by Pete Khanna

Flipping the script on enterprise software

May 09, 2017
Enterprise ApplicationsSoftware Development

How low-code technology is bridging the software gap that exists within most companies

Do you feel like you’re caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the systems and tools you use to accomplish your work?

On one hand, you have your current internal software systems, which are antiquated, clunky, and inflexible, and as such, they simply are incapable of supporting your complex and ever-changing operations. On the other hand, you could use manual tools, like spreadsheets, email, and paper, which you know are inefficient and cumbersome, to manage your work.

If you’re feeling stuck, it turns out that you’re not alone. In fact, many organizations face the reality of having to choose between these two “less-than-optimal” options on a regular basis. It’s frustrating, and it leaves many ready to just throw their hands up and give up.

At TrackVia, we hear this situation consistently from our clients. We’ve come across the issue so often that we’ve given it a name, the “I Give Up” Gap.

The I give up gap Why the gap has emerged

Understanding the “I Give Up” Gap and ultimately finding a way out of it means looking at why it occurs in the first place. Examining one extreme of the gap, where current, heavy enterprise software resides, helps to clarify why this void has emerged.

A recent survey of over 500 business and IT executives released from my company, TrackVia, revealed that company leaders feel their legacy systems hinder their ability to operate efficiently. The main limitations they cite when it comes to their legacy systems are the following:

1. Enterprise systems are too rigid, and are not customizable enough. Current software is simply unable to compensate for the modern, and often evolving, work needs of their organization. In fact, 82 percent of executives report having had to change a part of their business operations or process to match the way their software works. Corporate legacy systems are simply not agile enough to keep pace with and support the complex, changing, and critical operations, processes and enterprise work at today’s companies.

2. Enterprise systems take way too long to implement or improve. Frustrated with waiting on requests for already backlogged internal IT or developer teams to fix current software, 76 percent of executives have replaced software programs, because they needed updates or customizations made that simply could not be executed or the software itself could not accommodate. That said, trying to bring in new heavy, enterprise systems still means waiting for months, sometimes years for it to be fully implemented. Additionally, often by the time an implementation project has been completed, operational needs and requirements have already changed. The opportunity cost of the wasted time, efforts, and resources necessary to “rip and replace” systems has become detrimental to companies.

3. Enterprise systems lack modern mobility. Executives find that their systems cannot extend to all the employees involved in executing their mission-critical work, because they lack mobile capabilities. In fact, sixty-five percent of executives said the lack of mobile functionality make it difficult for them to even use their software programs at all. Today’s enterprise systems cannot meet the needs of a growing workforce. Legacy software struggles to support employees who still need to remain productive, connected and coordinated, as they perform their work outside of a traditional office setting.

It’s clear that today’s enterprise software is not meeting the needs of the modern workforce. Executives cited that they believe their current software systems fundamentally hinder the overall success of their respective businesses—with 2 out of the 3 executives (66%) stating they feel that limitations of their software programs have negatively affected their company’s growth.

This is where the other edge of the “I Give Up” Gap makes an appearance: manual tools. With current software that cannot meet one’s needs, he or she often falls back on manual tools. Think about all those times you’ve been forced to resort to sticky notes, paper or emails, spreadsheets, or the like—sounds familiar, right? These types of manual tools appear to become an easy default option, but they are equally problematic, especially on a macro-level. These tools are inherently ineffective, insecure, error prone and cumbersome, and as a result, their widespread usage significantly hinders enterprise efficiency and productivity. This reality may help to explain why many executives feel that enterprise software is to blame for holding their company back from growth.

Low-code technology bridges the gap

Low-code platforms, like TrackVia, offer a compelling answer to overcoming the issues presented by current enterprise software while still solving for speed and ease for its users.

Instead of bending the business around the technology, low-code technology aims to change the paradigm by empowering companies to shape their software to the wants and needs of the business—both now and in the future. These application platforms do this by making it easier and faster to build the custom software companies need in order to support their complex operations and enterprise work.

Using their drag-and-drop functionality and intuitive, visual features, and user-friendly interfaces, businesses can leverage low-code platforms to rapidly create, deploy and adapt enterprise-grade, fully customizable applications—in a fraction of the time of traditional enterprise software. Low-code platforms also provide native mobile functionality, which allows remote or field workers to have access to the same custom technology as their in-office peers, even when offline.

Because low-code technology was built to allow for greater business agility, applications built on these platforms can be refined or adapted in real-time as the company or process evolves. In most cases, front-line business users can even make modifications themselves with no coding or technical assistance whatsoever. No longer tasked with handling one-off requests, this helps reduce the mounting backlog plaguing today’s IT teams. In fact, many IT organizations are adopting low-code technology and making it available to the business as a centralized, self-service platform for operational application needs. Low-code platforms combine their signature ease of use with advanced technical functionality, like modern APIs, microservices, and in-app scripting, which allows IT teams to provide assistance as needed—all while always maintaining enterprise-grade system governance, control, and security.

Given low-code technology’s unique capabilities, companies have begun to use them to overcome their most common issues with legacy systems and prevent the need to utilize manual tools from even arising. With low-code platforms, today’s executives are steering clear of what was once a technological void and now are smooth sailing towards company growth and success.