Talk about your bad ideas...the best hope for Bimodal IT is to become content for a future Dilbert cartoon!
I somewhat jokingly make the comment, "Employing Bimodal IT is like hiring Dr. Kevorkian to be your family physician." The points made by John McCarthy of Forrester in this article are impressively accurate and gets to the essence of the chicanery of Bimodal IT.
Competitive strategy, for nearly every type of enterprise, must put digital customer experience at the top of the priority list. CEOs and CIOs must articulate a worthy/noble vision; foster an inspired/innovative culture; and enable employees with the right process/tools to continuously improve on digital customer experience. As Mr. McCarthy states, "Customers' expectations are evolving more rapidly than ever before. The faster you execute, the more quickly you will win them over." Every part of an enterprise needs to be maniacally customer focused and become relentless in continuously improving ability to smartly respond, iteratively with customer feedback, through an ever increasing digital channel.
The bad Bimodal IT idea that a "house divided against itself" will prevail in midst of these digital realities is comical. For digital disruptor startups, a large enterprise singing the praises of Bimodal IT is like putting blood in the water.
Those responsible for customer experience in large enterprises (which is just about everybody) need every person and digital asset available to them to enrich the digital experience. Their success will be in measured in their ability to convert ideas to delivered customer experience in the form of code and data. They need all the people they deal with and all the assets they might require to be on the same, urgent, page. CIOs must remove any and all constraints to achieving this model. The fact you can deploy 1000s of mobile application and only deploy 100s of mainframe application on use cases that depend on both means you are allowing constraints to exist in a system that needs as much quality, throughput as possible.
The best news is that large enterprises can do what's required to thrive in the digital economy. Throw out those books on, "Managing Decline in a Digital Economy" and run away from calls to join the likes of Gartner, IBM and CA in some oddly, weird murder/suicide pact. Rather, take proven leadership steps to transform IT into a customer centered organization with ONE inspired culture, ONE modern end-to-end lean/agile/fast process and ONE modern toolkit. It ain't easy, but no sustainable competitive advantage ever is. Let the fun begin and let's show the cynics/doubters/risk-averse of the world how being big and fast can create an unfair competitive advantage in the digital economy. Play to win!