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Majority of tech products will be built by tech outsiders by 2024

Thu 17 Jun 2021

A new category of buyers outside of the traditional IT enterprise, who are increasingly occupying a larger share of the IT market, will wield significant influence in the sector over the next few years, according to new research from Gartner.

As a result of this trend, 80% of technology products and services will be built by those who are not technology professionals by 2024, the data analyst firm says. Currently, total business-led IT spend averages up to 36% of the total formal IT budget.

The trend is strongly linked with the effects on the IT sector brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic: Gartner says the rapid expansion of cloud services, digital business initiatives and remote services opened the door for new possibilities in integrations and optimisation.

Consequently, the encroachment of technology into almost every area of business continues to create demand for products and services outside of IT departments — even if these buyers do not always fit neatly into offerings from traditional providers.

In fact, Gartner anticipates that $30 billion in revenue will be generated by products and services that did not exist pre-pandemic by 2023.

“Digital business is treated as a team sport by CEOs and no longer the sole domain of the IT department,” says Gartner research vice president Rajesh Kandaswamy.

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

Gartner says that due to the effects of the pandemic, barriers for IT ‘outsiders’ to create tech-based solutions were reduced — providing an entry point for anyone who was able to serve pandemic-induced needs. These entrants include non-technology professions within enterprises, citizen developers, data scientists and AI systems that generate software.

Technology providers are now increasingly entering markets related to, or in competition with, non-technology providers, including innovative firms in financial services and retail. The latter is creating IT-driven solutions more frequently and with more ambition as more enterprises continue their digital transformation efforts.

Gartner expects high-profile announcements of technology launches from non-tech companies to proliferate over the next 12 months.

“The availability of business technologists provides new sources of innovation and the ability to get work done,” says Kandaswamy. 

“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.”

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