Bi-Modal – It’s a Talent Issue

Published: 22 October 2015

I recently watched an interesting excerpt from a Gartner video on the topic of Bi-Modal IT. So much has been said on the topic, I accept yet another blog may not be so well received. At a headline level, Gartner believe that 75% of all IT functions will be bi-modal within the next two years. While this claim feels bold, it feels pretty workable, and further it feels pretty much essential.

The demands of survival in the digital economy require bi-modal to be innate. In reality bi-modal can only really be a transition to a more business conscious way of delivering. Gartner define two streams; Mode 1 is bullet proof metronomic business as usual ‘run’ – IT that ‘just works’. This gives the platform and freedoms for Mode 2 to be effective; innovation and creativity that delivers and enables the rapid delivery of consistently evolving services.

Call it what you will - bi-modal, multi-modal, pace-layered or simply more ‘consciously connected’ business model - critical to its success are IT leaders who can shape delivery and delivery mechanisms to meet this agenda. Not all teams, partners or vendors can operate in both modes. Where a CIO may set the direction for multi-modal delivery, it is the first tier of leaders that breathe life into it, through forging the right partnerships within the business, and within the supplier ecosystem.

In recent years there has been a constant focus upon CIO’s becoming a native in the boardroom. But this should be the approach of the whole IT leadership team. For multi-modal IT to be successful, CIO’s must recruit strong leadership who can assist the business and IT delivery teams who can utilise technology to maximise the advantages presented by nimble delivery. In simple terms, leaders should be prepared to work through the gears, flipping from two wheel to four wheel drive, as commercial demands impact modal delivery. Rock solid delivery, according to the needs of the pace-layer is important. Recognising the opportunity to use technology to pivot the business is critical for competitive advantage in the digital economy.

As ever it’s people that drive innovation, shape modal delivery and deliver enhanced customer centric outcomes. So, while bi-modal is in fashion, the demand for the best talent remains timeless.

Matt Cockbill leads the IT & Technology Leadership Practices for Berwick Partners.

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