Democratizing IT to help accelerate digital transformation

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Dinesh Varadharajan, Vice President – Kissflow writes that the rise of Low-code and no-code platforms offers Middle East organizations an efficient and effective path to digital transformation

The era of accelerated digital transformation is here as organizations across the Middle East have embraced a host of digital tools, technologies, and processes to empower hybrid workforces. This phase of the digital revolution is being driven not only by IT, but rather by top management, and line-of-business managers who are eager to ensure employees remain productive and able to adapt to new ways of customer engagement. It is compelling businesses to fundamentally transform the workplace, with no-code and low-code platforms set to play a central role in digital transformation initiatives across the region.
 
The benefits of low-code and no-code platforms

During 2020, organizations were under pressure to adopt  innovative new technologies and digital services to maintain business continuity and remain competitive through the pandemic. This was despite IT spending in the Middle East having contracted 4.9% that year. It follows then that most organizations’ decisions to move towards a digital workplace would have been constrained by the costs involved in creating a solution and hiring experts to build those platforms.

Fortunately, this is no longer the case as there are a multitude of plug-and-play work management tools available today that you can purchase to accelerate your digital transformation journey. These platforms offer no-code and low-code environments that help you operate, manage work, and even customize tools according to your preferences with zero to minimal technical expertise required.

Many organizations  do not have the capability or the technological assets required to build, manage and host all the work management applications by themselves. This could be because most organizations have to grapple with the budgetary constraints and the complications of building a bespoke work platform with in-house or third-party developers.

Aspiring digital organizations need no-code platforms

If you’re a CIO heading the digital transformation of an organization that largely works with legacy technology and tools, the switch to digital work is best done with a powerful no-code platform. With the automation that these platforms offer, you get tools that teams can quickly adapt to with a ready suite of features that you do not have to build or customize for optimal use. A no-code platform will get your business working on the cloud with the lowest investment possible, in terms of both cost and effort.

Many organizations go wrong at exactly this stage by picking the wrong kind of platform. The most common mistake is picking a solution that may either be too elaborate, expensive and complex or cost-effective but lacking in essential features. The overlap is very minimal in this category. Finding the right no-code digital workplace platform is essential for organizations undertaking a digital transformation from scratch. Revisiting this choice will be prohibitively expensive later in the transformation cycle.

Automation is the buzzword of no-code and low-code platforms

When a platform offers the kind of simplicity and ease-of-use that low-code and no-code platforms have come to define, it is because they come with high levels of automation built into them. In the current scenario where most businesses have had to move to the cloud in a very short time, Low-code platforms with high automation features have led the charge in keeping businesses going.

Digital work platforms have solved the trickiest part of digital transformations by bridging the technological divide and bringing the benefits of automation to organizations where coding expertise is low to none. Traditional automation tools like Java and Python are highly efficient, but most organizations do not have the resources or the will to hire the expertise required to drive them. This is where no-code and low-code platforms step in and bridge the gap.

No-code or low-code? Which one do you need?

This is the number one question organizations need to ask themselves before they take the plunge into  digital transformation. No-code offers ease-of-use, universality, flexibility and a shorter learning curve while low-code brings you more of the same with the added option of customization and development. While the ultimate goal with both is to automate work and business processes, both types of platforms fall into distinct categories of use cases. Let’s explore them.

No-code platforms are ideal for organizations that are automating their digital operations. These operations are mostly employee-facing or partner-facing in some cases. These organizations also prefer Greenfield Automation for all their dynamic processes which involve spreadsheets, emails, unstructured work and long-tail processes where they do not want to keep going back to the developer for customization. Further, the dynamic nature of operations in these organizations make it difficult for those who don’t own these processes to drive their automation.

The second scenario in which no-code platforms are ideal is when organizations embark on digital modernization. Here, they seek to modernize legacy systems like Lotus Notes, Oracle Forms, Microsoft Access, Visual Basic, PHP, Technical Debts, etc. The idea behind these organizations picking no-code platforms is to let people closest to the problems address them on their own without having to go back to the developers. no-code platforms offer an easy, cost-effective and powerful route to digital transformations for aspiring digital organizations.

The major benefits of no-code platforms are time and cost savings. no-code platforms can be up and running in as little as 3 days to 3 months from purchase depending on scale and volume. They are also exceptionally low-cost and offer the advantage of continuous change management.

Low-code platforms on the other hand offer organizations the flexibility they need to develop their own unique customization. This comes in handy for organizations that require Digital Experience Management. These are typically customer facing businesses like banking and insurance claims processing that require a lot more customization, but also need them at the fraction of the cost of a bespoke digital workplace. low-code platforms are great to have, except that they cost as much as Java or Python based development during the transformation cycle. The good news is that costs tend to go down by up to 50-70% within a year of development as compared to the first 3 months when most customization happens.

If you’re a CIO or a manager looking out for a workflow software platform that will fit the needs of your organization, it is a very good idea to check out all the no-code options available out there. These platforms offer the performance of custom-built digital workplaces by bringing you ready-made automation while also being low-cost enough to not burn a hole in your budgets. With the kind of technological advancement and innovation happening in the field, no-code and low-code platforms are no longer merely the trade-offs they used to be for organizations testing the waters of digital transformation. Today, they’re powerful solutions that have democratized the landscape of the digital workplace and offered businesses of all types and sizes the technology required to move to the cloud in record numbers. Are you there yet?

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