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How IT and App Leaders can be Prepared for Changes in 2020

While 2019 was defined by rapid change, businesses in 2020 will witness a greater change in pace that keeping up will not be an option anymore. Digital will not be a differentiator. Enterprises will need to stay agile and drive value through digital opportunities. They will need to strengthen their IT and business culture and empower their workforce using a ‘digital-first approach. IT and application leaders will need to transform their organizations to leverage the power of emerging technologies more quickly. You will need to choose the right technologies to drive business outcomes according to their needs and goals.

As enterprises are learning fast how to effectively use technology to respond to the competitive digital environment, digital maturity is reaching a tipping point. They are now focusing on how to deliver, scale, and reap their digital ambitions. Organizations are already well underway in preparing for digital transformation. Gartner in its 2020 CIO Agenda eBook reports more than 40% of businesses already at scale and ready for digital initiatives.

2020 will also continue to witness the evolution of the role of IT and application leaders. You would be expected to strategize on utilizing technologies to enable your workforce to ‘do more with less’. To continue to be successful as an application leader in the future, Gartner highlighted that application leaders need to embrace changes to translate digital strategies into business outcomes. You will need to consider changes such as aligning business models and IT operating models, shifting budgets from IT to business units, and revamping digital infrastructure to support the evolving workforce demographics and culture.

As the role of IT leaders is redefined the role of application teams would also need to be redesigned. To remain relevant beyond 2020, you need to prepare your organizations and teams. Application teams would be expected to have a responsive and fast delivery approach. They will need to adopt a business-centric model and effectively use technology to drive business capabilities. To be prepared for 2020 and beyond, Gartner’s Applications 2024 report states that only those application teams that adopt effective ways and tools to connect with business stakeholders can deliver desired business outcomes such as exceptional customer experience and solving customers’ issues.

In 2020, IT teams will be expected to adapt and deliver business capabilities more continuously. They would need to drive the adoption of technologies like low-code platforms, predictive analytics, and DevSecOps. Technology adoption for IT teams would need to be a means to solve business issues and deliver business outcomes.

Through the years leading to 2024, the shift to product-centric delivery and digital platforms will continue and a customer-centric mindset will increasingly be desirable. Enterprises in 2020 would have to move towards adopting a customer-centric business model. As this model matures, customer centricity is seeping internally into the organization with teams having their customers. This also includes platform teams that develop and deliver APIs that are consumed by other teams. Product teams would need to do customer research and gain insights into their customers’ needs (internal and external). They also would need to have a clear understanding of the product vision which is critical when making decisions to deliver solutions.

As agility becomes the name of the game and IT leaders give more importance to digital initiatives a major portion of the IT budget will be allocated to application development. Low-code development will become a major element in achieving enterprise agility and development teams would be expected to deliver more. More than 50% of developers according to Forrester plan to use or use low-code products by mid-2020. By the end of 2020, Gartner predicts that 1 out of 3 business users will use low-code tools to create applications and product-centric teams.

2020 will witness enterprise applications being designed around the employee experience. The impact and influence of business users will increase and you would need to democratize the use of technology for business users. By 2023, Gartner predicts that “40% of professional workers will orchestrate their business application experiences and capabilities”. Application development will be aligned to business requirements and self-service DevOps will democratize how applications are deployed using low-code platforms.

2020 – The Year of Bridging Gaps and Breaking Silos

The epicenter of digital initiatives is transformation and you as IT or application leaders would need to be equipped to ride the wave. 2020 for you will need to be about bridging the gaps and breaking silos. It will need to be about bridging the IT skills gap, the business, and IT gap, and breaking the organizational, application, and infrastructure silos.

By 2024, application stakeholders will become acutely knowledgeable about IT solutions and technology. Their demand for new capabilities will increase and it will be immediate. To meet such hyper demand, you would have to gear up and would need to do it fast. There must be a revamp of mindsets and changes in traditional practices to leverage the potential of application development. Application architecture must be role-centric and based on business capabilities, software development must shift to a product-centric delivery approach, business users must get democratized access to technology and tools, and the IT and business teams must seamlessly collaborate. Here’s to ushering in another decade of intense innovation, collaboration, and transformation.

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Insights

How IT Leaders Can Empower Development Teams to Innovate More

The role of the IT leader in businesses has evolved significantly over the last decade. From being enablers of business to being ‘the business, this shift has been tremendous. Next-generation IT leaders and CIOs are no longer only ‘gatekeepers’ of providing the technology budget, they are now required to advise, guide, and translate core business requirements into technology capabilities. They are also required to assure C-level executives about the cost-effectiveness, profitability, and consistency to business goals that technology investments will deliver.

IT leaders have become “Chief Enablers”.  With the rise of the connected enterprise, real-time accessibility of data is necessary. Using technology such as cloud-based software, IT leaders can ensure real-time collaboration and decision-making is possible. Technology investment is another aspect where IT leaders play an important role. Moving enterprises to adopt new technologies does not mean giving up on existing legacy technology. When considering the modernization of technology, IT leaders need to understand the organization’s needs first, and then need to break down functions into microservices so that technology is used strategically.

