More and more technological developments are taking place outside of IT

Diving brief:

  • More and more technology developments are taking place outside the confines of IT, according to Gartner research. Half of enterprise technologists, which Gartner defines as non-IT employees who create technology, make products that are adopted by employees outside their department or company.
  • Business technologists typically work on the analytics capabilities of their departments or companies, as well as financial applications, external websites or data storage, according to the survey of 2,820 business technologists. Nearly eight in 10 enterprise techs say they regularly use a combination of automation, integration, application development, or data science and AI.
  • Compared to working in silos to create technology products, four in five respondents say there is value in collaborating with IT and cite increased innovation, security and speed through partnership.

Overview of the dive:

Technology literacy has steadily grown among core employees.

Ease of use on technology platforms such as data analytics or low-code/no-code tools has produced a new worker profile that can reshape how their own service works and even impact enterprise-wide projects.

But the variety of applications that these professionals can now set up and run without direct IT intervention is changing. According to the Gartner survey, business technologists can build chatbots, data storage systems, IoT applications, and digital commerce platforms, among other types of technology.

“What we’re seeing now is…a tipping point where managing technology is slowly becoming a business skill, and it’s not just the purview of IT departments anymore,” said Raf Gelders, research vice president. at Gartner.

This shift creates a delicate balance for CIOs, who are tasked with producing a technology team that supports broader business strategies. With technology creation tools in the hands of non-IT people, application proliferation can be a risk. According to an analysis by Productiv, the average department already has up to 60 apps, with the company-wide number over 200.

According to Gelders, companies that strike the right balance “attempt to both exploit the democratized delivery and mitigate the risk” of applications created by enterprise technologists. There are security and compliance risks, but also potential redundancies, inefficiencies, or misalignments.

According to Gelders, a strategic question that companies need to ask themselves is what technology talent they need and where in the company, in order to deploy effective technology solutions. That’s a question best answered with the insight of the IOC.

Despite the risks involved, companies are motivated to support business technologists. Gartner found that companies that empowered enterprise technologists were 2.6 times more likely to accelerate digital business results.