December 18, 2019

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.