Technology is ever-evolving. Along with the role of the IT leaders, business environments and the technology used is also evolving. To drive cost optimization, agility, and scalability, technology has advanced. The movement to the cloud was fundamentally driven by a need to optimize costs. The need for pushing faster changes to customers led to microservices-based architecture and the rise of APIs which also led to containers. With the growing importance of delivering customer experience the rise of mobile-first applications and the focus on creating cloud-native, modern and scalable business applications are observed. 

The Challenge of Creating Bandwidth for Core Business Innovation 

Today every business application is expected to be agile, scalable, and secure. While these improvements make applications better, the development itself has become more complex. IT has to build end-to-end application development teams with mobile developers, specialists for microservices and APIs, and DevOps experts to enable CI/CD. While finding skilled talent is difficult, the main challenge is to enable collaboration between these diverse teams.  

Think of this, while all the attributes like microservices, multi-channel, APIs, and cloud are necessary, it is core business innovation that will help enterprises differentiate their core offerings from the competition. With the focus on making better enterprise applications, finding a skilled workforce, and ensuring collaboration, core business innovation is hampered. This is where IT teams need to create bandwidth for core business innovation. One of the most potential developments in the app economy is low-code platforms. By leveraging technology like low-code platforms IT leaders can empower their development teams. Let’s look at how can this be done. 

How IT Leaders Are Using Low-Code Platforms for Innovation

To help enterprises reduce the dependency on specialized skills, achieve better productivity through rapid application development tools, and foster collaboration between teams, there is a need to adopt platforms. By using low-code platforms, the time spent by development and IT teams on application development and deployment is drastically reduced, giving them more time to drive core business innovation.

Low-code platforms empower development teams by enabling them to reduce development efforts and use automated, development and deployment features to build and deliver modern applications faster. Here’s a glimpse of how low-code creates bandwidth for development and IT teams:

  • Reduce UI development efforts – With intuitive editors and modern, WYSIWYG development studio, development teams can use simple drag-and-drop to create modular designs and develop hybrid applications. Given the ease at which applications can be developed and deployed, IT and development teams can focus on building applications that could have better business value.
  • Build progressive mobile apps with a lean development team – Businesses need to create mobile applications that can adapt to any operating system or native platform. Low-code platforms enable cross-platform application development which is a cost-effective option to create and maintain applications. By using a single code base and a uniform UI, the development time is reduced and it does not require specialized teams with extensive knowledge of multiple technologies. Moreover, by providing access to a wider audience, cross-platform applications help to increase revenue.
  • Auto-generate APIs – Any new service requires an API and generating code or reusing code of existing services can be challenging. Low-code platforms have made generating APIs very easy. They help to auto-generate APIs which can be for custom services, built over databases, and can also be generated for database queries with stored procedures.
  • Integrate CI/CD and enable multi-cloud deployment – Low-code platforms provide a range of options to distribute and deploy applications. With cloud-first application development features and an integrated pipeline for automated cloud release, instant deployment is made possible. No-code platforms facilitate continuous innovation with advanced release management that can keep up with the speed of the business.

The progression of technology in this digital age is unprecedented and powerful. The increasing influence of IT leaders and the strategic role they need to embrace makes it imperative for them to adopt technology to drive business outcomes and create opportunities to become forward-thinking leaders. While technology is the prime enabler for modernization and business optimization, ensuring it is adopted strategically will be a balancing act for IT leaders, one that will determine its leverage.

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Enterprise Application Development

Improve Your App Development Experience With New Docs

By Swetha Kundaram, Senior Technical Writer, WaveMaker

After months of hard work, we have released a new documentation site for WaveMaker app developers. Besides frequent product releases, bug fixes, and new features, we are focused on improving the app development experience further.

The revamped WaveMaker Docs is a complete developer’s guide to building enterprise-grade applications with a low-code solution. Our aim with this redesign is to simplify your day-to-day development activities and to comply with global documentation standards. By providing a better user experience, faster load time, and mobile-optimized access, we aim to positively impact the app development experience.

What’s new?

The new refreshing look and feel make the guide user-friendly and visually appealing. Using a well-organized tree-based structure, navigation across modules and related topics is easier. Added to this, to provide more accessibility, we have made our documentation open-source, which is powered by Git with the markdown data source. This means you can directly contribute to our docs. If you have a better solution for an older problem, please contribute to our docs. We will happily accept your pull request.

As we are in the process of continuous improvement you may notice some alignment issues due to recent migration and possibly a few broken pages. Please bear with us as we work on making the docs more stable. If you notice anything broken, send us a report and we will fix it right away.

Only the beginning

At Wave Maker, we believe in the power of modernization and hope our new design helps you find solutions easily and makes your WaveMaker app development process faster and better. As we continue to renovate, we aspire to empower you with all that you need to develop enterprise-grade applications rapidly, in reality.