by discouraging innovation in legacy platforms under the guise of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

*Mode 2 Rigidity: In Gartner’s words, “Mode 2 still requires a rigorous, disciplined approach.” So the bimodal model prescribes a definite, predictable and logical process flow around what is, at its core, an ill-defined, unpredictable and sometimes illogical stream of experimentation and discovery. Kind of like “A Paint by Numbers Guide to Jackson Pollack.”

*Unsustainable “Slender Lock-in”: New and emerging applications are wedged into one of two narrow modes and forever locked into a modus operandi that will undoubtedly prove to be ill-suited in the long-term. Bimodal IT closes the avenues for evolving Mode 1 legacy applications into more nimble Mode 2 offerings or, conversely hardening agile prototypes into stable back-end offerings.

This type of oversimplified and stilted approach has been failing to save innovation-hostile companies since Fred Brooks wrote about the infamous Silver Bullet. And this model will also fade into obscurity.


-Rakesh I

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