Bimodal IT Operations are responsible for Mode 1 legacy applications, typically found in on-premise data centers, as well as Mode 2 applications, which are cloud-native by design, and are usually housed in a public or hybrid cloud. The distinction between the two Modes is useful because their overarching characteristics and objectives are distinctly different, as are the development methodologies within the two Modes. Mode 1 environments house an organization’s business-critical apps, such as HR, finance, ERP, etc. This environment is focused on stability, reliability, security and high availability so the business can operate without interruption. Mode 2 environments, on the other hand, are focused on experimentation and exploration, using agile development processes and DevOps to innovate quickly, and stimulate digital business development.
Bimodal IT is a way of organizing IT around those two, very different, Modes. It helps an organization think holistically about IT strategies, assess the application inventory, test greenfield and brownfield ideas, identify apps that may need rearchitecting, and explore new ways to increase the scalability of mission-critical apps by applying cloud architectures and cloud infrastructure. As companies grow, the leaders of their bimodal IT operations work to build new skill sets into their Mode 2 teams, ranging from learning how to support the challenges of mobile development, to capturing and analyzing the flood of data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Mode 2 development techniques need to be learned as well, such as continuous delivery methodologies that deliver small, incremental changes rather than a big product release.
Bimodal IT teams that manage Mode 1 and Mode 2 environments separately face a host of challenges including integration, interoperability, support, and staff training. To simplify the bimodal environment, IT departments can now use a multimodal operating system to bridge the two Modes, allowing seamless interoperability from Mode 1 to Mode 2 and back. SUSE Linux Enterprise System 15 (SLES 15) is designed for multimodal IT environments and enables teams to run a single operating system for any hardware or application, helping bimodal IT operations function more efficiently.