Low-Code: The CIO’s Secret Solution to Agility and Flexibility in the New Normal

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Given the business climate today, leading transformational initiatives is the top mandate from CEOs to their CIOs, according to the 2020 CIO Covid-19 Survey.

Yet, IT teams are stretched thin. They’re managing complex IT environments, while servicing lines of business, developers, security and, increasingly, remote workers.

That’s where low-code development can help. A low-code platform empowers business users to be citizen developers and easily create custom applications using a drag-and-drop interface to arrange data and logic components. It allows them to quickly get the data they need to solve business problems and innovate to better serve customer needs. At the same time, development teams can focus on more complex transformation initiatives that require their specialized development skill sets.

3 Factors Toward Low-Code Success

There are several factors that companies should consider before adopting a low-code development platform.

1. Speed counts.

 Many digital transformation can take months or even years to implement. However, a lesson learned from Covid-19 is that speed matters. Many businesses have transformed workflows to meet the urgent needs of remote workers.

“The dynamics have changed,” says Jay Jamison, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Quick Base. “Companies need data insights and solutions in weeks, days, even hours.”

The right low-code development platform focuses on ease-of-use to quickly empower users to create applications or workflows to meet business objectives. It should also provide the ability for flexible iterations to meet evolving business requirements, customer needs, or market changes.

2. Details count.

Unique business workflows may require custom solutions — such as a pharmaceutical company managing specific drug clinical trials or an auto manufacturer seeking efficiencies in their assembly line process. 

“It’s all about getting the right insights to the appropriate stakeholders fast,” Jamison says. “It’s not practical or efficient, for example, to use massive spreadsheets that are outdated as soon as they’re opened because someone else has updated a piece of data.”

The right low-code platform offers an efficient way to build custom applications. When users can tailor workflows at speed, they can ensure the right data gets into the right hands faster.

3. Connections count.

IT and business have tended to work in siloes. That’s getting better; today 44% of CIOs say the majority of their time is spent aligning IT with business initiatives, according to the 2020 State of the CIO. And yet to be truly strategic, IT must enable innovation and transformation through collaboration.

“A low-code platform should avoid a Wild West situation, where there is little to no collaboration between IT and business,” Jamison says. “There should be connections between systems and people, with limited roles and the right controls in place to ensure security and that IT retains governance.”

Next Steps

Companies should start their low-code journey by recognizing a mutual desire between IT and the business to improve operational agility. “That includes an acknowledgement that we live in a world of constant change, and to respond to that, greater agility is required,” Jamison says.

The next step is identifying use cases — processes or workflows where business value can be quickly achieved.

“I tell people to bring us your backlog of projects, things the business had given up hope on seeing completed,” Jamison says. “With a low-code platform, you can quickly bust through that backlog and deliver real value.”

Learn more about accelerating application creation. Visit quickbase.com.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.