Mendix reveals developers are key to driving digital transformation strategy
In a new survey, Mendix, a Siemens business and the global leader in enterprise low-code, reveals that 90 percent of British IT professionals don’t expect software developers to understand their business’ needs, despite playing a central role in driving digital transformation. This perceived disconnect restricts the IT team’s ability to drive business decisions, while preventing non-technical employees from participating in the development of enterprise apps – which can often lead to the rise of ‘shadow IT’ projects. The survey is based on a panel of 250 British respondents.
Released today, the Mendix survey reveals that over 40% of British software developers see themselves as problem solvers and not decision makers. This perception limits their ability to participate in strategic decisions. In contrast, almost half (47 percent) regard IT as the core driver of digital transformation processes.
However, the findings also suggest that software developers are in a perfect space to drive innovation and act as consultants within their own company. One third of respondents believe “software development is a dynamic and creative process that relies on multiple departments working closely with technical experts.” This shows there is a stark gap between perception and reality. By gathering insights from across a broad range of business functions, software developers are in a unique position to identify the gaps within the business and advise on solutions to support the business’ growth objectives at all levels.
The Mendix survey also found drawbacks to this collaborative approach:
*Half of software developers believe that their development team is struggling for time when it comes to taking on new projects. This can be attributed to the small software developer talent pool, which is limited to 1 percent of the UK’s population. *Most businesses still rely solely on the IT team to launch new services quickly. This often results in a huge pipeline of unfinished projects, despite the limited number of developers available within the business. *Frustrated non-technical staff are now taking matters in their own hands, leading to ‘shadow IT’ developments. Business teams are pursuing tech solutions on their own, independent of IT. *According to a previous Mendix study, 78 percent of IT and business leaders find that shadow IT has increased over the course of the past five years. This shows a growing disconnect between IT and the wider business – a disconnect that is based on a lack of a digital mindset, rather than a lack of a digital skillset.
Nick Ford, Chief Technology Evangelist at Mendix, says: “The traditional, siloed approach of app development is not sustainable anymore. As the pace of innovation increases and IT teams take on more and wider digital transformation projects, they need support from other parts of the business. That’s why we launched our low-code platform: to equip non-technical staff with a simple solution that turns their ideas into projects, while working in tandem with IT departments in the launch of enterprise apps.”
“Today, we no longer need complex code to create a multitude of services – whether it’s an app to better track stock or a better way to map out insurance quotes on Excel. To help alleviate the pressure on software developers, we need every employee to shift their mindset. It’s time to stop asking the IT team to solve micro problems. Instead, everyone is a potential developer that can solve problems. And that mindset change needs to start within the IT department itself.”