Democratize Business Innovation with Low-Code Automation

Rich Waldron is the CEO and co-founder of Plateau.ioa leader in general low-code workflow automation.

You may have heard a lot lately about the democratization of technology, the concept of making once-complex technical functionality more accessible to line of business (LOB) professionals who aren’t engineers by trade.

Due to the new business realities introduced by the pandemic, businesses around the world have made aggressive efforts to streamline operations and complete tasks more efficiently. Unfortunately, IT teams have faced an uncertain hiring market, record staff turnover and a shortage of technically skilled employees, while facing two huge challenges.

Challenges: Centralized IT leads to centralized bottlenecks

IT Challenge #1: The project backlog typically spans three to 12 months as IT teams receive endless requests from LOB for integration, process automation, and management requests data on their rapidly growing tech stack. LOB’s growing reliance on cloud software tools has become a significant reality of remote working, leading 72% of IT managers to report that their backlogs prevent them from focusing on more strategic projects.

The second major challenge for IT is these strategic priorities themselves: digital transformation; the already crucial initiative to modernize legacy on-premises systems to the cloud so that remote teams can work efficiently; as well as information security and data privacy.

Over the years, LOB teams have continued to acquire technology at a prodigious rate, greatly increasing the need for technical support from IT. As a result, IT organizations have increasingly earned the reputation of being a centralized bottleneck, the only team capable of handling technical requests.

The Solution: Democratization for Business and IT

The democratization of technology is actually a move to decentralize IT operations, empowering non-engineering teams to solve their own technical challenges using low-code automation and integration platforms. Democratization not only removes bottlenecks, but also promotes rapid innovation.

As LOB teams across the organization, being closest to their own software and technical challenges, build their own bespoke solutions, they can share their new features with other team members and enable other departments to do more, faster. Democratization is also a net benefit for overburdened IT organizations, which can redirect their scarce resources to more strategic projects.

With low-code technology, enterprise business units (marketing, sales, customer service, and many other departments) can handle their own technical challenges on their own. The marketing team that has been using the same marketing software for five years knows better than anyone the limitations of this software, as well as the challenges that come with it. By using low-code platforms, business users can gain some control over technical processes such as integrating data between applications and automating custom data flows across their entire technology fleet.

According to Gartner, “citizen developers” will outnumber professional developers by four times by 2023.

Low-code platforms, for example, provide an opportunity for professional developers. By enabling LOB teams to self-service and perform most day-to-day development tasks, companies can eliminate a significant portion of the IT backlog, reserving engineering resources for more strategic initiatives, such as product innovation, digital transformation and information security.

Additionally, the democratization of technology gives IT organizations the opportunity to step out of a gatekeeper role, having to sort through LOB backlog issues, and acting as stock keepers for an ever-changing technology stack. growth. As businesses democratize technology processes across the organization, IT now has the opportunity to take on a new role as a strategic partner and technology enabler.

Democratizing technology with low-code platforms is a potential step for team members and customers to modernize their technology stacks, migrate to the cloud, and take advantage of cutting-edge technology options , such as serverless computing, to dramatically scale operations while reducing CapEx costs.

How to drive business innovation across the organization

Democratizing technology can help redefine the future of business because it will also decentralize innovation and process improvement, putting it in the hands of every team in the organization. In fact, 79% of organizations are actively looking to fill the growing skills gap, which includes learning how to use and return on investment for new software applications.

By embracing low-code and empowering teams to learn how to self-service their business challenges, companies can help close the skills gap that threatens to cost businesses $8.5 trillion by 2030 , according to PwC. By embracing reskilling and upskilling with such platforms, employers provide their teams with valuable professional development opportunities, a key factor in increasing employee satisfaction (and reducing attrition).

But, to reap the benefits of democratizing technology, businesses need to embrace an automation-first mindset. To do this, leaders must:

• Empower teams with low-code technology and activation. Companies should embrace a top-down “automation mindset,” encouraging team members to avoid repetitive manual work and seek out process improvement opportunities using platforms. low-code forms.

• Train and hire for an automated organization. Provide teams with refresher/reskill training with low-code tools and look for opportunities to master low-code platforms. It’s also time to seriously consider hiring automation specialists who can improve team-level operations and, where appropriate, cross-functional business technologists who can quickly deliver software integrations across the organization. .

• Make process improvement a company-wide goal. Consider setting team- or department-level goals around process improvements to encourage innovation and free up your teams’ valuable time to focus on higher-level strategy rather than mundane manual work.

With these steps in mind, organizations can help teams get the most out of their tools, self-service technical issues, and innovate business processes, which can ultimately create competitive advantage for the organization. ‘organization.

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