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The digital race to transform is on

A recent report1 has highlighted the top three hurdles which slow down digital transformation projects. Digital experience professionals have underlined incompatible legacy technology, skills shortages and ineffective collaboration as their top issues.

Winners will be well on the way to the digital maturity finishing line, having already built solutions that use social media channels, provide self-service through web and app, offer personalised experience, integrate digital voice and text, unify omnichannel support, and exploit artificial intelligence and analytics-driven automation.

But for many businesses, transformation lacks pace and, for some, even getting the right team in place is a challenge. Some are forced to turn to external consultants but, for all the expertise and clarity they can deliver, turning it into working solutions is far from easy. With the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into play as soon as May 2018, this approach may leave businesses trailing further behind the pack.

Turn to Low-code and remove the hurdles to true GDPR-compliant digital transformation

One of the latest organisations to hit the headlines for failing to protect data is the University of East Anglia. More than 300 students were accidentally sent a spreadsheet containing highly personal details of extenuating circumstances affecting their studies. The breach, which led students to feel “sick” and “humiliated”, was the result of an innocent mistake.

The case highlights one of the biggest issues facing digital transformers in the run up to GDPR compliance next year. Solely prioritising transformation projects on upgrading or replacing legacy systems is not enough. These projects must be broadened to include all the ad hoc databases and spreadsheets built to support the manual workarounds that have kept such legacy systems in business.

One way to accelerate plans and deliver results is through Low-code and No-code platforms. Low-code, originally labelled by global research and analyst firm Forrester Research2, describes a new breed of software that enables people without traditional coding skills to configure enterprise-grade solutions and apps.

Low-code completely changes the rules, by removing the barriers of cost, time, risk and resource needs. It lets teams outside the IT department quickly build the solutions they need and it supports the creative, collaborative methodologies required for rapid digital innovation.

“Traditional IT projects consist of nine or so phases and are significantly hampered by all the zig-zagging between departments. With Low-code, it’s possible to adopt a more agile approach, using prototypes to generate feedback and iterative improvement, reducing the cycle to three phases. It’s a technique which finally enables seamless collaboration across the business and it’s widely recognised to use five to ten times less resource than traditional methods,” says Martin Scovell, chief executive of MatsSoft.

Getting the right Low-code platform to improve your team’s performance is critical. Considerations should include asking Low-code vendors to demonstrate how Low-code or No-code their technology actually is as it varies very widely. Ask at what point does code need to be written or manipulated by a specialist coder? How long is the training requirement for a non-coder to be able to build Low-code solutions? How future-proofed is the platform and is it easy to integrate applications?

Challenge the vendors to present their approach to a specific problem you wish to solve. Have a list of solutions you want to build and a plan that covers who owns them internally. Decide whether you want to outsource the build or have your own team trained. And define how you’ll measure the results of the project.

Ensure your IT team is brought into the Low-code plan. Ideally, select a Low-code platform that provides all the tools and governance IT needs to oversee projects, even if the development is completed in the wider business.

Look for a Low-code platform that can ensure GDPR compliance in any solution or app you build which is affected by the new regulations.

Turn to Low-code and remove the hurdles to true GDPR-compliant digital transformation.

For more information please visit:

1 Forrester Research: The State of Digital Experience Delivery, 2017

2 The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Development Platforms, Q2 2016; Forrester Research: New Development Platforms Emerge for Customer-Facing Applications, 2014

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