By Greg Belkin, Senior Director, Product Marketing
With low-code tools, employees outside of central IT are developing their own digital solutions
It’s a trend you may have already noticed. The applications and IT capabilities your organization depends on aren’t solely provided by your central IT department any more. Increasingly, employees in business units throughout your company are building technology solutions for various internal and external purposes.
Known as digital democratization, this shift involves equipping “business technologists” —workers external to central IT—with tools like low code development platforms (LCAPs) to create their own applications. Gartner estimates that a full 41 percent of employees in today’s workforce can now be described as business technologists; in technology-intensive sectors, it’s closer to 50 percent.
Why is the number of business technologists growing?
IT departments have long been struggling with a challenging directive–Do more with less. In other words–the demands are great, but the resources to address them are limited.
Since March 2020, the situation has become even more stark. To move business online and survive the pandemic, companies accelerated their digital transformation efforts, demanding even more from central IT groups. At the same time, employees began quitting their jobs in what has become known as the Great Resignation. Over two years later, hiring new tech talent remains challenging.
The result? More and more organizations are embracing a democratized approach to IT, in which technology work is no longer the sole responsibility of one central department. Instead, by arming employees with the right low code tools, companies empower them to quickly develop their own digital solutions, freeing up IT resources in the process.
What does a business technologist look like?
Business technologists offer both IT knowledge and soft skills—these employees know how to integrate technology into effective strategies for advancing business objectives. Their functions can include:
- Staying on top of the latest trends and developments
Business technologists often monitor industry news and publications to stay abreast of changes potentially affecting business operations.
- Keeping pace with the impact of technology across different sectors
By understanding how technology developments are affecting different enterprises, industries, and sectors, business technologists are well-positioned to propose IT solutions that meet their specific needs.
- Redefining business processes
Business technologists frequently envision new ways to use IT in their company’s operations, which can result in newly defined business processes that are faster and more efficient.
- Advising management on technology investments
Business technologists, with an understanding of how to apply new technology to different functions, can provide valuable insight to management on whether to invest in various products and services.
- Building solutions and applications
“Citizen developers” are business technologists who create IT solutions along with consuming them. These are the workers using LCAPs and other low code tools to build applications addressing specific business needs.
What did IT leaders have to say about LCAPs and business technologists?
The majority of IT decision-makers support the rise of the business technologist to boost productivity throughout the company.