Mode 2 IT Operations are focused on applications that are cloud-native by design. Developers in a Mode 2 environment use agile development methodologies to design and build modular applications with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and distributed design. These applications start in the cloud and may live in the cloud forever. This environment is exploratory, risk-tolerant and experimental, seeking to solve new problems without a proven path to follow. Mode 2 development initiatives begin with a hypothesis and are built in short iterations that support fast-failure, learning, and innovation.
Mode 2 is essential to the digitization of business as it uses fast, continuous delivery rhythms, with new ideas being tested and implemented very quickly. This makes it highly responsive to new business models and the ever-changing digital landscape. The agile development style lets it scale up and down rapidly in response to external drivers like new competitors or even seasonal changes in consumer demand. It can also help a business adapt to vastly different business models such as new media distribution channels like Spotify and Kindle, or new service sharing models like Lyft and HomeAway, and can enable a company to stay nimble and flexible about monetizing their assets.
The tools and skillsets required in a Mode 2 IT environment are quite different from those found in Mode 1 operations, and the governing characteristics of the two Modes are diametrically opposed. Where Mode 2 development is fast, risk-tolerant, and willing to learn from failure, a Mode 1 environment is cautious, risk-averse, and seeks, foremost, to safeguard business stability and uptime. Most organizations now have a bimodal IT department which manages their Mode 1 and Mode 2 environments separately. These bimodal IT departments can use a multimodal operating system to bridge the two Modes, allowing seamless interoperability from Mode 1 to Mode 2 and back. This makes it easier and more efficient for an organization to stay flexible and adaptive, while protecting their business-critical systems. SUSE Linux Enterprise System 15 (SLES 15), the newest version of its enterprise-grade operating system, is designed to support multimodal IT environments.