The pandemic significantly accelerated the pace of technological advancement and digital transformation, generating a need for new digital programs and solutions. The drive to meet this demand has increased pressure on IT departments, which, in turn, has heightened collaboration between IT and line-of-business (LOB) executives. Business technologists, or staff members who are not in the IT department but leverage technology to solve their business problem to improve the productivity of their department, are increasingly choosing the applications, technology frameworks, and platforms that help them solve their business problems without heavy reliance on IT. This development has not only allowed IT teams to focus on more strategic and centralized initiatives but has also enabled business teams to solve their problems at a rapid pace. This trend, known as "IT democratization," has been on the rise for quite some time and is now commanding even greater attention.
As Gartner has said, the PC signaled the start of the IT industry's shift from centralized systems to distributed computing. Next, as corporate customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions were developed, business users began to get more involved in IT selection. Additionally, technological trends such as bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and bring-your-own-apps (BYOA) have given non-technical personnel additional power in the mobile era. And now, cloud technologies enable today's business leaders to access vast computer resources without heavy reliance on IT staff.
However, many companies still employ professionals who manually apply outdated business operations. This holds true despite all of the current systems in place. To stay competitive in an increasingly digital world, businesses should think about implementing no-code/ low-code application platforms and other low-code technologies so that anyone, regardless of technical ability, can design and solve their own business problems. IT democratization is essential for long-term corporate success and has a plethora of advantages that will hasten businesses' journey to digital transformation.
How Technology Democratization Empowers IT
Over the next two years, it's expected that employees who aren't full-time technical specialists will produce close to 80% of IT services and goods. These non-IT employees who develop their own tech solutions work mostly in business roles, but they recognize the benefits of technology and want to use it independently. Although this signifies a shift in authority toward business divisions, IT executives should view this new dynamic as an advantage, not a risk.
By embracing the trend and helping business users take on technical initiatives, IT teams can free up the time and resources they need to manage their own growing queue of initiatives. Additionally, when multiple departments within a company hire new "citizen developers," creativity accelerates exponentially.
Many IT services offered now are designed to provide users with more autonomy while lightening the load on technical experts. Thanks to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions with service-based models, IT professionals no longer have to devote time installing, deploying, and maintaining software tools. Additionally, improved usability of popular apps helps employees to do more tasks independently.
Giving non-technical staff the opportunity to design and adapt their own apps is one of the most crucial ways for firms to advance IT democratization.
How Low-Code Technology Enables Speedier Development
With a low-code approach to development, users can create workflows and applications utilizing technologies that need little to no coding. Low-code application platforms (LCAPs) which commonly have drag-and-drop functionality and easy-to-use interfaces, make it possible for people without formal coding experience to quickly build solutions.
Similar to the push toward IT democratization, low-code solutions are nothing new, but the rate at which businesses are adopting them is. According to some estimates, employees will have used low-code tools and technologies to build 70% of corporate applications by 2025, if adoption continues at its current rate. I believe that percentage will rise even higher, as the pandemic and the accompanying surge of e-commerce have greatly elevated demand for these offerings. By providing business users with low-code apps and integration solutions across a range of critical operations, companies have enabled every stakeholder to help drive performance and contribute to the organization's competitiveness.
Since low-code technology lends itself to easy customization for users, business technologists employ LCAPs differently across a variety of industries. Low-code software powers a wide range of business processes, including tracking assets, managing approval processes, integrating data records, and providing sales and product-centric information to personnel on production lines and in warehouse environments.
In addition, LCAPs can automate demo settings for salespeople, create data linkages that aggregate sales leads within one application, and design systems for accurately monitoring and processing staff expenses.
Streamline IT and Boost Efficiency for Your Business
To propel company ambitions and drive growth, forward-thinking leaders should take into account no-code/low-code solutions designed to give business technologists the opportunity to construct their own systems and apps. This will not only help close the rising skills and talent gap in tech, it will also free current IT staff to speed up innovation and generate higher ROI for the company.