Over the next two years, 50% of organisations will experience increased collaboration between their business and IT teams, according to Gartner.

The dispute between business and IT teams over the control of technology will lessen as both sides learn that joint participation is critical to the success of innovation in a digital workplace.

“Business units and IT teams can no longer function in silos, as distant teams can cause chaos,” says 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, 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 technologies effectively across the business.”

The role of application leader has changed significantly with the replacement of manual tasks by cloud-based applications in digital workplaces.

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, AI techniques such as machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), 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 lower cost,” says Mann.

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 and infrastructures.

“Application leaders will bring together business units and central IT teams to form the overall digital business team,” says Mann.