“Bimodal IT is the idea of creating two faces of the IT department: operational and aspirational. One side focuses on keeping the lights on. The other side sets the world on fire by producing products and services and powering the business with apps and analytics.”
Another way to look at it is through the right brain / left brain concept. The left side manages your life and keeps you safe by paying the bills, fixing the furnace and putting gas in the snowblower ahead of a blizzard. The right side helps you think outside the box take leaps forward by finding alternate sources of revenue to pay the bills, replacing the old furnace with newer technology and ditching the snowblower to move somewhere warmer (mental note to self on that last one).
One of the aspects of workflow management that I’ve always appreciated is that it appeals to both sides of the bimodal IT equation. On the one side, it can truly become the practical, plumbing side of an organization. IT can automate the everyday processes that silently run in the background, helping employees or customers quickly manage requests, gather approvals, vet proposals, onboard staff, etc. These are not applications that “set the world on fire” but they’re critical for the proper functioning of the business.
However, what we’ve seen is that customers also think well outside the box when it comes to workflow management and recognize the power inherent in automating business processes beyond the more routine tasks. For instance, one of our customers decided to automate the product development process to get products to market faster. When workflow management provides this kind of competitive advantage, you’re doing more than making an organization run more smoothly, you’re making it run past competitors.
When we begin working with a new client, their initial pain may be inefficiency. They want the plumbing to run better and faster. But once that pain is cured, we encourage them to start looking at their organization not just for pain points, but for areas of growth through better workflow. The opportunities are there, you just have to start using the right side of your brain.