Thursday, 26 October 2017 16:24

The power of a digital transformation project

By Robert Merlicek, Chief Technology Officer Asia Pacific and Japan, TIBCO

Keen to streamline operations and take advantage of new market opportunities, many organisations are undertaking digital transformation strategies. With the advent of low-code, empowered business users, also known as citizen developers, are finding they can achieve the best results by taking a 'do-it-yourself' approach to deployments.

Traditionally, such transformation efforts have been the exclusive domain of an organisation's IT department. Custodian of everything from servers and networks to applications and core processes, the department has been the one-stop-shop for anyone looking for new apps or updated capabilities.

As the pace of digital transformation increases, however, this situation is changing. Organisations are looking for faster ways to put in place the systems needed to support new initiatives and drive future growth.

This need for greater speed is occurring in three key areas: improving the customer experience, optimising operations, and delivering innovative new products and services. A faster, more flexible way to create supporting applications is critical in each of these areas.

The changing face of app development

A key component in any digital transformation project is the development of new supporting applications. They might be needed to automate a workflow, link disparate data stores, or provide a new channel to market.

In the past, such apps would be created by a team of software developers within an organisation's IT department. After receiving a comprehensive brief from the business, the team would diligently design, code, and test the new app before its deployment.

Faced with a need for more rapid development, growing numbers of organisations are opting for a different approach. Rather than relying on the IT department, they are putting the task of app development into the hands of the end users themselves.

It's a trend that's quickly gaining ground as organisations come to understand the benefits on offer.  Apps that might have taken many months to move from concept to creation can now be completed in hours or even minutes. As a result, an organisation can quickly position itself to take advantage of new opportunities or counter emerging competitors.

The TIBCO approach

To support the demand for low-code app development by citizen developers, TIBCO has rolled out TIBCO Cloud™ Live Apps. This cloud-based platform allows users with little or no previous IT experience to quickly design and deploy powerful apps that can support their business objectives.

Live Apps offers an intuitive, visual interface that empowers users to quickly build, update and share apps, and connect them with existing applications and processes. A five-step interview is all it takes to create fully functional applications. Users can jump right in, easily and naturally and start solving real business problems quickly and on their own.

Live Apps offers a range of advantages to end users keen to get their apps operational as quickly as possible, including:

  • Simple visual integration: Live Apps interoperates with both TIBCO and other third-party systems whether on cloud or on premise. The platform allows a user to turn an idea into an app in just minutes by linking existing resources in different ways. Secure and reliable connections to on-premise, cloud, or hybrid systems are achieved with just a few mouse clicks. As a result, processes can be created that quickly unlock data and bring it to life in a business context.
  • Ease of use: Being easy to use is a core advantage of Live Apps, as it enables users with no prior experience to quickly create their own apps. Development is supported by a series of visual representations of all the components that are required for the app to function, including data stores, processes, and applications on cloud or on premises. Live Apps offers simple drag-and-drop interactions and guides users through the process via a system of easy-to-follow wizards. Rather than having to create lines of code, a user can instead visually configure their application.
    Along with making the process much easier, removing the need to code also reduces errors and improves final functionality. The data and case-centric design of Live Apps lets a user quickly capture actions, process goals, and underlying data incrementally and quickly perform independent updates. It's a safe environment to ideate, try, and test which makes innovation simple.
  • Enterprise grade: Live Apps is also an enterprise-grade platform that includes all the necessary capabilities to scale-large deployments. Security certifications, role-based access, and authenticated application deployment are just a few examples of its built-in security features. The platform is also designed with a strong focus on scalability and performance. As a result, apps created though using the platform can play a critical role in an organisation's ongoing growth.

By embracing the power and simplicity of Live Apps, organisations can achieve the aims of their business strategy much more readily than has traditionally been possible. Armed with the power to undertake their own development, users will be able to take advantage of new opportunities as soon as they appear. The true promise of digital transformation can be realised.

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