As the research analyst firms put it, digital transformation allows businesses to become more agile, manage uncertainty and deliver solid reliability.
But while the benefits of a digital approach is clear, executing such a strategy isn’t always.
According to Colin McCabe, director, consulting and training, Red Hat, partners can help organisations meet these challenges by using a hybrid IT approach which can help them reduce time-to-market, and more effectively align the IT activities with the dynamics of a digital business.
“A hybrid IT approach combines internal IT resources and outsourced, cloud-based services to help companies achieve optimal agility and computing flexibility,” McCabe says.
“One of its major strengths is that it facilitates development models for various workloads that use the best approach to address a business problem, rather than being restricted to a single development model.”
McCabe believes the concept of hybrid IT reflects the reality that IT organisations often have a large number of traditional applications and data that remain critical for day-to-day operations, but also need to pursue new agile ‘scale-out’ application models to be more responsive to business needs.
Gartner describes this as ‘bi-modal IT,’ and predicts that by 2017, 75 per cent of IT organisations will have a ‘bimodal capability’ in place.
“There are a number of important things organisations can do to implement an effective bi-modal or hybrid IT strategy,” McCabe adds.
When implementing a bi-modal IT environment, McCabe says partners can assist companies by:
1. Synchronising the two IT modes
Both modes - traditional and agile - need to be working with aligned priorities.
“This means that when a transition is required between the modes, or when there is a need for interdependency, both modes agree that what is being worked on aligns with a shared business goal,” McCabe adds.
“One way to achieve this it to have a ‘systems thinking’ mindset across both modes.”
2. Avoiding getting stuck in the ‘timid’ middle
Iterative development methods such as agile and lean are not 'pick-and-mix' methodologies, so organisations should engage with all the elements of the chosen method.
“Iterative methods can look intimidating, but so-called ‘timid middle’, in which an organisation attempts to use traditional project management methods, generally do not achieve the best of both modes,” McCabe says.
“Successful adoption of agile methods requires a genuine bi-modal approach.”
3. Innovating the IT core
Bi-modal IT is about developing a greater capability with existing infrastructure by enabling the agility needed for a digital world with additional technology.
However, for it to develop beyond tactical projects into an enterprise bi-modal capability, it is dependent on a digitally-enabled core, giving all projects and operations the flexibility to be achieved through a hybrid mix of technology.
“Hybrid and bi-modal IT offers many benefits for companies, especially if they keep these areas of focus in mind,” McCabe adds.
“Success is contingent on a disciplined approach to project selection, funding, iterative development, operation, deployment, and using technology within the business.
“Hybrid, or bi-modal IT, can make an organisation fast, agile, and competitive.”