IT has become such an integral part of modern operations that almost everyone within the organisation (not to mention individuals and organisations up and down the supply chain) is a stakeholder. The biggest challenge for IT managers is to balance the varying wants and needs of these stakeholders and disprove the old adage that you can’t please everyone.
Many of these stakeholders share common goals; accessibility, availability and security will feature heavily alongside functionality, convenience and performance on most wish lists. However, it is those users who operate at the extremes of the risk profile within the organisation that present the biggest challenges.
You know who we mean. At one end, you’ve got the legacy system users who are reluctant to change and own a substantial, though depreciating, asset on the company balance sheet. They will be risk averse and rely heavily upon tried and tested processes and suppliers.
At the other end, you have the pioneers, the early adopters of new technology who are seeking competitive advantage in all its forms. They will be more prepared to accept risk, they will adopt an iterative approach and be prepared to leverage new technologies and vendors.
How can IT provide both the stable, predictable environment necessary for day-to-day operations and the agile, dynamic environment required for innovation?
In 2015, Gartner attempted to formalise a model to address this challenge with their bi-modal IT concept:
“Bi-modal IT is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.”
As with most models, this is an oversimplification of reality. Whilst it certainly has value in terms of a starting point, it is not a viable long-term strategy. The bi-modal approach assumes maintaining two separate roadmaps makes financial and operational sense in the long run.
Whilst on-premise IT is typically the place for stoic, day-to-day computing. Cloud it increasingly being used as the environment most suited to DevOps and innovative systems design. In the short-medium term, blending elements of on-premise, private and public Cloud within a hybrid infrastructure makes sense. In fact, for many organisations, a fully integrated hybrid model will become the long-term model of choice rather than a transitionary state.
Over time, the seemingly disparate paths within bi-modal IT will converge as legacy systems go end of life and are migrated to the same environment that provides the agility and flexibility necessary for innovation. For some IT deployments such as infrastructure, storage and collaboration, organisations will achieve the greatest benefits from deploying a service that uses both on-premise and Cloud.
Of course, for some organisations, there will always be the call for parts of their IT services to remain on-premise. Primarily in situations where regulatory compliance and absolute control are required. However, these applications will become the exception, rather than the rule.
To find out more about hybrid infrastructure solutions from ONI you can download our brochure, contact us on 01582 211530 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a contact form and an ONI representative will in touch shortly.
In the meantime, take a look at the ONI Hybrid Infrastructure brochure and discover how to embrace the future without leaving the past behind.