The COVID-19 crisis has everyone talking about business resilience. What is resilience really? Admittedly, it sounds like consultancy speak, but it’s an important concept. Formally, it’s something like: The ability to not just continue operations but thrive during a crisis, with little business disruption.
Boardrooms are buzzing with this topic right now. But to be honest, Technology in the modern enterprise is always in an extended surge response state. When all parts of the business are stretched to capacity during a crisis, empowered employees can be a lifeline.
With the right organizational factors, a low-code strategy has the potential to deliver companies the capacity they have been sorely lacking. It has the ability to shift companies into the agile mode that many enterprises have already fully adopted. Low-code can grease organizational friction between technical and business groups who sometimes speak different languages.
The Road to Resilience
So what are the elements to building business resilience?
Agility – This is the HOW
Don’t think big bang. Push the ball down the field with incremental gains. Experiment, iterate and, of critical importance, collaborate. Most technology projects suffer friction because of requirements lost in translation.
Simplicity – This is the WHAT
Easy to use, low-code/no-code tools increase an organization’s capacity to build solutions by putting more people on the frontlines.
Talent – This is the WHO
No matter how simple your tools are, you will need people who understand the depths of technology and can foresee the long term consequences of decisions made today.
How does low-code drive business resilience?
Low-Code = Less Friction
Low-code empowers business users, who best understand outcomes, to drive solutions directly. With simple abstractions that mask technical details, companies experience far less friction in solution development. With less friction, the pace of delivery accelerates, and you gain agility. So low-code delivers significant leverage on two fronts towards resilience.
Simplicity and talent go hand in hand, in terms of building capacity to handle change. This is top of mind now of course, but surge capacity is exactly what an organization needs when disrupted by other market forces. So while we are all thinking about building surge capacity for the healthcare system, let’s use it as an opportunity to build this mindset for the future.
What could go wrong?
Collaboration between IT and business users is critical
Users hate new anything. We want click, bang, and done. So slowly layering in new concepts to business users is key to easing their journey into a more technical world.
Users can also get stuck in technical dead-ends and give up. Every tool has its limits. What happens when a user runs up against them? Is there someone they can call with a richer understanding of what lies beyond the frontier of the user interface?
Given the right set of tools and support, business users have to be willing participants on the frontlines. This means getting more tech savvy, asking lots of questions, developing partnerships with people who understand the constraints from which they are abstracted.
Executive buy-in is necessary for success
Then, there’s the toughest part of using low-code to build business resilience. We are all up against the myth of the busy executive who issues requirements and isn’t burdened with the details of how they get delivered. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. No matter the tools, unless the executive team supports a low-code strategy and your business users are excited about the prospect of being able to add value and drive outcomes, they will likely push off much of the responsibility to technical teams. This challenge is one to solve regardless of what tools you use.
With hiring likely to be slow post crisis, expect low-code delivery models to be a strong driver of efficiency for organizations as the economy recovers. Those who can solve for the challenges above will be able to deliver more with less.