IT Brief Australia logo
Technology news for Australia's largest enterprises
Partner content
Story image

I, Technologist: Democratising data & technology for all employees

By Sara Barker
Thu 15 Apr 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

When ‘normal’ is removed from the business equation, organisations must prove they can innovate and think on their feet to move with, and get ahead of, the change.

Almost every organisation was faced with this last year, and now the world knows that change is possible.  Organisations can now use technology to try new things, change at speed, and move forward.

“We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to turn this moment of truth for technology into a moment of trust - embracing the power of exponential technology change to completely reimagine and rebuild the future of business and human experience.”

 According to Accenture’s Technology Trends 2021: Leaders Wanted report, there are five main trends ripe for change and innovation.  These trends are:

  • Stack strategically: IT architecture becomes a crucial differentiator for businesses competing in their industries
  • Mirrored World: Digital twins, AI, and data generate new possibilities for business and intelligence
  • I, Technologist: Automation, natural language processing, low-code and other tools are democratising data and technology
  • Anywhere, everywhere: Businesses take advantage of the rise of remote and hybrid workplaces 
  • From Me to We: A new take on partnerships and multiparty systems in the post-COVID-19 landscape.

I, Technologist is a trend that examines how some of the most powerful technologies are the ones that almost any employee can use. Take low-code, for example. Organisations don’t necessarily need coders with years of experience to build applications, instead, low-code has evolved to be so simple - even drag and drop simple.

The report discusses the case of G&J Pepsi, which created a team of seven employees with little or no software development experience. The team built eight applications without a single professional developer on its staff. The company saved US$500,000 in the first year alone.

This example highlights the possibilities of technology democratisation, and also touches on the grassroots layer that has previously been absent from enterprise innovation.

“Too often IT departments or technologists work to uncover the needs of the organisation in silos, building or buying a new tool and then rolling it out and training business units on the new technology. With technology democratisation, everyone can be an innovator. The tools of democratisation are the spark to ignite transformation, and people across the organisation will sustain it,” the report notes.

As part of the report, Accenture polled business leaders and staff from all over the world, including Australia. It seems that many employees aren’t ready to leverage the technologies provided to them.

Just 8% of Australian respondents feel ‘completely ready’ to leverage these technologies, with most (79%) feeling either mostly or moderately ready. A further 13% feel minimally ready and just 1% don’t feel ready at all.

What is holding these employees back? It could be that organisations have not properly communicated what tools are available, and how best to use them. It could also be that organisations have not invested in employees’ overall technology literacy.

Amongst Australian respondents, 63% say they plan to make a moderate investment in training employees who do not have expertise with technology democratisation tools. A further 27% plan to make a minor investment and just 10% will make a significant investment.

Some organisations (2%) even ‘strongly disagree’ that their organisation must train staff to think like technologists (to use and customise technology solutions at the individual level without highly technical skills). Most respondents (89%) agree, however.

But thinking like a technologist doesn’t just mean understanding how tools can be used, it’s also about understanding the business and technology context necessary to create the best solutions for a particular problem or need. 

“Quick training programs won’t cut it. This requires a true investment in the knowledge and thinking of your people. But done right, it will transform what they— and the business as a whole—can do,” the report notes.

Ninety percent of Australian respondents agree that technology democratisation tools will help employees to drive their organisation’s digital transformation benefits, however, 10% neither agree nor disagree.

“Successful digital transformation will be the first win for companies that get it right, but that’s just the start. With every employee empowered to contribute technological solutions to business needs, savvy enterprises will have an innovation advantage for years to come,” the report notes.

These organisations see the potential in tools such as software as a service (SaaS), secure sandbox environments, robotic process automation, and low code/no-code platforms.

These tools could provide a range of benefits, such as accelerating solution implementation and interconnectivity (59%), creating scalability and resilience (47%), capitalising on technology for any employee’s skill level (43%), and delivering more customised solutions and offerings with greater agility (38%).

When asked if Australian respondents believe that technology democratisation will need to focus on security and data governance, of which 90% agree and 10% remain neutral.

The report stresses that security and data governance are included in full-scale development projects, but they could be overlooked by employees with less technical experience. Organisations should look for solutions that build checks and reviews into democratised technologies.

How do organisations get started? First, pick an area of an enterprise that can experiment with technology democratisation. Sales development representatives could start building their own apps? Customer service agents could create their own automated workflows.

Organisations should also evaluate existing access. Some cloud providers offer low-code or robotic process automation solutions - work out how these can be leveraged to support technology democratisation.

The report states, “This is every enterprise’s opportunity to make their employees a core part of their digital transformation effort. But to do so successfully, leaders will need to extend the innovation imperative across every business unit. 

