The evolution of information technology (IT) leadership – sometimes driven by the line of business (LoB), sometimes by the legacy IT organisation – is reaching a state of balance where business-IT collaboration sets the stage for meaningful digital transformation.
Software application leaders must examine these predictions to learn how this equilibrium will take shape in their organisation. Over the next two years, ~50 percent of organisations will experience increased collaboration between their business and IT teams, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner.
Gartner believes that the dispute between LoB leaders and traditional CIOs or CTOs over the control of enterprise technology deployment will lessen, as both sides learn that joint participation in the process is critical to the success of innovation within a digital workplace.
Application leadership market development
"Business units and IT teams can no longer function in silos, as distant teams can cause chaos," said Keith Mann, senior research director at Gartner. "Traditionally, each business unit has had its own technology personnel, which has made businesses reluctant to follow the directive of central IT teams."
Increasingly, however, savvy organisations now understand that a unified objective is essential to ensure the integrity and stability of core business. As a result, individuals stay aligned with a common goal, work more collaboratively and implement new business technologies effectively.
The role of 'application leader' has changed significantly with the replacement of manual tasks by cloud-based applications in digital workplaces. According to the Gartner assessment, the application leader must ensure that this transition is supported by appropriate skills and talent.
As more and more organisations opt for cloud-based applications, artificial intelligence (AI) techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing, chatbots and virtual assistants are emerging as digital integrator technologies.
"While the choice of integration technologies continues to expand, the ability to use designed applications and data structures in an integrated manner remains a complex and growing challenge for businesses. In such scenarios, application leaders need to deliver the role of integration specialists in order to ensure that projects are completed faster and at a lower cost," said Mann.
Outlook for application development collaboration
Enterprise application leaders will have to replace the command-and-control model with versatility, diversity and team engagement with key stakeholders. Application leaders must become more people-centric and provide critical support to digital transformation initiatives.
Additionally, in a digital workplace, it is the application leader’s responsibility to serve as the organisational 'nerve centre' by quickly sensing, responding to, and provisioning applications or IT infrastructure.
"Application leaders will bring together business units and central IT teams to form the overall digital business team," said Mann. That said, in this environment, the successful IT vendors will learn to adapt to this procurement transition – where a variety of buyers and influencers drive the discovery, consideration and ultimate solution selection process.
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