Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Janakiram MSV, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Recurring Revenue, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @DevOpsSummit

Recurring Revenue: Blog Post

Dangers of Bimodal IT By @TheEbizWizard | @DevOpsSummit [#DevOps]

Run everyone through a high intensity Agile/DevOps course and surprise!

Beware the Dangers of Bimodal IT

Many traditional IT executives, reinvigorated and rejuvenated after attending last week's Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, are now breathing a huge sigh of relief. They had been worried they'd have to revamp how they were running their IT shop and bring in a bunch of tattooed hipsters spouting talk of Agile and DevOps, preaching agility but bringing nothing but chaos. Perish the thought.

Instead, Gartner says, relax. Bimodal IT is the way to go. Split your technology efforts into two parts. Let the Agile cognoscenti take over the first part, doing the digital dance with the marketing folks. More power to ‘em.

Meanwhile, leave the second part - slow, traditional IT - to keep doing things the way they always have. After all, traditional IT has forever been responsible for those stodgy old systems of record that have been running the business for decades. Legacy systems don't like change, and now Gartner is saying that you don't have to like it, either.

To which I say: balderdash!

The brilliant minds at Gartner - and any other consultant towing the Bimodal IT line, for that matter - are telling their clients what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. Bimodal IT is simply an excuse to keep doing IT poorly.

If the business world weren't in a constant state of change, then perhaps leaving slow, traditional IT to its own devices would be the low risk option. Well, welcome to the 21st century, folks. The business world is in a perennial state of flux, and the ever-increasing sophistication of technology is only accelerating the velocity and diversity of such change. Transformation is all around us - even in the dusty old data centers filled with ancient legacy monoliths.

The fossil record is replete with species that didn't adapt to change. Don't be one of them.

Torching the Bimodal IT Straw Man

Central to the Bimodal IT canard is a false dichotomy between traditional/slow IT (what Gartner calls mode-1) and agile/innovative IT (predictably, mode-2). The false assumption here is that the only way to deal with traditional, slow IT is to transform it suddenly in some kind of big bang, high risk, expensive endeavor. Run everyone through a high intensity Agile/DevOps course and surprise! You've just switched from slow to Agile. And since we don't want to do that, better to leave well enough alone.

However, the entire notion of big bang change actually contradicts the Agile way of thinking, which recommends iterative, customer-focused changes rather than pre-planned, all-or-nothing types of transformation.

Furthermore, there is no black and white distinction between the two modes of IT, simply because the business doesn't require two distinct modes. Instead, when the business faces disruptive business agility drivers, those drivers lead both to the self-organizing, cross-organizational teams that characterize the agile/innovative mode-2 as well as the transformation of traditional IT - but in a step-by-step, business-driven fashion.

Fundamentally, Bimodal IT recommends maintaining your organizational silos, which is contrary to the entire notion of business transformation. True, I advise executives to know when to optimize, and know when to disrupt - but not in separate silos! There are roles both for optimization as well as disruption-driven innovation in both agile/innovative IT as well as slow/traditional IT, even though the specific optimization and innovation activities will largely be different across the larger organization.

Why Change at All?

I'm not recommending transformation for its own sake. Change only when the business requires change. After all, change is always difficult and often expensive. For traditional/slow IT, an important maxim is that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. After all, traditional and slow aren't bad things in and of themselves if the system in question meets the business need.

But, for those organizations that face internal or external disruptions that necessitate business agility, then simply driving agility in the agile/innovative silo but not the slow/traditional silo is a recipe for brittleness, and when disruption is present, brittleness will most likely lead to failure - of technology to be sure, but also of the organization itself, as it will invariably find itself woefully unprepared to deal with anything new.

Bottom line, if your IT is traditional and slow and you face disruptive business agility drivers, then you must transform traditional IT - but some approaches to such transformation are better than others. Big bang transformations are rarely successful. The better way is to take an Agile Architecture approach that drives iterative, business-driven transformation.

The Agile Architecture approach I write about - Bloomberg Agile ArchitectureTM - is a business priority-driven enterprise architecture technique that advances the maturity of your organization, process, technology, and information - all iteratively. Furthermore, the agile/innovative digital teams are likely to be more in touch with that particular business priority, because they're focused on the customer. As a result, disruptive change actually encourages collaboration between agile/innovative and slow/traditional, rather than separating the efforts as the Bimodal IT approach recommends.

Governance: The Tie that Binds

In addition, advancing the maturity of traditional IT means advancing governance to be more agile over time - which is every bit as important as advancing operations, infrastructure, and the IT organization and its processes. Governance, of course, is one of the most important, yet despised roles of traditional/slow IT. Someone has to hammer out the policies and procedures that keep the legacy lights on, maintain security throughout the organization, and ensure the IT shop is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations, after all, right?

