Unifying Islands of Automation in a Bimodal Environment

IT automation assists both modes of bimodal IT by allowing Mode 1 to better adhere to requirements and processes and helping Mode 2 drive iterative change.

Written by Christiana Yiallourides. Last Updated:
Gartner's Bimodal automation and unifying siloes of automation

Gartner’s Bimodal IT

The IT industry is evolving at an ever-increasing pace. Computing resources have become highly available and affordable. There is now a range of servers, databases, applications, new services, and tools, but a lack of people available to manage them.

Partly because of these changes, CIOs need a way to provide stable, reliable, high-performance services while also innovating in a higher-risk, iterative environment. To help resolve this challenge, Gartner introduced the concept of bimodal IT at its 2014 Data Center Infrastructure and Operations Summit.

An obstacle in the way of success, however, is the presence of multiple automation tools across both Mode 1 and Mode 2. According to Gartner, there are typically at least 3 siloed workload automation tools in a given computing environment, and each tool serves a different purpose within a department.

Mode 1 operations need automated job scheduling, batch processes, and trigger or time-based jobs for billing, file processing, and more. Mode 1 focuses on reliability and risk aversion. This area involves clear, understood processes with predicted outcomes.

Mode 2 operations need automation that supports continuous releases both into production and into testing. Typically, the automation tools that Mode 1 uses aren’t effective for Mode 2 because they have different purposes. Mode 2 needs agility, speedy iteration, and is optimized for uncertainty. According to Gartner, you can think of Mode 2 as a nursery for the development of new capabilities such as DevOps.

When describing the two modes, they seem almost diametrically opposed. However, a consolidated IT automation tool such as ActiveBatch can handle both the need for reliability and the need for continuous change and release cycles.

Consolidate IT Automation

Consolidated automation tools provide IT with the ability to meet the requirements of both modes. Mode 1 operations requires adherence to policies and change management procedures, while Mode 2 is able to execute at a faster, continuous pace. However, automation can be leveraged in both Mode 1 and Mode 2. It can become a fundamental cornerstone of both environments.

For example, using a unified workload automation tool, SUBWAY, the sandwich makers, was able to reduce their time managing and updating data loads from 10 hours a week to less than four. Meanwhile, SAP Fieldglass, a vendor management software company, uses the same automation tool for constant code deployments in their non-production environments.  

Using one consolidated workload automation solution is quickly becoming a best practice for bimodal IT. To learn more about workload automation in the bimodal era, download our eBook.