Distributing the task of building applications
Emerging from the chaos of the pandemic has come a new imperative – that of the employee experience, which called for intuitive, empowering connection to business intelligence and automated workflows for customer-facing activities, as well as multifaceted platforms for collaboration with colleagues.
Each time a program manager encounters a new use case on their digital transformation journey, they consult the map and the plan. The map will have already described the use case. The plan will opt for one of four approaches to building a solution that will satisfy the use case.
The IT team could build it from scratch, retaining full control of the project, the product, and its maintenance. This takes a long time and puts a heavy requirements-gathering burden on the IT department.
Secondly, the IT team could use a low-code platform to develop the project, liaising tightly with business domain experts to ensure tight control over the project and optimise its integration into the stack while leap-frogging formal requirements gathering.
A third option is to allow business leads to become citizen developers and build the solution on their own with no IT supervision. However, this option would still require robust governance that would guide citizen developers and ensure they do not create system or information silos. Of course, there is always the fourth and final option, which is the full procurement route.
Purchasing a solution from a vendor that has tried-and-tested experience of the subject area is appealing to many. But requirements gathering, while shorter in duration than when building a bespoke solution, still creates a delay in rollout. Additionally, this option relinquishes considerable control of the solution, handing it to the vendor. So, for reasons of agility, flexibility, and control, outside procurement is not ideal.
Regional IT stakeholders should face the new landscape with a new plan that utilises a mixture of the first three options for solutions building. Let IT teams focus on core systems. Internal developers, properly equipped with the latest tools and appropriately versed in the innermost workings of the business, are best placed to create and maintain such systems, and this should be their top priority.
But IT teams can also accelerate each individual application project – and hence, the whole digital transformation journey – by using low-code development for complex solutions. In the experience-driven era, the applications that connect users to core systems must roll out rapidly, but the more complex ones will lie outside the expertise of citizen developers. By using low-code development, coders can not only meet the time demands of business stakeholders, but they will spend less time away from core systems.
And citizen developers come into the picture where simple automated workflows and lightweight apps will suffice. Business users understand the problems they are trying to address. They understand them better than any technology stakeholder ever can. No-code platforms can fulfil these project requirements under appropriate IT governance, assuming the platform supports all-in-one rapid prototyping, development, and deployment.
- IT teams can accelerate individual application projects by using low-code development for complex solutions.
- By using low-code development, coders can not only meet the time demands of business, but they will spend less time away from core systems.
- Citizen developers come into the picture where simple automated workflows and lightweight apps will suffice.
- Business users understand the problems they are trying to address, they understand them better than any technology stakeholder ever can.