Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Post-Covid reset essentials: Composable enterprise and whole-team collaboration

The critical impact of the COVID-19 epidemic was felt most immediately in the changes it wrought in the short term (think remote working and the sudden need for online collaborative platforms that could scale rapidly). Now, it’s becoming apparent that enterprise IT has to learn to pivot to accept the new paradigm: accelerated change needs fresh ways of thinking about the future of applications.

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A recent insightful Gartner Report explains that two fundamental strategies are required for long-term business resilience going forward. One is the composable enterprise and the other is a business-IT continuum that supports whole-team collaboration in the assembly and creation of applications. 

These two concepts are interdependent and mutually supportive. To achieve them, both IT teams and business units need to rethink the ways they work together, which requires a change in the assembly and combination of packaged business capabilities for interoperability, typically via APIs. 

In parallel, teams need to form that are composed of both IT professionals and skilled business people that enable all parts of the organization to collaborate, sharing business knowledge and technical skills to deliver applications and software. Gartner terms these “fusion teams” and states that 80% of IT employees work on teams with counterparts from other areas of the business, like operations, sales, logistics, and marketing. 

Using tools that enable the automation of multi-experience development and integration with existing applications, fusion teams can create software and technology platforms that are the result of combining the best technological capabilities with business-focused outcomes. 

The future of applications

Businesses should turn their backs on reinventing the wheel; the Gartner paper states.

To achieve this, low-code platforms must integrate with applications and SaaS APIs to build reusable components rather than monolithic applications. Combining no-code, low-code & pro-code, and using personnel from traditional IT development pools (central IT), business unit IT, and decision-makers (business users): this is the only way that a resilient, disruption-proof application framework can be built.

Developing this whole-team, non-confrontational and same-goal-focused mindset will take time and critically, practice. To start, IT organizations should consider the problem their application must solve and who in the business can help them with the workflows and outcomes involved. They should then build agile teams that not only include product owners and contributors from the business but also involve them every step of the way.

Starting points

From a pure-play IT point-of-view, the starting point has to be the concept of an integrated development stack (pro-code, low-code, no-code) and an integrated development direction, dictated by integrated, cross-functional teams (business, business unit IT, and central IT).

The paper introduces the importance of multi-experience mindsets and ways that low-code and no-code can be leveraged today to begin this journey. For those insights and more, we urge readers to download the research for themselves. “Application Leaders: Master Composable Enterprise Thinking for Your Post-COVID-19 Reset” is the culmination of surveying almost 1,000 fusion teams from different sectors, and it finds that 43% of personnel involved in teams already report outside of central IT.

The race, therefore, is already on for many. Naturally, no enterprise with a forward-looking attitude to resetting the IT stance post-COVID can expect to progress without an effective, enterprise-grade low-code platform, one capable of working in fully-conversant tandem with both business users and pro-code DevOps. Over the course of our own research, Tech Wire Asia has found that OutSystems represents the best source of both insightful thought-leadership and practical building blocks to creating the democratized IT future.

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