Imagine sitting at your desk in school and the class is asked to work together to solve a complicated math problem.

Just as you are digging out your calculator, the teacher chooses 10 students to go down the hall and solve the problem using the shiny new equipment recently delivered to the computer room. They have the same challenge,  but now have the latest hardware and software to work on it.

It would be understandable if your motivation to solve the problem in the familiar way takes a bit of a hit.

That’s the problem with a bimodal approach to digital transformation that has been embraced by many companies and organizations, says Bill Keyworth, global vice-president of research at IDC.

“Too much time is wasted with people wondering why the cool kids always get the toys.”

In a presentation to the recent CanadianCIO Innovation Summit, Keyworth said any bimodal system that focuses exclusively on innovation and at scale operations will result in failure and frustration.

“There’s a third required dimension and it’s integration. For digital transformation to be sustainable, there must be continuous integration into the enterprise structure,” he said. “Innovations don’t count unless they are available to the business.”

In the video Keyworth discusses the advantages of Managing in 3-D, why you need key performance indicators tied to business outcomes and the dangers of  failing to deal with technical debt.