How CIOs are Driving the Rise in Low-Code

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are continually challenged to improve business processes and operational efficiencies. To achieve this they need to find ways to digitise their organisations while at the same time expressing their point of differentiation over the competition. The truth of the matter is that, while there is a place for generic software solutions, to really drive business forward bespoke solutions are needed. Until now, this has been the domain of organisations with professional in-house development teams, or the budget to outsource. However, low-code is changing the playing field and creating the opportunity for all businesses to push forward with their digital transformation goals. And, with customers continually demanding new products and exceptional experiences, digital transformation is essential. Low-code is providing CIOs with the tools they need to design and create applications quickly, without the need for writing and debugging thousands of lines of code; making low-code the new go-to tool for CIOs.

Why CIOs Are Turning to Low-Code

Low-code platforms arose from a business need to create more unique software. Many organisations use out-of-the-box solutions for their LOB systems such as ERP and CRM. However, these systems can be challenging to integrate with other core business functions, difficult to maintain, and aren’t always mobile-friendly. The problem is that the technologies our businesses use aren’t mutually exclusive and need to be integrated, or, ideally, unified in order to create true business value. Low-code platforms offer CIOs the opportunity to meet the ever-growing demand for the creation of unique software with a shared platform upon which they can be executed and governed.

Before the advent of low-code, CIOs would need to either have unique software written to solve business problems or would need to heavily modify packaged applications. Either way, the hand-coding projects were large, expensive and hugely time-consuming. But, CIOs had no other choice, custom code was the only way for their business to remain competitive. And, due to the cost, complexity and sheer demand, many applications would never reach development with much of the budget having to be reserved for ongoing maintenance of legacy software.

Low-code tools have been available for some time, but the growth in automation along with a change in workforce demographics has given CIOs the push they needed to get on-board. Young, mobile-savvy employees expect more and low-code offers CIOs a simple way to quickly develop and modify powerful enterprise applications without the need for custom code. With a low-code platform, employees can quickly create applications, with simple drag and drop tools.

How Low-Code is Accelerating Digital Transformation

CIOs can no longer succeed by simply keeping their infrastructure up and running. They need to grow revenue and accelerate digital transformation to align with their strategies. To deliver on their transformative projects, CIOs need to leverage new technologies, and that means rewriting their code. By eliminating much of the custom coding required to create and integrate new applications, low-code platforms simplify innovation while leveraging emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain.

Low-code offers CIOs an opportunity to accelerate digital transformation by:

  • Developing faster – d platforms can deliver applications up to 20 times faster than traditional coding.

  • Reusing existing software – developers can use the best of what they already have without having to start from scratch for each project.

  • Facilitating collaboration – data is shared across one platform, unifying people, processes and data.

  • Improving efficiencies – tailor-made applications can be produced without the cost, risk or delays of traditional development.

To deliver on their digital transformation goals, CIOs need to accelerate efficiency and impact, and fundamentally this is what low-code software does. It has become ever-more important for CIOs to allocate scarce resources to innovative projects rather than maintenance alone. Low-code enables developers, citizen developers and business analysts to work together, ensuring projects are delivered with governance and controls. The result is a way to translate business concepts into software applications quickly and cost-efficiently.

How Low-Code Can Help Your Organisation

CIOs will have different views on the best way to apply low-code development. In some instances, it can make sense to use it to deliver good enough solutions quickly, reducing unnecessary IT spend. For other businesses, low-code is a way to deploy departmental apps and databases, serving as an experimental platform for new ideas. As low-code development can be achieved without coding experience, business users can quickly respond to changing needs. Meanwhile, professional developers can use the advantages of low-code to focus on incorporating AI and other data science applications.

If your business users already know how to create Excel-Based Apps and Access Databases, they can achieve so much more with low-code using real source data via APIs. This gives citizen developers the chance to do an increasing percentage of development work. And, that doesn’t paint your developers out of the picture; database, security, release management and code control remain in their hands.

The Long-Term Potential of Low-Code

Low-code technology simplifies the creation of enterprise software, a benefit which can have a huge business impact. As your business moves forward with digital transformation, it should recognise the opportunity that low-code offers for solving many challenges. Professional development teams can deliver faster and more efficiently, and business users or citizen developers can take some of the weight by also building solutions. The result is that great business ideas can be transformed into applications much faster without the drain on budgets and resources. By using low-code, you have the opportunity to speed-up enterprise application development and be ahead of the game in your digital transformation journey.

In summary, CIOs are driving the rise in low-code development because it:

  • Speeds up delivery – by reducing the amount of code that needs to be written, low-code platforms can deliver applications up to 20 times faster than traditional coding.

  • Simplifies development – anyone who is technically minded can build applications with low-code tools. Meanwhile, professional developers can focus on business logic rather than underlying infrastructure.

  • Facilitates collaboration – the technical barrier between users and developers is removed, and people, processes and data can be unified across one platform.

  • Boosts sophistication – with the likes of artificial intelligence (AI) functionality built-in, solutions can focus on innovation.

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About the author

Drew Alexander is the Co-CEO of Xam Consulting.

Design-led problem solving delivering digital solutions.

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