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Gartner: The Future of IT Is with Business Units and Citizen Developers

If IT is to thrive in the coming years, it needs to change its role by integrating the technical work of business units and helping citizen developers do their work. So concludes the Gartner report, “Improving the Support, Engagement and Value of Business-Led IT.”

The report pulls no punches in saying how important all this is for enterprises. It starts off: “There is a rise in the technical capability and IT talent outside of formal IT departments. CIOs must provide leadership for this growing talent pool by delivering essential support and structure in order to increase enterprise value, reduce time to value and reduce risk.”

It then goes on to warn that “If unaddressed, time to value, total cost of ownership, other negative effects and technology associated risks are likely to grow. CIOs are failing to formalize their approach to business-led IT engagement, which misses the chance to enhance enterprise agility and value contribution from this untapped resource.”


"If [empowering citizen developers remains] unaddressed, time to value, total cost of ownership, other negative effects and technology associated risks are likely to grow." - according to Gartner


The statistics Gartner provides about this are eye-opening: In the last five years there has been an almost 70 percent increase in the technical ability of non-IT staff. Much of this comes from the rise of citizen-developers, domain experts and business staff who have enough technical expertise to write apps, notably using no-code/low-code development platforms.


In the last five years there has been an almost 70 percent increase in the technical ability of non-IT staff. Much of this comes from the rise of citizen-developers. - according to Gartner


Citizen developers provide plenty of benefits for IT, the report notes. Thirty-three percent of respondents to a Gartner survey says citizen developers enable self-service business innovation. Other benefits cited include improving business and IT alignment, creating prototypes that professional developers can use to write apps, reducing the app backlog and more.

As for how IT can best integrate the work of business units and citizen developers, the report recommends that CIOs “Formalize and offer a training program that provides a basic level of awareness and understanding of technical, procedural, nonfunctional, legal, standards and governance issues,” for those in business-led IT roles.

It also says that IT should offer much more guidance to business units and citizen developers, and train its own staff in understanding the procedural, nonfunctional, legal, standards and governance issues related to integrating IT with business units.

And finally, it recommends CIOs should, “Formalize ownership and the conditions that trigger the transfer of systems from the business to IT from the outset, and review regularly to avoid unplanned handovers.”

Alpha Software products are ideal for empowering citizen developers across a range of industries.Choosing the Best Platform for Business-Led IT and Citizen Developers

Alpha TransForm (for non-developers) and Alpha Anywhere (for developers) are ideal tools for enterprises looking to empower citizen developers, while maintaining data governance and security. Alpha TransForm and Alpha Anywhere can work independently or together as a single platform to craft a range of apps that take paper forms digital or streamline simple and complex business processes.  Alpha TransForm helps business users build online or offline mobile apps in minutes that utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. Alpha Anywhere has the unique ability to rapidly create mobile-optimized forms and field apps that can easily access and integrate with any database or web service and can exploit built-in role-based security or robust offline functionality.
Learn more about Alpha TransForm and try it free for 30 days.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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