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Disrupt or be disrupted: How CIOs can drive digital transformation ROI with RAD platforms

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/violetkaipa)

To deliver digital transformation initiatives successfully and drive business innovation, enterprise application development using low-code platforms has become an integral aspect. Here’s how CIOs and IT leaders can leverage low-code application development platforms to drive digital transformation initiatives.

Salesforce recently launched Einstein, an AI-powered app and chatbot that provides on-demand support to employees and customers. As a smart CRM assistant, it aims to improve productivity, enables faster decision-making and provides AI-powered assistance across the platform. Welcome to the new optimised and hyper-connected world.

In this app and API economy, customers expect innovative solutions, the next-gen workforce expects their business applications to deliver more and the digital workplace has to be ‘always connected’. Adapting to these changes, ‘application organisations’ are expected to evolve and IT teams are expected to accelerate modernisation, augment user experience (UX), deliver business value and achieve core business innovation.

As digital transformation of enterprises takes centre stage, the role of CIOs and IT leaders is also transforming, from “gatekeepers” of IT budgets to “Chief Enablers” or change agents. IDC has estimated that majority of the CIOs (88 per cent) are involved in digital transformation initiatives in 2019. With 40 per cent of enterprise technology spending going towards digital transformation (approximately $2 trillion), 2020 will witness a wider adoption of emerging technologies.

How CIOs can leverage the power of rapid application development platforms to drive digital transformation ROI

Align Strategies to the Tune of Your Business Needs - Digital transformation is an enterprise-wide endeavour and every stakeholder has their unique needs and expectations. Aligning strategies based on the business objectives and user needs is a proven formula to achieve successful transformation.

No matter how visionary, it is the role of CIOs and IT leaders to steer strategies to be aligned with business needs to drive experiences that revolve around user expectations. Here’s where emerging technology such as low-code platforms helps. By using low-code technology, teams can be aligned and empowered to develop enterprise applications that can enable them to support digital transformation initiatives and focus on innovation.

Evolve to Become Change Agents – The essence of digital transformation is changing and it thrives on collaboration. CIOs need to be the leaders of change to realise modernisation and transformation ROI. CIOs need to inculcate a culture of innovation, where productivity and creativity are encouraged.

Committed to involving and encouraging technology enthusiasts to work on emerging technologies, low-code platforms offer CIOs the opportunity to introduce change one step at a time. Business users and professional developers by using low-code platforms can accelerate application development with minimal involvement of the IT team.

Adapt by Adopting Modern Technology – The modern enterprise has hyper demands, those that are challenging to fulfil using traditional software and technology. Modernisation must the mantra of CIOs driving digital transformation initiatives.

The potential of traditional application development in modern enterprises is limited. Not only is developing traditional applications time consuming, but they also have low user interaction and allow for minimum iterations. Emerging technologies such as rapid application development platforms enable full-stack development and provide ready-made application infrastructure. Low-code platforms improve usability by providing access to the best-of-breed technology stack, rich user interfaces, API-driven integration, and business user participation.

Gear Up with Powerful Tools - The evolving demands of the digital workplace and workforce require IT infrastructure to support the flexibility, agility, and cost-effectiveness it demands. When implementing digital transformation strategies, CIOs need to determine the right type of IT infrastructure. While traditional software has been working for decades it seems to be running out of steam.

CIOs need to make a transition from traditional IT infrastructure and invest in modernisation to cope with the hyper demands of the enterprise. Low-code platforms have proven to be the preferred choice for app modernisation because they provide the agility and scalability to modernise systems effectively. IT leaders using rapid app development can empower the digital workforce, bridge silos, streamline lines of business and modernise infrastructure cost-effectively in an efficient manner.

Tune Into the Pulse of Business Users – In this age of the experience economy, user experience (UX) plays an important part in the successful implementation and adoption of technology. As business users have become customers, CIOs must tune into their pulse. By understanding how users function, their line of work, and the technology they use and need to communicate and collaborate, IT leaders can get insights into how emerging technology can be used to empower them and improve productivity.

To ensure successful digital transformation implementation, the framework of IT and application development strategies need to revolve around the ethos of business users. What low-code platforms provide is the agility and ability to develop custom applications based on user preferences and at a speed that resonates to enterprise demands. CIOs and IT leaders using rapid application development platforms to implement their modernisation strategies can develop modern enterprise apps that adapt to experiences instead of devices.

Achieve ‘Inward Agility’ with Custom Line of Business (LOB) Apps – Different business units have specific requirements and enterprise-wide modernisation must be considered. While digital transformation is an enterprise-endeavour, enterprise app development is a departmental endeavour. CIOs and IT leaders need to develop custom LOB apps that meet their specific requirements. In this way, they can be successful in improving productivity and usability, inherently improving ROI.

With intra-departmental APIs rapid application development platforms offer ‘inward-facing’ agility, something that traditional IT development falls short. Low-code platforms help to achieve enterprise agility by supporting the development of custom LOB apps promptly and efficiently.

For tech-savvy CIOs, digital transformation is an inevitable disruption

Digital transformation and modernisation are all-embracing, it involves all stakeholders and requires strategic alignment and collaborative culture connecting people, processes and technology. CIOs embarking on the journey of digital transformation need to radically rethink their organisation’s philosophy. Leveraging digital opportunities, new business models and revenue streams need to be identified. IT infrastructure must be modernised to reflect the hypervelocity of enterprise demands. Digital transformation strategies need to be innovative, driven by change and powered by emerging technology. While technology-centricity takes the spotlight, its strategic use by CIOs and IT leaders will ultimately determine the digital transformation ROI.

Transformation is driven by change
Change is driven by choices
Choices denote responsibility
Make it count!

Vijay Pullur, serial entrepreneur, wavemaker (opens in new tab)

Vijay has long been at the forefront of harnessing emerging technologies, from web infrastructure and cloud to social media and mobile, making him a highly respected serial entrepreneur with a successful two-decade track record.