Smart Apps for Dummies Part 3—Extend your Reach

In the second part of Smart Apps for Dummies blog series, we laid out the business benefits of embracing a low code offering. But, what’s in it for IT?

First things first: Don’t ignore it

As demonstrated in our previous blog, low-code is an enabler of digital transformation and a catalyzer of innovation. It is core to digital leadership. Also…

smart apps  Smart Apps for Dummies Part 3—Extend your Reach

Source: Gartner, Citizen Development Is Fundamental to the Digital Workplace – Jan 2017

Second: Don’t fight it. Embrace it. 

I recommend this great piece by Eric Knipp from Gartner on the subject of embracing low-code.

“As a technical professional, you can either fight shadow IT or try to harness business users’ impulses to help themselves. The former is not a real option. In the era of cloud services and mobile devices, you can frighten IT outsiders into the shadows, but you can’t make them stop doing their jobs. By offering relevant services and support, the IT organization can extend its reach into the white space occupied by the dissatisfied, disenfranchised, yet IT-literate power user. And in so doing, it can bring shadow IT out of the shadows and transform as much of it as possible into citizen development. [..] accept a new definition for IT—Innovating Together. Solutions are co-created, and departmental boundaries are less relevant.”

Third: Enjoy the upside

Now that we have addressed the “us vs. them” paradigm, let’s switch gears and discuss how low-code can benefit IT when, in the past, coding has been their way of life.

1. Deliver a robust, self-service app development platform to innovate faster

Citizen developers are, by nature, very close to business challenges and business opportunities. They ultimately know how to best solve issues from a business standpoint. Providing them with a low-code platform gives them much more than an app development platform. It is a new paradigm, a safe place to ideate, try and fail, or succeed fast. Low-code will allow them to pursue uncertain business outcomes in an agile and iterative manner. These short, dynamic app creation and update cycles will increase deployment speed and foster more active business/IT collaboration to think about creative solutions and ultimately greater innovation.

2. Empower citizen developers to help you increase your team focus and reduce backlog

Wizards, visual interfaces, and intuitive drag-and-drop interactions shorten the path and the time between ideas and working solutions (apps) to solve business problems or opportunities at hand. By offloading app development projects to citizen developers, IT staff will have more bandwidth to focus on new business needs rather than just keeping the lights on with existing systems. As adoption grows, app sharing and templates will create an even greater “snowball” effect. There will be less creation of building blocks and more reuse and composition of components or apps across the company, thus further acceleration of app creation and update cycles.

3. Harness the drive of citizen developers while lowering risk and cost of operations

Low-code platforms create the right balance between harnessing the creativity of citizen developers and using just enough governance and safeguards to control risk. Citizen development means everyone works together in partnership and apps created are visible to both IT and citizen developers. Additionally, apps created play nicely with existing IT environment because many enterprise-grade capabilities such as high-availability, scalability, or role-based access are built-in. Finally, from a cost perspective, you can quickly provision and turn on capabilities on the cloud to support new business needs. Without doubt, this is a substantial saver of both time and cost because you will only pay for what you need.

Customer excitement

Launching products at a face-to-face event such as TIBCO NOW is always a great opportunity to mingle and interact first hand with prospective users and also gain first-hand feedback. On the second day of the conference in Berlin, following a short but impactful pitch and demo in the keynote session, the TIBCO Cloud Live Apps demo booth was buzzing with attendees. Many of course were eager to see this new offering in actions and get their questions answered, but two interactions really stood out:

1. Head of IT solutions for a large financial service institution
Over the past few years, this person had led a very successful and visible digital transformation that has been recognized across the industry and their customer base. He had incredible enthusiasm found two great takeaways. First, this platform would give him additional runway and means to innovate and drive digital transformation. Second, he was eager to embrace this approach and significantly “expand his development headcount overnight”. To him, with the right level of governance, he could finally harness the drive of citizen developers in other departments, contain shadow IT, and drive innovation together.

2. Lead architect for a leading European airline
This person had led a very broad and deep effort to create, manage, and monetize APIs across the company from the front office to the back office over the last few years. He was enthusiastic to have a platform that would help leverage all the groundwork of creating robust services and APIs. Finally, applications could be composed at an extremely rapid pace to elevate and showcase the benefits of the thousands of APIs created over the past few years. To him, this platform was not only a means to accelerate the transformation started a couple of years back but also, a new vector to showcase business value of his work to business leaders who sometimes had a hard time understanding the business benefits of an API-led approach.

Enough talk, we want to you to see it in action

Take TIBCO Cloud Live Apps for a test drive with a 30-day free trial, and sign up for an online demo.

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