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Bimodal IT offers significant potential in public sector

Malcolm Ross, Senior Vice President, Product Strategy, Appian
December 4, 2014

Gartner recently revealed that much of its resources are pointing to a need for bimodal IT operations. This trend holds significant potential for the public sector, but it can only be unlocked if process improvements are deployed alongside IT upgrades.

Understanding the growing role of bimodal IT

Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president and global head of research at Gartner, explained that CIOs cannot expect themselves to be able to completely transform a legacy IT setup into a fast-paced, contemporary configuration. While migrating to a new setup is not realistic, CIOs can go bimodal and have a branch of IT designed to operate fast and another segment that works at a fairly standard pace. At this point, approximately 45 percent of CIOs have the ability to support bimodal operations, Gartner research has found. However, the trend is being embraced across a variety of industries and 71 percent of IT departments will likely be able to operate in a bimodal manner by 2017.

"Digital startups sit inside your organization, in your marketing department, in HR, in logistics and in sales," said Sondergaard. "As IT leaders, you must design, resource and deploy for a world that's digital first. In this new model, every business unit is a technology startup. Now is your opportunity to create that team. Partner with the digital startups inside your organization and prove that you can move fast too. Embrace the outside change."

Embracing advanced technologies to drive innovation and improve productivity givesIT leaders incredible opportunities to take greater control of operations. However, Gartner believes that all of this control needs to be balanced by a focus on the worker. Technology needs to empower employees and help them operate as efficiently as possible, not put them at greater risk through excessive monitoring and other behaviors that threaten privacy.

What does bimodal mean for government?

Public sector organizations stand to gain considerably through the implementation of bimodal IT strategies. Government workers face considerable pressure to operate at peak efficiency and in a transparent way, but they also have to use a variety of legacy technologies and methodologies to handle their day-to-day operations. This makes the ability to operate in a bimodal way particularly valuable, as it gives users the freedom to balance legacy and contemporary tools as efficiently as possible. Process management software can play a vital role in this scenario because they can be used to create an operational framework that helps government IT departments to adjust their IT operations at any time based on different user demands.