In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, organizations must continually adapt to stay competitive and relevant. One powerful tool that has emerged to facilitate this adaptation is low-code development. Low-code platforms, such as Microsoft Power Platform, empower organizations to build applications and automate processes quickly with minimal hand-coding, making it an ideal solution for fostering innovation and agility within your company. However, successfully integrating low code into your organization requires careful consideration of people, processes, and technology.
Getting Started: The Key to Success
As with any technological adoption, success with low code depends on a harmonious blend of people, processes, and technology. As Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and IT organizations transition from being gatekeepers of technology to enablers of business innovation, it’s essential to evaluate your current operating models and how they will interact with a low-code operating model.
Cultivating a Culture of Innovation
Culture plays a pivotal role in the adoption of new technologies. To harness the full potential of low code, organizations must foster a culture of agility, innovation, and continuous improvement. This begins with embracing a growth mindset. A growth mindset involves acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers but are willing to learn and adapt on the journey to innovation.
Cultivating this mindset at both the individual and organizational levels can accelerate the adoption of low-code solutions. It entails setting guiding principles and high-level outcomes, instilling trust and empowerment within teams, and encouraging experimentation and iterative development. In essence, organizations need to start small, test often, and be willing to learn from failures to minimize waste and maximize value.
Choosing the Right Operating Model for low-code development
Two primary operating models for low-code development exist: citizen-developer-led and professional-developer-led. Citizen-developer-led applications are created by non-technical business professionals who are empowered to build, deploy, and update applications themselves. Conversely, professional-developer-led approaches involve experienced technical experts handling application development.
To strike the right balance between agility and control, organizations can establish a low-code Center of Excellence (CoE) to oversee citizen-developer-led applications. The CoE ensures that these applications are monitored, compliant, and effective. Additionally, it serves as an internal customer success unit, promoting awareness, driving skill development, and supporting low-code adoption.
The Power of Fusion Teams
One of the key benefits of low code is its ability to facilitate collaboration between citizen developers and professional developers within fusion teams. Citizen developers focus on the user experience, while professional developers bring technical expertise to enhance functionality, scalability, reliability, and integration. This collaboration within a single scrum team fosters synergy and rapid development.
By embracing fusion teams, organizations bridge the gap between business and IT, enabling direct collaboration between business users and developers. This approach breaks down communication barriers, accelerates prototyping, and promotes solution iteration.
Rationalizing Existing Technologies
As part of your low-code adoption strategy, it’s crucial to assess your current technology portfolio and determine which applications could benefit from migration to or augmentation with low-code solutions.
One particularly effective approach is encapsulation, where core systems, such as mainframes or legacy ERP systems, remain in use while low code is used to streamline and modernize processes around them. This approach reduces maintenance costs and enhances agility.
Tools to Ensure Success
Choosing the right low-code platform is paramount. Consider factors such as security, scalability, support for multiple devices, AI capabilities, extensibility through APIs, and integration with your existing technology stack. A comprehensive platform should provide an end-to-end solution, from app development to process automation and business intelligence.
Microsoft Power Platform, for example, offers a holistic set of resources and tools, including the CoE Starter Kit, proactive support, and extensive training through Microsoft Learn. These resources empower organizations to execute their low-code vision effectively.
Start Strong with the Right Support
Proactive support engagements and Microsoft’s partner network can provide guidance, expertise, and resources to ensure your organization’s success with low code. Proactive support helps set up your CoE and program for success and provides ongoing assistance as your low-code journey evolves.
In conclusion, low code has the potential to transform your organization by accelerating innovation, reducing development costs, and enhancing agility. However, successful adoption requires a cultural shift, the right operating model, collaboration between citizen and professional developers, and careful consideration of existing technologies. With the right approach and support, low code can be a powerful tool for driving innovation in your organization.
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