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ManageEngine Study Finds Democratization of IT in North America Increased Dramatically Post-COVID
ManageEngine announced results from the first report of the IT at Work: 2022 and Beyond study, which examined the democratization of IT - how non-IT employees and departments are overseeing their own process automation, tool choices or technology operations. The report finds that the state of business in a post-pandemic era demonstrates that everyone, not just IT teams, has a stake in how technology is chosen, deployed, configured and used.

The survey found that 82% of North American (US and Canada) business and technology leaders agree that collaboration between IT and other lines of business (LOBs) has increased in the past two years. A positive outcome from this increase in collaboration is that other LOBs are using key technologies on their own, no longer relying on IT to help them get results.

For example, most departments outside of IT - particularly quality control (24%) and finance (21%) - are using AI/ML, according to business decision makers. In addition, 76% of North American decision makers agree that their organization encourages non-IT employees to develop their own applications using low/no-code platforms - the highest of any other region surveyed - with marketing as the top department creating its own applications.

Business decision makers agree that non-IT employees are more knowledgeable about IT now than they were pre-pandemic (76%). However, those same decision makers also believe that a lack of training (48%) and basic technical knowledge (47%) - in North America more so than any other region surveyed - are key barriers for employees when it comes to taking advantage of the technologies available within their organization. IT decision makers (ITDMs) also felt strongly that other departments need more technical skills training, particularly marketing (52%), finance (45%) and sales (43%). This could indicate these teams are misusing these technologies and need greater support from IT to course-correct.

"While IT departments may have feared that democratization of IT within their companies would undermine their influence, the opposite is true for many," said Vijay Sundaram, chief strategy officer of Zoho Corporation. "The proliferation of technology throughout organizations has increased the technical proficiency of non-IT employees and their awareness of the impact of technology in transforming business outcomes. This is leading to deeper collaboration between business and IT departments to tap into the skills required to drive business innovation and improve productivity."

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Decentralization may be key to increased collaboration in the US and Canada, and the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for IT teams
    • Seventy-four percent of ITDMs stated that their organizations have already successfully decentralized their IT structure, the highest of any other region surveyed.
    • Despite this success, nearly all ITDMs surveyed (99%) stated their organization faces challenges if they continue to decentralize. Their top three concerns are centered around maintaining IT security levels (56%), maintaining quality levels (41%) and the reliability of ongoing support (37%).
    • Regardless of any challenges, decision makers believe the importance of IT's role in the business will become more recognized/acknowledged as a result of decentralization (57%), with 89% agreeing that an IT department's success is directly correlated with the organization's overall success.
  • Confusion over responsibility for company cybersecurity efforts emerges across organizations
    • Seventy-nine percent of all respondents agreed that the existing security landscape of their organizations needs to change to ensure they are protected from cyberattacks.
    • However, when directly asked whose responsibility it is to protect their organization from cyberattacks, only 4% of respondents answered "everyone" - instead, the bulk of respondents believe IT/security teams should be responsible (58%), even over CSOs (47%), Chief IT Officers (42%) or CTOs (38%).
    • Of those who said it was everyone's responsibility, 90% stated that employees should be concerned about protecting their personal data.
  • AI and ML are key for strengthening security framework
    • In terms of AI and ML investments, business decision makers stated their organizations are focused primarily on preventing cyberattacks (55%). North America is the only region prioritizing cyberattacks other than Saudi Arabia.
    • Eighty-two percent also agreed that AI and ML technologies will play a significant role in strengthening IT security frameworks in the future.

Visit ManageEngine's website for access to the first report of the IT at Work: 2022 and Beyond study at

Published Thursday, September 22, 2022 12:11 PM by David Marshall
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