Low Code, No Code and Digital Dilemmas

Low Code, No Code and Digital Dilemmas

We have talked before about creating value through transformation in Enlightened Approach – Business Perspective.   

Technology transformation is a big undertaking and many are put off.  The disruption, time taken to deliver, level of investment required can be enormous.   It also carries a lot of risk – 70% of digital transformation initiatives fail to achieve their stated goals.

But the pressures to transform are mounting.  Legacy systems require increasingly costly maintenance.  More and more services are going digital – becoming the default way to interact with clients, partners and suppliers in many arenas.

This creates a series of dilemmas: What investments to prioritise?  How to invest?  How do you minimise risk?

There are broadly recognised 3 myths of technology transformation:

  • Transformations are doomed to fail
  • Overhauling technology is only a CIO / CTO / IT Director problem
  • The investment is too significant to address now

Transformation failure is bound up in approach.  As we discussed in Quick Wins from Digital Transformation. Really???, it is possible to release significant benefits from business processes and systems using emerging technology.

Whilst ownership of the platform is the domain of the IT function, it’s down to ‘line of business’ to take ownership of how the job is done.  Traditional approaches to technology transformation and software development often led to a gap in understanding.   Agile approaches, iterative development and closer collaboration have closed this gap.  As line of business teams understand the art of the possible they are best placed to design new ways of working that can be readily interpreted, developed, tested and implemented.

Investment still seems an insurmountable barrier.   There are skills shortages and software developers are in increasing demand and their salary costs reflect this.   This is starkly demonstrated by the UK government paying Boston Consulting Group Consultants £7,000 / day to design and deliver the COVID 19 test and trace service.  

But technology itself is addressing the problem.   Low-code and No-code platforms make it possible for a developer to be much more productive – it is typically at least 3 times faster to develop than traditional coding.   Instead of having to develop applications and integrations from scratch using lines of code, applications can be built in a drag and drop environment.   

More productive developers, building more and faster – combined with closer collaboration with the front line is creating the opportunity to break free of the transformation stalemate.

Quick wins are possible.  Faster development, agile ways of working and better collaboration make iterative change and faster release of benefits a reality.  

As 2020 comes to a close and we gear up for recovery, almost every organisation’s environment has changed. Adapting to that environment will require rethinking of business models and operating models – change is no longer an option.

The digital dilemma is now longer “should we invest in digital?” it’s “where do we start?”.  Understanding value streams and releasing the cash to fund it will be vital.   Cost control and initiatives that release cash-flow are the place to start.   This creates capacity for change and builds momentum.