Bimodal IT

Definition of Bimodal IT

Bimodal IT refers to the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work within an organization. One mode, Mode 1, focuses on stability and predictability, typically involving legacy systems and processes. The other mode, Mode 2, emphasizes agility and innovation, allowing for rapid experimentation and development of new technologies.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Bimodal IT” is:Bimodal: /baɪˈmoʊdəl/IT: /ˌaɪˈti/

Key Takeaways

  1. Bimodal IT refers to the practice of managing two separate, yet coherent, modes of IT delivery: one focused on stability and the other on agility.
  2. Mode 1 is the traditional approach, emphasizing safety and accuracy, while Mode 2 is innovative and emphasizes speed and flexibility, enabling rapid response to market changes.
  3. Implementing Bimodal IT can help organizations achieve a more balanced approach to technology, leveraging the strengths of both modes to maximize operational efficiency and drive digital transformation.

Importance of Bimodal IT

Bimodal IT is an important concept in the technology industry as it provides a strategic approach to managing two distinct modes of IT delivery, catering to the diverse needs of a business.

Mode 1 focuses on the traditional, stable, and reliable infrastructure, ensuring that the day-to-day operations of an organization remain efficient.

Mode 2, on the other hand, emphasizes innovation, agility, and experimentation, fostering an environment conducive to rapid development and deployment of new digital solutions.

The fusion of these two operating modes enables organizations to balance their resources between maintaining core business functions and encouraging growth through digital transformation, ultimately increasing their competitive advantage in an ever-evolving technological landscape.


Bimodal IT is primarily a strategic approach to help organizations cope with the growing demand for innovation and digital transformation, offering them adaptability and resilience in an ever-changing technology landscape. The central purpose of Bimodal IT is to strike a balance between the traditional IT practices and the newer, more agile methodologies that can foster growth opportunities.

It accomplishes this by dividing an organization’s IT projects into two separate and coherent modes: the first focused on stability, predictability, and cost-efficiency, while the second targets innovation, quick response, and adaptability. This dual-mode system enables companies to profit from the well-established practices without sacrificing the potential benefits of more experimental endeavors and cutting-edge technologies.

Bimodal IT serves as a tool to ensure a smoother bridging of the old and new, facilitating the transformation from conventional strategies towards a more versatile approach that allows for faster execution and improved competitiveness. On one end, businesses continue to invest considerable resources in their well-established operations, infrastructure, and processes (Mode 1); all the while, they explore and scale up newer applications and technologies (Mode 2) with a calculated risk-assessment, provided the growth potential and rewards outweigh the drawbacks.

By adopting this dual strategy, organizations can not only capitalize on the inherent advantages of each mode but also blend them, creating opportunities for innovation and efficiency that can give businesses a competitive edge in the long-run.

Examples of Bimodal IT

Bimodal IT is a strategic approach to managing IT, where an enterprise splits its technology structure into two separate modes. Mode 1 includes traditional IT systems that prioritize stability and consistency, while Mode 2 focuses on agile and innovative projects. Here are three real-world examples of companies implementing Bimodal IT:

General Electric (GE): General Electric, a multinational conglomerate, implemented Bimodal IT to accelerate its digital transformation. GE’s Mode 1 IT systems ensure stable and reliable operations, such as data management and financial transactions. In contrast, GE’s Mode 2 operations focus on innovation by developing the Predix platform—an industrial internet of things (IIoT) platform. Predix enables GE to modernize and digitize conventional manufacturing processes, leading to more efficient and cost-effective solutions.

ING Bank: Dutch multinational banking firm ING Bank adopted Bimodal IT to foster innovation and improve its digital customer experience. ING’s Mode 1 IT systems cover traditional banking transactions and services, maintaining stability and security. Meanwhile, Mode 2 encompasses agile and innovative projects such as ING’s “Think Forward Initiative,” which employs data analytics and digital services to empower customers to make better financial decisions.

Procter & Gamble (P&G):Consumer goods company Procter & Gamble employs a Bimodal IT strategy to strike a balance between stability and innovation. Mode 1 IT systems allow P&G to manage supply chains effectively and maintain financial operations. In Mode 2, P&G focuses on innovation through its connected products and digital platforms, such as the Oral-B Genius toothbrush. This toothbrush collects data to provide users with personalized feedback on their brushing habits, merging technology with everyday consumer products.

FAQ: Bimodal IT

What is Bimodal IT?

Bimodal IT is an organizational model that segregates IT systems into two categories: Mode 1 focuses on stability, predictability, and maintaining established systems, while Mode 2 emphasizes agility, experimentation, and rapid development for new or innovative IT initiatives.

What is the purpose of Bimodal IT?

The purpose of Bimodal IT is to create a balance between maintaining traditional IT infrastructure and embracing modern, innovative technologies. This approach enables organizations to stay competitive and quickly respond to changing market conditions while keeping their core infrastructure stable and secure.

What are the advantages of Bimodal IT?

The advantages of Bimodal IT include the ability to foster innovation, deliver new customer experiences, and support business growth while ensuring the stability, reliability, and efficiency of existing systems. By allowing for two IT modes, organizations can allocate resources more effectively, mitigate risks, and optimize their investments.

What are the challenges of implementing Bimodal IT strategy?

Implementing a Bimodal IT strategy can present several challenges, such as difficulties in integrating new technology, balancing resources between the two modes, and potential cultural resistance to change. Additionally, it requires careful planning, effective communication, and a clear understanding of the organization’s goals and objectives to ensure success.

Is Bimodal IT suitable for all organizations?

While Bimodal IT is helpful for organizations in various industries, it may not be suitable for all companies. Implementing Bimodal IT is beneficial for businesses that need to rapidly adapt to market changes and stay competitive in their field while maintaining stable, existing systems. However, small organizations with less complex IT requirements may not need a Bimodal approach.

Related Technology Terms

  • Digital Transformation
  • Agile Methodology
  • DevOps
  • Hybrid IT
  • IT Infrastructure

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