In 2019, enterprises were spending more than $2 trillion—that is 40% of their technology investment—on digital transformation initiatives. Over the next ten years, that number is set to increase even further, as every business in every industry realizes that it will be difficult to sustain their market share without going fully digital.
Goals of digital transformation
Digital transformation, while encompassing a broader cultural and operational shift, is mostly about adopting new technologies into business operations to:
Enhance customer experience
Modernize legacy infrastructure
Optimize data analytics
However, making the switch from legacy systems and processes to emerging technologies has never been easy for businesses. A technology overhaul, or even just deploying new solutions, is expensive. There’s also a steep learning curve involved in changing up how a business runs.
But even before all that, the first challenge is figuring out how these transformative solutions will be created and deployed. Who will take ownership of driving the change?
What’s the best way to start a digital transformation journey?
Having recognized the need for digital transformation, it’s important to identify the best approach to implementing it in your organization. Two common ways companies go about it is by either hiring a third-party vendor or giving the responsibility to their in-house IT department.
However, both of these approaches come with their own challenges. Third-party vendors can prove to be expensive and increase your long-term dependency on them for future transformations. And internal IT departments, who are often overloaded with work, may not be up to the task of overhauling entire operations while keeping up with their usual responsibilities.
Clearly, both these approaches have their drawbacks. But, there’s another approach to consider—low-code platforms. They’re cost-effective, scalable, and give you the freedom to customize based on your requirements. Here’s how.
Every employee can contribute to your company’s digital transformation using low-code
At its core, digital transformation helps you keep up with, or even disrupt, the market your business is competing in. As such, you need to have agile processes and systems in place to enable timely implementation of innovations and streamline productivity. Low-code platforms incorporate this agility in your digital transformation. How? By enabling coders, as well as business users with little to no coding experience, to develop applications. With its easy-to-use interface, simple drag-and-drop integrations, and easy-to-follow process, anyone can build or enhance the applications they need.
What can you build with low-code platforms?
Low-code platforms can be used to enhance customer and employee experience by enabling business users to build:
Customer engagement apps: To facilitate customer service management, appointment booking, or point of sale experience.
Line of business apps: To drive operations management, supply chain management, or accounting and finance.
Workplace apps: To improve asset management, task management, or customer relationship management.
With at least 50% of new business applications being created using low-code platforms, most organizations are focusing on leveraging the benefits low-code has to offer in driving digital transformation.
Achieving your digital transformation goals with low-code platforms
1. Improve employee productivity
A primary objective of employing digital transformation in business is to increase overall productivity. And that can only happen when you equip your users with tools that will enable them to improve their performance at work, by implementing new solutions.
With low-code enabling your business users to build their own applications without relying on IT, the process of innovation implementation becomes more agile. They can directly input their business requirements while developing the app, and make real-time changes based on feedback. Moreover, any changes that don’t work can be rolled back easily. This also provides more freedom to your business users, who are the main drivers of transformation in any business—thereby increasing their productivity and efficiency.
2. Improve collaboration between teams
Gartner has said that, through 2021, demand for app development is estimated to grow at least five times faster than the capacity of IT to deliver it. This entails a very difficult scenario for IT developers.
But with low-code platforms, the ownership for driving transformation, as well as the tools to do it, can rest with business users. They don’t have to rely on IT to build business use case applications. This in turn allows IT to be more productive and efficient with problems that are highly complex and require their full attention. Moreover, low-code’s easy-to-understand interface allows users, IT, and other stakeholders to collaborate and create optimized applications. Low-code platforms facilitate collaboration between cross-functional teams by providing all parties with a holistic view of the development process.
3. Increase speed to market
Businesses also employ digital transformation to keep themselves updated with market trends, and roll out products and services to win new markets.
Low-code platforms help with this goal by delivering increased speed to market. They use prebuilt functionalities to accelerate app development, hence ensuring that applications are developed faster and with fewer bugs. Since changes can be made on the go, it allows business users to make custom-built apps available to the market quickly.
4. Enhance customer experience
Digital transformation emphasizes improving the customer’s journey with the brand. This entails making applications and solutions available to them that enhance their interactions at every touchpoint. And low-code platforms allow businesses to do just that, using customer engagement apps.
Low-code platforms enable users to build and roll out apps as minimum viable products, and scale them up as requirements grow. They can see how these apps perform, optimize them, and then deploy them at a larger scale. It also allows apps to be distributed across channels without additional coding requirements, such as on mobile interfaces, self-service portals, and more. Hence, low-code fosters an environment for continuous development and innovation, especially in the customer’s buying process.
5. Optimize utilization of data and information
Information is a critical aspect of driving an organization’s future growth. And digital transformation is aimed at equipping enterprises with the right information to create value.
Low-code platforms facilitate the collection of enterprise-level data in one place for further study and analysis. They can also be leveraged to develop dashboard applications that help various business verticals access data and insights relevant to their needs.
6. Cost-effective implementation
Lastly, low-code platforms allow enterprises to save on the cost that traditional development of applications would have incurred. This is because they eliminate the need to employ skilled resources for app development, while also speeding up the entire process. You can also easily scale the app as requirements emerge, thus eliminating the need to build it to full capacity right from the beginning. This reduces development costs drastically, making low-code a cost-effective solution for building the applications needed to drive your business’ digital transformation.
Companies are realizing that incorporating low-code as a driver of their business transformation is essential—which is why, by 2024 low-code application development is predicted to be responsible for more than 65% of app development activity.
Whether you’re just beginning the digital transformation journey within your enterprise, or if you’re already in the midst of it, it’s wise to consider how low-code platforms like Zoho Creator can aid in the process. Low-code platforms enable business users, the logical drivers of transformation within the enterprise, to play an active role in the process, which makes all the difference in ensuring a successful digital transformation.