Gartner Symposium 2014: Digital businesses need bimodal IT to succeed

Industry analysts at Gartner have emphasised the importance of CIOs taking a bimodal approach to strike a balance between fluid innovation and stability.

Rather than resisting change, organisations need to adapt to ensure that the continuous disruptions facing their business are turned into new opportunities.

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The transition to a bimodal organisation has the potential to place added strain on already tight IT budgets, but Peter Sondergaard, global head of research at Gartner, says that this doesn’t have to be the case.

“Digital start-ups sit inside your organisation, in your marketing department, in HR, in logistics and in sales,” he said. “As IT leaders, you must design, resource and deploy for a world that’s digital first. In this new model, every business unit is a technology start-up. Partner with the digital start-ups inside your organisation and prove that you can move fast too.”

While Gartner research suggests that global IT expenditure will increase by 2.6 per cent next year, 38 per cent of the spending is set to be managed outside the IT department, with this figure expected to hit 50 per cent by 2017. With that in mind, there is an opportunity for creative digital initiatives to emerge from all areas of an organisation.

However, with innovation often comes risk, which can cause some IT leaders to take an overly cautious approach.

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Vice president and Gartner fellow Tina Nunno explained that CIOs shouldn’t think of innovations as high risk and low risk, but rather in terms of good and bad risk. She added that 80 per cent of innovations result in failure, but that shouldn’t prevent businesses from encouraging creativity as long as the risks are managed appropriately.