New Gartner prediction says the majority of technology products and services will soon be built by those who are not technology professionals.
For years we’ve heard that every company will be a software company. Now it seems that every department of a business will also have its own “business technologists.” Today, total business-led IT spend averages up to 36% of the total formal IT budget.
What is driving the change?
Gartner points to growth in digital data, low-code/no-code development tools and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted development are among the many factors that are enabling the democratization of technology development beyond IT professionals.
While tech has been bleeding into all areas of business in recent years, it is also accelerating in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Gartner also predicts that $30 billion in revenue will be generated by products and services that did not exist pre-pandemic.
At this rate and with the ever-increasing accessibility of tech platforms, companies will need to “extend their sourcing of ideas and technology development into new communities, whether they are based on citizen development, their own customer communities or other sources.”
All types of no-code technologies are on the rise
What types of technologies does this prediction apply to? Almost any of them.
From creating web sites or apps to simple integrations or customizing point solutions, many things that used to require coding or technical resources can now be done through self-service—signing up for a cloud platform with no set up and using the no-code version of a previously complicated technology.
This especially applies to automation and AI technology, traditionally an IT-only project. But this approach hasn’t made much digital transformation progress in recent years due to requirement gaps and inability to scale. No-code’s promise is that it can overcome these barriers by allowing the whole business to contribute in a practical, hands-on way.
Now, digital business can and should be treated as a team sport throughout the company to meet demand. Business technologists and tech-savvy employees in any role can automate with no-code tools, while IT serves as the coach.
Governing tech projects outside of IT
Gartner has also recently predicted that existing employees who are trained to use low-code and no-code tools, aka those upskilled to become “citizen developers,” will pass the number of professional developers at large organizations four-to-one by 2023. However, that makes the role of professional developers even more important.
The companies and the technologies that will come out on top of the citizen developer revolution will get in front of “shadow IT” concerns of the past with guardrails and controls on these tools, technical oversight and governance structure.
This controlled no-code citizen developer approach has proven effective in many organizations so far. Guidant Global’s automation program is one of them.
Guidant Global uses Catalytic’s no-code workflow automation platform which has built-in governance, data and security controls. The company has also organized a governance board to oversee it, composed of both business and IT representatives to oversee the work of citizen developers.
The company just finished training its fourth cohort, with 46 people now certified on Catalytic and 35 processes (and counting) automated so far.
The truths about citizen development
What company wouldn’t want to tap into the subject matter expertise of all of its employees and give them the tools to turn it into digital agility, new products and cost savings? These are the benefits of citizen development and no-code promise. So why isn’t it everywhere yet?
Historically, there have been IT fears like security and maintenance concerns. Plus, technologies that claim to be low-code/no-code haven’t always been. However, we are entering a new era of citizen development.
When done right (which is to say safely at scale), it can be a true win-win for the tech and business sides of the organization alike and make the difference in a market increasingly ruled by technology.
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