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IBM Study: 80 Percent Of Organizations Are Turning To Citizen Developers To Drive Innovation

ARMONK, N.Y., Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the results of a global study that revealed 80 percent of leading enterprises are forming new partnerships with "citizen developers," industry professionals operating outside the scope of enterprise IT. These citizen developers help to close the skills gap for application development to drive greater collaboration and innovation across cloud, analytics, mobile and social technologies.  

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" Raising the Game: The IBM Business Tech Trends Report" was conducted by the IBM Center for Applied Insights and is based on responses from more than 1,400 IT and business decision makers in 15 industries across five continents. The survey found that 40 percent of all organizations still report moderate-to-major skills gaps across cloud, analytics, mobile and social technologies, despite these technologies being recognized as the drivers for key innovations.

The study examined common traits of "pacesetters," leading organizations that are achieving tangible business results from cloud, analytics, mobile and social technologies. Pacesetters are finding creative new ways to narrow the skills gaps in their organization, including gaps in general IT skills, application development or data analytics. One way pacesetters are filling these gaps is via partnerships with citizen developers, an emerging group of industry professionals who create new business applications and help with IT decisions as a side venture -- outside of their regular work responsibilities.

In addition to turning to citizen developers, these pacesetter organizations are twice as likely to turn to academia for product development and 70 percent are more likely to engage with start-ups for execution.

Tapping the Power of the Crowd Organizations that actively crowdsource ideas and technology assets with customers, partners and academia drive deeper engagement for positive results, according to the survey findings.

For example, Esri, an IBM Business Partner and a leading developer of geographic information systems (GIS) software, regularly uses sites such as Github, a repository for open source code, to share and build apps for cloud, analytics, mobile and social technologies.  In regard to its own product roadmap, Esri also conducts hackathons and application challenges that drive creativity and product feedback.  

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