Is a Bimodal Approach Still Relevant in Today’s Corporate Banking Landscape?

In today’s business world, technology is beginning to disrupt almost every aspect of it. Even in the finance industry, many are turning to digitization as a helpful and viable corporate banking solution. However, just because the potentials of new technologies seem exciting, it does not necessarily mean that they are necessary or beneficial for a financial institution. As the banking landscape has always been recognized as slower to adapt to change, it does raise the important question: are current technologies still adequate or not?

After all, many financial institutions also have to comply with global standards when it comes to reporting, accounting, and other mission-critical business functions. Moreover, new technologies often emerge as a response to these requirements as programs and applications inevitably become obsolete. Given the current situation and new standards, it becomes necessary for banks to adopt new technology via digital transformation. Understandably, this is not an easy process as it involves blending new methodologies with an existing one, or a Bimodal IT approach.

What Bimodal IT Is

At its core, Bimodal IT is essentially a mixed methodology infrastructure for software development and delivery. There are typically two modes for software creation and deployment, known as Mode 1 and Mode 2. The former is rigid in terms of operation, but it is predictable and safe. On the other hand, the latter is riskier to operate but is also more responsive and agile.

The bimodal approach combines both modes by  leveraging the existing technology (Mode 1)  that a bank or firm may already have while improving and expediting different operations with the technology that is being integrated (Mode 2). These days, the bimodal approach is widely used by many businesses today as they seek out ways to improve on old practices while pushing boundaries of what’s possible operationally.

How the Bimodal Approach Affects Banks and the Financial Industry

Using the bimodal approach to technology has substantial benefits to those in the financial industry as it is a safe way for banks to explore how they can improve their services without compromising their data or information. The use of the bimodal approach implies some form of predictability while leaving ample room for experimentation. As a result, this has a greater impact on the financial industry as a whole.

In order to execute the bimodal approach, many financial firms choose to partner with fintech vendors and digital transformation companies. This causes both entities to forge an allied and collaborative relationship, thereby fostering an environment where fintech vendors and banks see each other as partners instead of competitors. As a result, both parties help each other advance and move forward.

Separate Processes and Integrated Results

In order to successfully deploy bimodal implementation for technology, both banks and vendors need to understand the dichotomy of it. There are certain things that have to be kept separate while the ultimate goal is to seamlessly integrate both Mode 1 and 2 into each other. For one thing, it is important to keep resources (manpower, servers, and Cloud resources) separate between the two modes. This is especially true for the people who will be working on any software development initiatives, as Mode 1 and 2 involve different schools of thought and context. It will be too difficult for anyone to work on both modes so it is important for banks to divide their teams of developers when working on this.

This can make the transition easier as both teams can work on one mode each while slowly working toward an integrated understanding of both. Additionally, having separate teams working on each means that codebases and schedules have to be separate as well. This is largely because both Mode 1 and Mode 2 have their own testing and software release cadences which will require a different allocation of time. Banks need to remember to keep their resources and schedules separate to allow both software modes to be developed properly so integrating both later on is easier to do. Afterward, focus needs to be placed on release management for both: features from Mode 1 and 2 can slowly be integrated using the bimodal approach.

Gradual Transition for the Best Outcome

The bimodal approach is still very much relevant in today’s banking landscape as banks can explore new ways to improve their internal systems and services while still working with safe and predictable technology. It aligns with the conservative nature of the industry without closing it off to the possible benefits of new technologies, especially those that can expedite operations. However, banks need to be prepared for a slow process as they slowly adapt to the bimodal deployment of technology. With help from digital transformation experts, banks can slowly develop both modes separately so mixing both schools of thought can be done properly.

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