Knowing how much technology drives business performance and customer engagement today, wouldn't it be nice to say YES more often to business growth ideas? Unfortunately, too many pushes for traditional digital transformation fail to account (and budget) for the very real impact on developer resources, harmonization and application portfolio management.
It's also true that declining the opportunity to have technology innovation lead the business forward is not an option. CIOs are faced with competing needs: One to expand the reach and impact of the business; and a second to harmonize and keep control of the application portfoilio. In the past, executives had to pick one over the other, limiting the innovation that could happen in and around the business. Saying NO to these initiatives put CIOs in a terrible position, but saying YES indiscriminately left the application portfolio a costly mess, out of control.
A new approach is needed. Low-code platforms are now being used to address these two vectors of change: Speed to market and Harmonization. It's increasingly possible to have both. As a result, CIOs can say YES more often.
Low-code platforms are now being used to address these two vectors of change: Speed to market and Harmonization.
Digital transformation takes many forms across businesses and industry, but it usually is focused on three key areas: customer experience, operational processes, and business models. The applications that are powering these transformational elements make up what we call the "Competitive Layer".
Essentially, the Competitive Layer is the mix of applications that sit on top of legacy systems and provide business differentiation - either by improving the performance and efficiency of employees and partners or by accelerating speed to market of new features and functionality. This layer has always existed. It's usually pretty complicated and messy. Now, using a low-code platform, the former "spaghetti bowl" of applications and integrations can be mostly contained and managed on one single, secure and scaleable platform.
There are three game-changing benefits to CIOs:
- Streamline APM. Consolidating the formerly isolated stew of applications onto one platform saves considerable application portfolio maintenance (APM) headache and time. Your developers will be able to focus on additional features and new ideas, while having quick access to make any necessary adjustments for functionality or security.
- Accelerate time to market. Low-code eliminates much of the tedious hand-coding that takes so much time, and drains both the energy and the enthusiasm of your team. Instead, let your senior developers loose on new business ideas and applications that contribute to business differentiation. Several of our clients have launched enterprise applications in weeks, rather than the months needed for traditional methods.
- Control citizen developers. Saying NO to the energy and idea generation among business teams can be heartbreaking. You want to be supportive, but you also can't accept rogue code, support shadow IT projects, or set aside time to build every new idea. With a low-code platform, you can unleash all your citizen developers on a platform that you control and manage - ensuring that anything built will meet your enterprise standards for quality and security.
What ideas could you explore in your organization if you could free up developer time and collaborate easily with business teams?
Consider some of these example applications where a low-code platform can accelerate and help protect your investments:
- Analytics applications can help the business understand customers in more detail. Insurance companies, for example, might improve their portfolios and cost structures through analytics-based underwriting and pricing. Any company might conduct analytics-based experiments to drive customer behavior. A retailer might test pricing and promotion across a one or more stores - perhaps dynamically adjusting product prices in response to demand, weather, inventory levels and proximity to closing time.
- Sales performance applications reduce time to sale and increase share of wallet. Consider using interactive and video-rich tablet-based presentations instead of laptop or paper-based slide decks to make sales pitches. What if some of these videos or digital interactions could replace in-person interactions - and save on travel fees? Some firms introduce mobile tools to help sales people and customers engage in analytics-based planning. Some pharmaceutical companies leave behind a tablet full of interactive product information - and get a 15-minute sales conversation when the rep returns to pick up the device.
- Customer experience is a core focus of all digital transformation. How could digital interactions, plug-ins and applications make life easier for the customer or simplify their processes? A retailer might automatically load a customer’s last online shopping list into its e-commerce site. This streamlines the shopping process, allowing customers extra time to look at other products. How about offering different options for delivery in order to increase order size? Customers already expect that they should be able to order online and pick up at a retail location - and that all their brand interactions across every channel will be integrated.
Although customer experiences are more visible, increased performance by business teams and improved business processes can sometimes make a bigger impact. Surely there are dozens of great ideas on your business improvement wish list.
Could low-code help you say YES to more of them?
Download our free whitepaper about Low-code in Swedish. A guide to technology that can dramatically increases the speed of application development and at the same time enables harmonization of the application portfolio.