PagerDuty Blog

Bimodal IT: When One Mode Isn’t Enough

Today’s enterprises are evolving, changing the pace and agility of modern IT practices within the framework of the legacy systems and tools that they use. This problem is encapsulated in the concept of Bimodal IT set forth by Gartner.

Within Bimodal IT, operations are now required to embrace a more agile and rapidly deployed infrastructure at a pace which caters to the high demands of the growing enterprise (Mode 2), while guaranteeing the stability and security of their current traditional infrastructure (Mode 1).

This Bimodal IT model posses an opportunity for the traditional IT operations to embrace the speed, demands, and hybrid models of a Mode 2 infrastructure, while delivering on their primary function to maintain the SLA for core systems that are currently operating under the traditional Mode 1.

In many organizations, “rip and replace” is not an option for IT to create a single mode. There is a need to reconcile these new demands and maintain the same standards and stability of entrenched systems.

Here are a few ideas on how to balance the two:

Embrace Mode 2

The enterprises that will be successful in adapting to this new model will be those who don’t ignore Mode 2 operational demands. Change is difficult, especially when faced with maintaining SLA with an ever-increasing number of hands in the IT Ops cookie jar. But without adapting to and embracing this new mode of operations, it is inevitable that problems will surface, and fighting Mode 2 only delays the inevitable.

Focus on Visibility

Mode 2 IT Operations are going to move fast and adopt fast, which means more noise. On top of that, the new mode of operation adds greater complexity to an already established system of IT. One way to get comfortable is to focus on the visibility of both modes. Once they gain visibility, they can create a framework for reducing the noise and issues that arise from Mode 2, and they can support both modes without multiplying the necessary effort.

Adopt Bimodal Solutions

Another option is to maintain a process to evaluate, test, and adopt new tools and processes that can be adopted by both modes of operation. An example is an Incident Management service that gives team in both modes of operation the the visibility and issue resolution they desire.


Today we are observing enterprises at their core, and they are demanding Mode 2 operations because it benefits the entire organization — in the form of faster R&D, and the ability to keep pace with the rapid demands of the organization’s customers. While the two modes of IT Ops are inevitable, it is up to everyone in IT to provide a framework to support this change and foster its success — not only for the benefit of the organization, but also for their own sanity. By implementing new tools and processes to increase visibility, and creating a foundation for how Mode 2 will operate in existing immutable practices and technology, IT Ops will have a path forward in the new world of Bimodal IT.