Bimodal IT – A successful case study


Digital Technology is changing the global business models, investments, productivity and more, thereby disrupting the way businesses fundamentally operate and engage with customers. To add to this – majority of next generation consumers demand speed and personalized experiences in every interaction. This is resulting in larger legacy enterprises being challenged by digital born agile businesses who have embraced technology and built their business models around customer experience.

These legacy enterprises understand that the traditional IT cannot changed overnight (and should not be) due to various business-critical functions dependent on it. This is forcing these enterprises to embrace Gartner’s heavily debated Bimodal IT, which was formally introduced in the year 2014. Gartner defines Bimodal as the practice of managing two separate but coherent styles of work: one focused on predictability; the other on exploration.

Since its inception, Bimodal IT has been a topic of debate in the IT community, with some who just went all out predicting its demise, while some have gone ahead and adopted it.

Let me give my view on how Gartner explains – Bimodal IT.  The focus of Mode 1 is on areas that are well understood and can be defined by a process, hence predictability and stability become the key. On the other hand the focus of Mode 2 is on the areas that are not well understood or are unknown, hence exploratory, fast paced experiments to solve new problems and optimized for areas of uncertainty are the key.

So instead of reinventing or trying to transform the established processes overnight, it makes sense to have a new set of agile teams who have the ability and focus on managing uncertainty. And this is where the best case study would be HCL Technologies, a leading next-generation global technology services company, that led by visionary CEO Mr. C Vijaykumar, was early to embrace Bimodal IT, and has been accelerating its evolution into a next-generation technology services firm through it Mode 1-2-3 strategy. So what are the Mode 1, 2, 3

  • Mode 1 is the Core Services in the areas of applications, infrastructure, DPO and Engineering & R&D. In Mode 1 the focus has been about sustaining the leadership position and gaining market share in existing product or service offerings.
  • Mode 2 is the Next Generation Services, which have immediate high growth opportunity like Digital & Analytics, IoT, Cloud Native Services and Cyber-security & GRC services.
  • Mode 3 is the Products & Platforms focused around exploration and to enter into innovative IP-based partnerships, targeting specific next-generation opportunities.

To read more about Mode 1-2-3 strategy, please go to

Note: I proudly work for HCL Technologies, however this is my personal opinion and should not be confused with being the opinion of HCL Technologies.