Estimates from Gartner and IDC show that nearly 40% of all IT spending happens on digital transformation ($4.4 trillion IT spend, with $1.8 trillion spending on digital transformation).
However, a 2020 BCG study showed that 80% of organizations are aiming to increase digital transformation efforts, but only 30% are achieving their objectives.
Why is digital transformation so hard, and how does low code help to address its challenges? In this blog, we look at some of these aspects.
What is Digital Transformation?
Salesforce defines digital transformation as a “reimagining of business in the digital age.” IBM calls it “a customer-driven, digital-first approach to all aspects of a business.”
Perhaps one of the best ways to understand digital transformation is to look at what is driving businesses to ask for it:
- Capgemini says that 8 out of 10 users are ready to pay more for a better UX
- A report by The Economist’s Intelligence Unit says that agile firms grow 37% faster and have 30% higher profits.
- 60-80% of tech budgets are utilized in simply maintaining legacy applications
Agility, scalability, and better user experiences are not just buzzwords, but real objectives businesses need to attain.
Digital transformation aims to help businesses achieve these goals by overhauling their legacy IT architecture and modernizing it in line with today’s business needs.
Digital transformation is extremely challenging because of several reasons: complexity involved in overhauling legacy code, costs of buying new software or hiring new teams, difficulty in integrating across multiple applications, and other problems.
How Low Code Is Helping to Solve Problems of Digital Transformation
Low code is one of the key technologies that are helping businesses address some of these problems. In fact, a Forrester low code study discovered that 84% of companies implementing low code applications for digital transformation do it because it reduces strain on their IT teams, increases agility, and lets citizen developers help create digital assets.
Let us look at six ways how low code can benefit digital transformation.
1. Buy vs. Build vs. Low Code
Digital transformation often requires large-scale reconfiguration of IT assets. Often, this tends to create a buy or build dilemma, with both sides having pros and cons.
Buying a new software platform is expensive. Moreover, it will not capture the small details incorporated into legacy software over years and years of work from IT teams.
On the other hand, building modern, user-friendly applications on legacy software is a big challenge.
Low Code is a great platform for digital transformation because it offers you a middle path. You can reuse many components from your existing tech stack by combining them with an easy-to-use, cloud-ready modern interface built using Low Code technology.
2. Democratization of App Development
Low code frees up the time of the IT teams involved in major transformation projects by letting citizen developers create basic applications using drag and drop interfaces and reusable components.
Gartner suggests that businesses require five times the applications IT teams can deliver. Freeing up those strained IT resources lets them focus on true digital transformation.
3. Integrating Data Across Legacy Applications
One key aspect of digital transformation is to create a single window interface for all data residing in the organization. Unfortunately, legacy applications are typically built in silos that do not talk to each other.
Bringing disparate data from multiple applications to a single platform is easy with Low code. You can use API connectors to make quick data integrations across multiple legacy applications such as CRMs and ERPs and create a unified view of organizational data.
This is one of the best examples of how to modernize legacy applications using low code to extract the best out of your investment in those platforms.
4. Increased Scalability
As organizations grow, many legacy applications and shadow IT apps come into use for different user needs.
Integrating these to bring about digital transformation can be a nightmare. Making changes across several legacy applications to enhance functionality is also challenging.
Low code platforms accelerate digital transformation by using visual building blocks to create user interfaces and application integrations, allowing IT teams to simultaneously create changes across several applications.
5. Reduced Costs
A Mckinsey survey suggests that 10-20% of IT budgets are diverted to technical debt. This money (which should otherwise go to digital transformation) is going to unnecessary effort simply because the original application built was “rushed through” and now needs changes.
Reduced cost is one of the key reasons for low code growth. Low code makes these modifications quickly and easily through its off-the-shelf components and visual interface approach.
6. Better Customer Experience
Enhanced customer experience is often at the heart of digital transformation efforts. Low code helps create standardized, easy-to-use visual interfaces that are cloud-native and platform agnostic.
This gives users a clean, seamless experience everywhere, whether a mobile interface or a web-based one.
How Can CIOs Measure Low Code ROI?
We started the blog by stating some digital transformation objectives, and if low code is helping achieve those goals, then the investment is worth it.
But low code is not a single application or software whose impact you can measure using simple pre and post-analysis of performance metrics.
Some of the key benefits of low code, such as improvement in application development speed and freeing up time for IT teams to address other projects, are very subjective.
A good place for CIOs to start is to measure some key deliverables, such as:
- How quickly are (similarly sized) new applications being deployed with low code?
- How satisfied are the customers with new user interfaces built using low code?
- How much is user adoption growing after implementing low code?
- How optimally are IT resources being optimized pre and post-low code implementation?
Low Code ROI measurement needs analysis over a longer period instead of a few weeks or days. But once you convince yourself of the benefits, there will be no turning back.
Low code is helping businesses transform to a customer-first, future-ready digital architecture by lowering the costs and allowing for quicker development and integration across multiple legacy software.