The democratization of information technology has arrived. Here’s how to capitalize

By embracing the democratization of IT, companies can give dedicated IT staff the time and resources they desperately need to handle a growing list of business-critical tasks.

While organizations today face a serious scarcity of technical talent, the demand for organizational IT services is nonetheless growing. In fact, the pandemic has dramatically accelerated the speed of digital innovation, creating a demand for technology initiatives and solutions that many IT teams are unable to deliver due to lack of funding. To compensate for this, LOB executives who are not part of IT groups are increasingly selecting, developing, or customizing their own technology. This phenomenon, called IT democratization, has been growing for many years, and it is growing in popularity because it saves time and resources for IT teams and enables business users to be more independent and innovative.

Gartner research tells us that the arrival of the personal computer marked the beginning of the evolution of information technology from mainframe computing to distributed computing. Later, the development of enterprise CRM and ERP software began to involve business users in IT purchasing decisions. Non-technical employees have continued to gain influence in the mobile age thanks to new trends like bring your own device (BYOD) and bring your own apps (BYOA). Fast forward to today’s cloud technology, and corporate leaders can now access vast computing resources without the deep involvement of the IT department.

However, there are plenty of companies that continue to require their employees to manually implement outdated processes – even with current technology available to them. To compete in today’s rapidly modernizing digital economy, businesses need to invest in low-code/no-code platforms to enable business users to solve their problems, regardless of technical skill. In fact, democratization of IT is essential for long-term business performance and provides a number of benefits to accelerate the digital transformation journey of organizations.

See also: Why low code development still needs some IT oversight

How empowered business technologists help businesses thrive

By 2024, nearly 80% of IT products and services will be created by non-technical business users. why? Because business technologists want to harness the many benefits of technology themselves, they independently create and leverage the solutions they need. And while it may be tempting to view this shift as a threat, IT leaders must understand that the increased empowerment of business units truly represents an enormous opportunity.

By embracing the democratization of IT and enabling business technologists to independently build their own IT solutions, companies can give dedicated IT staff the time and resources they desperately need to tackle a growing list of business-critical tasks. Furthermore, there is scope for innovation to flourish when there are “native developers” working in every department across the organisation.

A large number of the IT services available today were created to give users greater independence while reducing the amount of work for technical professionals. In fact, with the power of Software as a Service (Saas) solutions with service-based models available to them, there is no longer a need for IT professionals to use their time to install and maintain software. In addition, better usability of standard applications enables employees to carry out more activities independently.

However, to truly democratize IT, organizations must go a step further, giving non-technical employees the ability to create and personalize their own applications.

Leverage low-code solutions to accelerate development

By leveraging low-code tools, users can design applications and workflows with little or no coding. Low-code application platforms, which typically offer straightforward interfaces and drag-and-drop functionality, allow anyone, regardless of formal technical expertise, to quickly build solutions.

As with the growing movement towards the democratization of IT, low-code tools aren’t really new. It has been on the market for years. However, the pandemic and subsequent acceleration in digital business has greatly increased the demand for these services. In fact, if adoption continues at its current pace, by 2025 employees will have built 70% of company applications using low-code tools and technologies. And as the e-commerce boom caused by the pandemic continues to drive demand for these offerings, I predict that percentage will only grow.

For companies today, navigating a challenging environment while suffering from a lack of resources, low-code technologies, and integration tools provides an effective way to empower every employee to contribute to their team’s success. By offering benefits across a broad range of business functions, low-code application platforms allow users to:

  • Build apps to consolidate data records, track assets, and orchestrate approval procedures
  • Give workers on assembly lines and in warehouses important information regarding sales orders and products
  • Consolidate data to house all sales leads within one application
  • Efficiently develop employee management and expense management systems
  • Automate the creation of experimental environments for salespeople

Increase innovation and enhance organizational productivity

To achieve important business goals and reach the next level of growth, innovative leaders must recognize the power of low-code technologies, designed to enable business technologists to develop their applications and systems. In addition to filling the widening skills gap and lack of technical talent, low-code solutions give IT departments the opportunity to maintain their focus on critical business activities, increasing their potential to accelerate innovation and create real value for the organization.

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