Bimodal IT, however, encourages the traditional approach to IT governance to remain largely unchanged - every bit as paperwork-laden and productivity-killing as it has always been, the scar tissue that impedes progress. Yet, when governance lives in the dark ages, people in the organization simply find ways around it, leading to the whole BYOD/shadow IT phenomenon plaguing enterprise IT shops around the globe.

Yes, shadow IT can be wonderful because it gives everyone the freedom to use whatever technology or cloud capability they want without stodgy old IT getting in their way, hurrah! That is, until there's a security or compliance breach. Then you'll wish traditional/slow IT had evolved their governance to better suit the changing needs of the organization.

The Intellyx Take: What will Transformed "Traditional IT" Look Like?

Taking an Agile Architecture approach that lets the IT shop optimize what it should optimize and disrupt what it must disrupt doesn't mean that you'll need to tear down all your cubes and throw away your ties and panty hose, replacing them with espresso bars and creative body piercings (well it might, but that's up to you).

In fact, some aspects of transformed traditional/slow IT may not have changed much at all. For example, you're still responsible for maintaining systems of record until their end of life. However, the way you decide how and when to modernize those systems depends more on business priorities than perhaps they did before, and you'll favor a lighter weight, iterative approach to legacy modernization over high-risk, big bang projects.

You must also continue to maintain a broad focus on governance, especially compliance and security - but in an inherently agile, increasingly automated way, centering on dynamic constraint satisfaction. Governance becomes less about morale-killing policies, procedures, and endless meetings, and more about automation at the boundaries. In other words, most anything goes, but within the external constraints that IT must enforce.

You're also responsible for providing access to all those systems of record, and for facilitating the sharing of any other technology resources that people want to share. As a result, transformed traditional IT will be responsible for the appropriate publication, governance, and evolution of microservices and dynamic APIs (I haven't written about microservices yet, but stay tuned).

Perhaps the most dramatic change that transformed traditional IT will face is its organizational structure. Instead of a traditional hierarchical organization chart that fosters and reinforces siloed, "throw it over the wall" behavior, transformed IT will sport flat, loosely connected organizational structures that encourage self-organization into cross-organizational teams as needed. In other words, a DevOps culture.

The bottom line is that transformed traditional IT must act as the enterprise "traffic cop" - a good cop that  keeps agile teams from crossing the compliance/security line, making sure that interactions among such teams play by a consistent, consistently evolving set of rules. Coordinate and facilitate sharing of IT resources where such coordination and sharing is desirable, but otherwise, get out of the way. What's a good starting point? Stop listening to Gartner.

Image credit: Samantha Henneke, artwork by Bruce Gholson, Bulldog Pottery

More Stories By Jason Bloomberg

Jason Bloomberg is the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise. As president of Intellyx, Mr. Bloomberg brings his years of thought leadership in the areas of Cloud Computing, Enterprise Architecture, and Service-Oriented Architecture to a global clientele of business executives, architects, software vendors, and Cloud service providers looking to achieve technology-enabled business agility across their organizations and for their customers. His latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution (John Wiley & Sons, 2013), sets the stage for Mr. Bloomberg’s groundbreaking Agile Architecture vision.

Mr. Bloomberg is perhaps best known for his twelve years at ZapThink, where he created and delivered the Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) SOA course and associated credential, certifying over 1,700 professionals worldwide. He is one of the original Managing Partners of ZapThink LLC, the leading SOA advisory and analysis firm, which was acquired by Dovel Technologies in 2011. He now runs the successor to the LZA program, the Bloomberg Agile Architecture Course, around the world.

Mr. Bloomberg is a frequent conference speaker and prolific writer. He has published over 500 articles, spoken at over 300 conferences, Webinars, and other events, and has been quoted in the press over 1,400 times as the leading expert on agile approaches to architecture in the enterprise.

Mr. Bloomberg’s previous book, Service Orient or Be Doomed! How Service Orientation Will Change Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, 2006, coauthored with Ron Schmelzer), is recognized as the leading business book on Service Orientation. He also co-authored the books XML and Web Services Unleashed (SAMS Publishing, 2002), and Web Page Scripting Techniques (Hayden Books, 1996).

Prior to ZapThink, Mr. Bloomberg built a diverse background in eBusiness technology management and industry analysis, including serving as a senior analyst in IDC’s eBusiness Advisory group, as well as holding eBusiness management positions at USWeb/CKS (later marchFIRST) and WaveBend Solutions (now Hitachi Consulting).

@ThingsExpo Stories
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at Dell EMC, introduced a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organization...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.