Every few years Gartner advises companies on different IT strategies and processes, often coming up with new terms to define how IT should be managed. One of Gartner\u2019s strategies is bimodal IT, and it received a lot of attention during 2016.\nIn a nutshell, bimodal IT is a dual strategy promoting two modes of IT delivery: one focused on stability and the other on agility. Let\u2019s take a closer look at these two modes.\nMode 1: This can be called the \u201cslow, safe mode.\u201d It's the traditional and sequential approach to IT management. Emphasizing safety and accuracy when handling problems, projects, fixes, patches, etc., this mode focuses on managing, \u201csystems of record\u201d (such as accounting, banking, HR and payroll).\nMode 2: This is more of a \u201cfast, risky mode.\u201d It's an exploratory, nonlinear approach that emphasizes agility and speed when dealing with problems, projects, fixes, patches, etc. This mode is focused on managing \u201csystems of engagement\u201d (such as websites, platforms, vendor portals and CRM systems).\nFor older and larger companies, IT is often naturally divided between traditional systems of record and new \u201cquick to implement\u201d systems of engagement. These new systems are implemented in quick spurts and emphasize low maintenance while the old, larger systems tend to take years to implement and an entire group of specialized IT staffers to manage them. Gartner\u2019s bimodal IT strategy calls for setting up two groups with completely opposite objectives \u2014 one that follows Mode 1 and one that follows Mode 2 \u2014 instead of wasting time trying to combine the two approaches or throwing out the old way of IT.\nWhy operate IT departments in two separate groups? The answer to that is twofold. First, for CIOs seeking to take advantage of emerging technologies, the bimodal IT approach allows for trial and error without sacrificing essential systems for new ones. Second, there is a perception that larger, older organizations can't simply flip a switch and abandon \u201cslow, safe mode.\u201d\nDon't compromise\nHowever, true market leaders don't compromise agility for stability, but rather continually improve, setting the standard for speed, safety, and quality. Take, for example, Amazon and Google. Google and Amazon follow a rapid deployment process that incorporates all three measures of success across departments with symbiotic integration between all the functions within (development, quality assurance and operations). By working together, they average between 10 and 30 deployments each day. In contrast, bimodal companies can only hope to see that many deployments per fiscal quarter.\nMarket leaders embrace the agility part of bimodal IT and implement it companywide. Companies should use bimodal IT as a steppingstone to a more innovative IT management strategy, where agility is emphasized.\nHere is how to do it:\nStep 1. Create a new culture. This starts at the top. Follow in the footsteps of Amazon and Google to establish a lean, high-performing culture focused on collaboration.\nStep 2. Begin using a hybrid of the agile project management methodology for all upcoming system implementations.\n\nDesign should be short and blueprinting should be based on high-level problems your team is trying to solve. Create a list of measures of success.\nThe project plan should be broken into short sprints to quickly deliver goals.\nEach sprint should deliver a measurable metric that can be tested for quality and then rolled out to operations.\nAllow for daily 10-minute status meetings.\n\nStep 3. Train and\/or replace IT management.\nStep 4. Start with a blank slate. Transition from bimodal IT to Mode 2.\n\nCancel all business-critical upcoming IT projects and enhancements.\nGather all key department heads and leads and workshop developing a priority and risk rating for each project.\nBuild new project teams and timetables focused on collaboration between development, testing and operations.\nSet attainable goals built into short sprints.\n\nStep 5. Lastly, transition all employees into a Mode 2 mindset by focusing on quality, speed and safety when compensating IT employees for their performance. It depends on the industry, but some examples of performance metrics include the following:\n\nAmount of tickets resolved.\nReduction in tickets on their system.\nNumber of deployments each month\/week\/day.\nBusiness savings.\nIssues found. (People should be rewarded for finding issues \u2014 even their own).\n\nWith digital transformation at the top of many companies\u2019 2017 priority lists, innovation is critical. And to be innovative, companies must acknowledge and accept the need for quick implementation.\nLet\u2019s leave bimodal IT in 2016 and move forward with an evolved Mode 2 approach.