Founding CEO and President of AINS, overseeing the company’s corporate strategy and product development.
Your organization has just bought a low-code platform to speed app development and delivery, modernize systems and consolidate core processes. Ideally, you have taken into consideration basic requirements such as cloud accessibility, security and transparency. And you have made your selection based on key deciding factors such as cost, functionality, automation, integration and performance. Ultimately, you want to ensure successful implementation and deployment of your platform. So where do you go from here?
To be successful with a low-code platform, your organization needs to commit to a verified approach to the software development life cycle (SDLC). Doing so requires complete process transformation at the enterprise level. The roles and responsibilities of your software development team will change significantly, but the result will be a faster, continuous, end-to-end SDLC.
There are numerous methodologies that support a low-code Center of Excellence, including DevOps and DevSecOps or Agile frameworks (such as Scaled Agile Framework [SAFe], Kanban and Scrum). The methodology you choose will depend on the outcomes you wish to see for your SDLC. For instance, as Forrester analyst Diego Lo Giudice points out, if your organization prioritizes an enhanced “customer experience at speed,” you will want to adopt an Agile framework, whereas DevOps is more focused on a “continuous stream of innovation.”
Other considerations include whether or not your organization wants defined roles and responsibilities for technical resources such as architects and developers, business analysts and process owners. Kanban, for instance, provides continuous flow and delivery without the need for specific roles within the development process. Some organizations find success in adopting multiple methodologies at once. Lo Giudice makes the case for “separate but synchronized” agile and DevOps programs to “have better business alignment, achieve business value faster and improve functional quality.”
Once your organization has acquired the new low-code platform, following these four steps will help lead to successful implementation of the platform:
1. Identify platform administrators and provide the necessary training on new platform features, including easy-to-learn rapid development visual tools.
2. Configure platform authentication, general settings, security, audit trail settings and out-of-the-box connectors to meet the enterprise security requirements.
3. Conduct a security review for enterprise authorization.
4. Grant access to the business solutions teams to begin app development after identifying roles and responsibilities and granting licenses.
Other considerations include adopting a data-first approach to make the most of the information within your platform. To do so, identify the required entities, request types or case types required to implement the solution and identify the required data fields for these entities to ensure data is captured in reports.
There are going to be challenges for any organization looking to adopt a new process development approach through low code, but proactively mitigating these challenges can help your organization surmount them before they impede progress.
One common challenge is pushback from existing development teams who may not show interest in low-code tools and are content with the status quo. Strong direction from leadership and a well-thought-out plan to evaluate, acquire, implement and maintain a low-code solution can help persuade development resources to step up from their traditional roles. Showing development teams exactly how low-code platforms can make work easier by streamlining app prototyping, delivery and maintenance should also help to ease push back.
Organizations should also be prepared to know how to leverage the out-of-the-box features that low-code tools have to offer. The point of low code — and the reason that it enables rapid development — is to reduce the custom building requirements for the SDLC. Certain components like tasking and workflows, document management, dashboards and ad hoc reports are likely standard for any application built on the platform. Out-of-the-box functionality delivers value to your organization immediately while deeper processes are configured for more complex use cases.
For any organization looking to transition to low code as a means to achieve digital transformation, leadership must commit to not just replicating legacy processes with newer technology but use the low-code tools to transform the way work is done and information is shared across the enterprise. This also means committing to continuous delivery through the chosen development process, involving all stakeholders in the process and ultimately ensuring that the roles and responsibilities of your team support the chosen methodology.
Ultimately, your organization will need to commit to transforming rather than replicating inefficient processes to see desired success.