Info-tech

Non-IT employees are increasingly handling technology development: Gartner

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 22, 2021

So-called business technologists are ‘democratisating tech development’ and accelerating business outcomes, says report

Half of business technologists produce technology capabilities for users beyond their department and/or enterprise, according to a new survey from Gartner, Inc.

Gartner defines business technologists as employees outside of IT departments who create technology or analytics capabilities for internal or external business use. They are primarily responsible for building analytics capabilities (36 per cent), but are also involved in building digital commerce platforms, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation, among others.

“Technology work, once primarily the purview of dedicated IT shops, is being democratised,” said Raf Gelders, research vice-president at Gartner.

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“The best enterprises compete in the digital economy by harnessing the expertise and ingenuity of all their employees, and progressive CIOs [chief information officers] are working with other C-suite leaders to do just that,” Gelders added.

Further, business technologists collaborate with IT to create value.

A dramatic growth in digitalisation opportunities, together with lower barriers to entry (such as low-code development tools and AI-assisted development) were among the core factors enabling the “democratisation of technology development beyond IT professionals”, the report said.

Nearly 77 per cent of business technologists use a combination of automation, integration, application development or data science, and AI tools in their daily work.

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Four out of five respondents reported finding value in collaborating with IT, rather than circumventing them, as compared to creating technology or analytics capabilities independently.

The reasons they cited were increased innovation, security and speed. Additionally, 76 per cent of business technologists assume enterprise risk ownership, or believe it is their responsibility to ensure their work is secure, adheres to regulatory requirements and does not negatively impact others.

The analysis further shows that organisations successfully enabling business technologists are 2.6 times more likely to accelerate digital business outcomes.

“Business technologists expand the CIO’s strategic reach as IT equips and empowers employees across the enterprise to build digital capabilities for making or saving money,” said Gelders.

“Focusing hiring efforts and investments to fully leverage this resource base provides a major opportunity for CIOs to work with other enterprise business leaders,” Gelders added.

The report is based on the Gartner Reimagining Technology Work Survey conducted online in March 2021 among 2,820 business technologists across functions, industries and geographies.

Published on September 22, 2021

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