Gartner’s research into CIO priorities for 2016 reveals several challenges holding back digital innovation. We examine the barriers, and how Low-code can lower them.

Gartner recently published insights from its 2016 CIO agenda report focusing on Building the Digital Platform. Drawing insights from 2,944 CIOs from 84 countries, the report examines how organisations across all industries are planning to embrace new digital innovations.

The report also examines the barriers that are stopping CIOs from achieving their digital goals. Of all the varied obstacles CIOs are facing, one thing unites them: they could all quickly be overcome with a Low-code development approach.

Skills and resource limitations continue to be a #1 priority

Gartner found a lack of skilled developers and development resources was the number one obstacle to digital innovation.

Today’s customers and employees are hungry for new digital applications, services and experiences. With seemingly infinite digital demands spread across a finite number of skilled developers, it’s no surprise that businesses are locked in a war for digital talent.

Even if an organisation is able to secure the digital skills required, those skills can often be stretched to the point of creating a huge IT queue for new development. According to another Gartner report on ‘The Enterprise App Explosion’, through 2017 the demand for enterprise mobile apps will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organisations’ capacity to deliver them.

The solution? Coding without coding, using a Low-code development platform. With an intuitive drag and drop approach to design, Low-code allows you to get existing staff coding apps and processes. A Low-coder can be trained in just a few days, rather than the months required to become proficient in conventional programming languages. It can help you fill skill and resource gaps, and overcome the main barrier that’s keeping you from achieving digital innovation.

IT budget constraints fuel growth of Shadow IT

According to recent reports, over a third of technology investment is initiated outside of central IT control.  This “Shadow IT” phenomenon, (also sometimes called “credit card IT”) is a real headache for CIOs.  Poor integration with key systems, data siloes, non-compliance and security risks are just the tip of the iceberg when staff introduce rogue technology into the enterprise.

By embracing a Low-code platform, and providing some governance and guide rails for its adoption, CIOs can achieve a standardised approach for business initiated IT that enables less technical staff, (albeit they still require a few days training), to configure elegant business solutions without programming.  Such an approach not only increases an organization’s capacity to build business applications, it also provides a consistent way to address such requirements that is far preferable to multiple departments doing their own thing.

Aligning IT with broader business priorities

Though not as high on Gartner’s list as talent and budget scarcity, plenty of CIOs look set to struggle with linking IT with core business priorities in 2016.

Today’s organisations are recognising that we are in the age of the customer, and are aligning their business priorities with the need to deliver more streamlined customer experiences that help gain and retain brand loyalty.

In order to help the business achieve these CX ambitions, IT can’t risk spending valuable time and resources deploying services that customers don’t actually like using. The answer is adopting a bimodal approach to IT: one mode for stable, core systems, and a faster more experimental mode for quickly delivering new services and then iteratively improving them over time.

By delivering a “minimum viable product” (MVP) quickly and seeking customer feedback, organisations can rapidly develop apps and services that improve customer experience. This is the strength of the bimodal approach, and the results have already enticed nearly 40% of CIOs to begin using it, according to Gartner. In a separate report, Gartner also estimated that by 2018 70% of bimodal efforts will invest in fast, lean business operation experiments outside of IT.

By speeding up development, Low-code can help you deploy an MVP rapidly, and then quickly incorporate feedback into the design. This “test and learn” approach delivers apps that are more closely aligned with what customers and other users need. With Low-code development, IT can truly support business objectives around customer satisfaction and retention.

Low-code: the real trend of 2016?

If you’re a CIO suffering the weight of the challenges highlighted by Gartner, it could well be time to investigate Low-code. While it’s not a silver bullet for every IT woe, it can certainly help with many of them, by enabling faster, cheaper and more customer-focused digital development.

For more information about Low-code, and what it could do for you organisation, please use the contact page on our website.