“It’s not just about giving people access to new tools; companies must actively teach their people to think like technologists. This doesn’t mean turning everyone into an engineer, but rather enabling them to solve problems with technology. By empowering everyone, those closest to a problem can be the ones to create solutions, keeping the company in lockstep with rapidly changing needs.”

Read more in Accenture’s Technology Trends 2021: Leaders Wanted report here.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
What every CISO must answer to enable a best-in-class security operations program
It has been widely reported recently that South Australian government employees have been the victims of a cyberattack.
Story image
MedCart achieves close to AUD$10 million in sales with help from Marketplacer tech
Australian health and medical start-up MedCart has achieved annual sales of close to AUD$10 million in less than 12 months, utilising Marketplacer marketplace technology to help achieve successful results.
Story image
Identity and Access Management
The post-pandemic workforce requires secure IAM capabilities
HID Global discusses what identity and access management means for organisations in today's convoluted digital world.
Story image
Microsoft previews Power Platform website design offering
Microsoft has announced the preview of Power Pages, the fifth product in its Power Platform family, designed for low-code makers and professional developers.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
MailGuard warns of new scam targeting Telstra customers
Telstra customers in Australia are being warned of a new scam involving "Unsuccessful Payment" messages.
Story image
Hybrid Cloud
Barracuda expands cloud-native SASE platform
"The expansion of Barracuda's cloud-native SASE platform for hybrid deployment models and IIoT environments solves a number of challenges."
Story image
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
Consumer relationships with digital services continues to change
Two years of pandemic-induced reliance on technology for work has altered our relationship with digital apps and services, new research has found.
Story image
Australian space tech startup secures SpaceX support
Space Machines Company has secured the support of SpaceX as a launch partner in carrying SMC's Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle to space next year.
Story image
Customer experience
Phone, internet complaints increase for first time in five quarters
Phone and internet complaints have increased for the first time in five quarters, according to a new telco report from the Ombudsman.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Digital transformation increasing business complexities
A new survey suggests businesses must re-examine their digital transformation approach to better help employees adapt to change.
Story image
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Red Sift
Entrust expands strategic partnership with Red Sift
Entrust has expanded its strategic partnership with Red Sift to make it easier for businesses to adopt Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standards for email identification and security.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
BYOD / Bring Your Own Device
How zero trust can lead the battle against ransomware
SecOps teams champion a zero trust strategy to support the fight against the escalating risk of cybercrime and help monitor threat actors across a network.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
NetApp launches Spot PC, a new Desktop-as-a-Service solution
This is a new managed cloud DaaS solution with security, automation, observability and optimisation capabilities, designed for the needs of today.
Story image
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Women in Technology
Huawei webinar emphasises the importance of women in tech
Industry findings by Coursera discussed as part of a webinar jointly organised by Huawei and Reuters Events found 6% more women enrolled in tech courses this year than in 2021.
Story image
Accenture - a collective security approach a driving factor for cyber resilience
With the approaching Davos World Economic Forum upon us, it is even more imperative to discuss the impact of cybersecurity on business operations leading into the future.
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Story image
The paradox of change, and how to get around it
The business decision to technologically transform should not come from an IT department but from the business itself.
Story image
The most common online scams in Australia
No one is safe from online scammers, and many of these scammers have capitalised on the pandemic, using this confusing time to attack more people than ever.
Story image
Microsoft, Cloudian partnership offers data center flexibility
Cloudian’s HyperStore object storage platform is now integrated and validated to work with Microsoft SQ Server 2022, offering more flexible and scalable data centers.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Harnessing digital innovations to maximise loyalty programmes and improve CX
When it comes to the retail sector, merchants have never had access to so many different client touchpoints and data to understand their customers better.
Story image
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
MEC spending for private cellular networks to reach $5.8b
A new ABI Research report finds the revenue for Multi Access Edge Compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular networks will reach USD$5.8 billion by 2030.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Alteryx releases updates, empowers data insights for enterprise
Alteryx has released new advancements designed to aid enterprises with cloud analytics, democratise insights and ensure data governance.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Skills shortages hold orgs back from capitalising on cloud 2.0
Organisations are becoming more comfortable with sophisticated 'cloud 2.0' technologies, even as they confront difficulties in hiring and retaining IT talent.
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Boost Mobile
Boost Mobile now makes up over 7% of Aussie prepaid market
Boost Mobile has doubled its market share over the past four years and now has more than 7% of Australia's prepaid market, equivalent to over 700,000 people.
Story image
Check Point
Check Point and CCTV expert join forces to boost protection
The partnership will involve Check Point Quantum IoT Protect Nano Agent being embedded in Provision-ISR’s CCTV cameras for on-device runtime protection.
Story image
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.