Half of business technologists produce capabilities for users beyond their own department and/or enterprise, according to a new survey from Gartner. They are primarily responsible for building analytics capabilities (36%), but are also involved in building digital commerce platforms, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation, among others.
Gartner defines business technologists as employees who report outside of IT departments and create technology or analytics capabilities for internal or external business use.
“Technology work, once primarily the purview of dedicated IT shops, is being democratised,” said Raf Gelders, research vice president at Gartner. “The best companies compete in the digital economy by harnessing the expertise and ingenuity of all their employees, and progressive CIOs are working with other C-suite leaders to do just that.”
Collaborating with IT
A dramatic growth in digitalisation opportunities together with lower barriers to entry (e.g., low-code development tools and AI assisted development) are among the core factors that enable the democratisation of technology development beyond IT professionals. Seventy-seven per cent of business technologists routinely use a combination of automation, integration, application development or data science and AI tools in their daily work.
Compared to creating technology or analytics capabilities independently, four out of five respondents reported finding value in collaborating with IT, rather than trying to circumvent them, citing increased innovation, security and speed when doing so. In addition, 76% 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.
Gartner analysis shows organisations that successfully enable 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 organisation 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.”