There’s been talk of the decentralization of IT within organizations for years, and events of recent years have certainly accelerated this trend. Yet, IT has never been more important to the success of the organization.
According to ManageEngine’s newly released IT at Work: 2022 and Beyond study, an increasing number of IT-related decisions are being made outside of the formal IT department. Yet, the survey also found that just as non-IT employees and the lines of business take a larger role in choosing their technology stack, collaboration between IT and other areas of the business has actually increased, not decreased as many feared would occur.
The survey found that 76% of North American decision-makers reported their organization encourages non-IT employees to develop their own applications using low-code/no-code platforms and most departments, most notably notable quality control (24%) and finance (21%), are independently turning to AI/ML solutions to perform their jobs.
These findings echoed an earlier survey conducted by IDG for Snow Software. This survey found that 67% of respondents believed that at least half of their IT budget is controlled by their various business units and not the IT department. Interestingly, 78% agreed that this is a positive development for their organization and that it would ultimately enable their business to become more innovative and agile.
That may be so, but many North American IT decision-makers responding to the ManageEngine survey (48%) also believed that a lack of training and basic technical knowledge (47%) are holding back their staff from taking full advantage of the technology available to them. Still, 76% of survey respondents reported that their staff is more technology-savvy today than they were before the pandemic.
Those benefits aside, a full 99% of respondents said that their organization also faced challenges due to IT decentralization, most notably maintaining IT security (56%), overall quality maintenance (41%) and the reliability of ongoing support (37%).
Paradoxically, despite the increased technology autonomy within organizations, the ManageEngine survey found that 82% of North American business and technology leaders agreed that collaboration between IT and other lines of business increased in the past two years. Further, 89% believed that the IT department’s success is directly linked with the general success of their organization.
“Those enterprises that succeed here will be those that are able to not only have the right policies in place that encourage IT and line-of-business collaboration but the technology also in place that will identify applications and cloud services independently deployed by those line-of-business managers,” said Scott Crawford, an analyst with 451 Research, S&P Global Market Intelligence.
It’s clear that the ease with which low-code/no-code platforms, cloud services and other cloud platforms made business technology accessible to non-IT decision-makers has decentralized and democratized IT decision-making. What’s interesting is that IT departments have found their relevance and importance within organizations increasing, and not decreasing as many feared. Those IT departments that have succeeded, and that will continue to succeed, are those that find themselves capable of supporting the technology decisions their various departments have made rather than centrally trying to control those decisions.
The ManageEngine survey is based on the responses from 3,300 global IT and business decision-makers with 500 of those respondents residing in North America.