Special Feature

Developers? What developers? Most tech built by people outside of IT by 2024, analysts predict

The future of IT in the enterprise will not be dominated by the IT department.

Tech analyst firm Gartner reckons 80% of IT products and services will be built by non-developers by 2024. 

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Low-code or no-code software development appears to be having its moment now thanks in part to moves by Amazon Web Services with Honeycode, Microsoft's Power Platform, Google's Appsheet, and products from the likes of Appian, ServiceNow and Zoho. 

The pandemic and a shortage of developers has propelled the trend towards low-code development, which gives business users the tools to create business-specific mobile or web applications that connect to spreadsheets or databases. 

It goes beyond low-code though and a continuing shift towards business users rather than IT departments buying software from SaaS providers. Gartner estimates that IT spending from business groups now averages up to 36% of the total formal IT budget. 

"Digital business is treated as a team sport by CEOs and no longer the sole domain of the IT department," said Rajesh Kandaswamy, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. 

"Growth in digital data, low-code development tools and artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted development are among the many factors that enable the democratization of technology development beyond IT professionals."

It's unlikely that low-code will kill demand for professional developers who know how to write code in C++, JavaScript and Python. And indeed, demand for these professionals continues to be extremely high - part of the reason why companies are turning to alternative options.

Gartner notes that the pandemic has created demand for products and service outside of IT departments. It's predicting that by 2023, $30 billion in revenue will be generated by products and services that didn't exist before the pandemic.

It reckons faster adoption of cloud services, digital transformation and remote work support has opened up new possibilities in integrations and optimization.

The pandemic also created more opportunities for "business technologists", such as so-called citizen developers, data scientists and AI systems that generate software.

"The availability of business technologists provides new sources of innovation and the ability to get work done. Thus, technology and service providers 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," says Kandaswamy.