How Low-Code Is Changing The Role Of IT In The Company
1. Introduction

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The role of IT within a company has seen dramatic changes in the last couple years, accelerated by the widespread availability of low-code technologies and platforms, which means low-code is changing the role of IT in the company. In the past, companies could afford to create and deliver technological updates and releases anywhere from once a quarter to once a year and still keep up with trends. Today, the digital world is constantly changing at a rate that makes new digital processes obsolete almost as fast as they can be made.

The changes in demand for immediate and relevant solutions and the global shift towards digitization were both accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses in every industry in every country were forced, essentially overnight, to find digital solutions in order to stay relevant. The number one priority for most customers, after safety, became convenience, obliging companies to begin the digital transformation processes we are still seeing in effect today.

The role of IT inside the company has always been to maintain and build tech infrastructures that fulfill every department’s needs. But with the advent of low-code technology becoming so widely available, business users are now more and more able to use these digital tools for themselves, leading to a possible shift in the role of what it means to be an IT professional. With low-code creating a new way of interacting with business technologies where innovation is accelerated, IT can focus more on strategic projects like the governance of supporting infrastructures, processes and data.

2. Low-Code 

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Low-code technology relies on a simple visual interface that employs a drag and drop methodology. By grouping sets of existing code and using pre-made templates, this new mechanism removes the barriers created by complex code, making software development more accessible to developers of all skill levels. 

Low-code helps business users help themselves and become more autonomous. People in different departments can create the digital solutions they need without the help of the IT Department, accelerating the innovation and adoption of software throughout the organization.

3. IT Recruitment And Retention

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The shortage of manpower and skilled labor in the tech industry existed before the pandemic, but COVID-19 only aggravated the situation. With every industry globally turning their attention towards digitalization, the need for individuals with software development abilities is in higher demand than ever. It is easy to assume that with the ever evolving technologies available today that focus on automation and other advancements, tech departments could be looking at a future where their human capital will become less valuable and lead to worker displacement. Instead the need for multi-skilled, experienced workers remains, and adaptability becomes a key skill set.

3.1 Low-Code Upskill Opportunities

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With the lack of skilled labor in the tech industry, companies’ new standard should be to upskill their existing employees. This not only helps the company stay on top of trends but gives their employees relevant skills that prepare them for the jobs of the future. 

Low-code, with its transference of software development being limited to expert developers to being obtainable for a far larger pool of workers, helps free the IT department to work on other things.  Low-code can help solve the skill crisis with coding by bridging the gap. 

3.2 Creating Citizen Developers

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Helping your employees become creators in the digital world with the vocabulary to understand evolving technologies equips them with the programming skills that will be necessary in every industry moving forward. Citizen developers, or non-technical users that create simple automations for themselves and their departments, make room for your enterprise to unleash more innovation. 

With the growing accessibility of low-code platforms and the learning opportunities surrounding them, traditional professional development is taking a back seat. Combined with low-code’s ability to be used to build apps from anywhere, its appeal in a global world has increased. Registration courses for technical skills have continuously seen an increase in registrations over the last decade. 

4. Change In The IT Department’s Role
4.1 Soft Skills Over Hard Skills

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With the changes affecting the industry, there is a shift in what skills will be valued amongst IT professionals. With hard technical skills being replaced by automated processes, soft skills will become far more important moving forward. Skills like digital and computing skills, leadership skills, problem solving skills and emotional and social skills are becoming more significant. 

4.2 Cost Saving

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In order to meet the current demand of software solutions, either IT departments are burdened with enormous amounts of work, or enterprises are forced to use external developers which can be both costly and inefficient because there isn’t always consistency in quality. IT budgets are limited, so being able to have scalability without trading off quality is a vital advantage of using low-code technologies. Leveraging low-code and augmented analytics helps drive meaningful customer decisions and save costs.

4.3 Faster results and development turnover

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Even if you know very little about the software development industry, you probably know that development takes time. A large reason for this is that it can take months for an automation request to even be seen by a skilled developer. Low-code is accelerating this process by cutting out the middleman, allowing teams to develop their own solution. Because of this, it comes as no surprise that, according to Forbes, 66% of large companies will use at least four low-code platforms by 2024. 

Due to its easy to understand processes, low-code quickens the development process by, according to Mendix, the Siemens low-code platform, almost 10 times with 70% less resources. 

4.4 Catered Solutions To Your Needs

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Low-code is breaking down the barriers to succeed in the digital economy. It is increasing communication and collaboration across different departments inside the business, enabling the development of solutions that truly cater to the specific needs and demands of the company since all those concerned can have a voice in the process.

4.5 Increased Collaboration And Communication

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Thanks to the increased communication made available by low-code technologies, IT teams will be able to focus more on inter-departmental collaboration and business operation innovation. They will shift from a highly involved form of tech management to a multi-layered integration of human knowledge and business logic. 

With less time spent on keeping other departments up to date digitally, IT can devote more time and effort to safeguarding data and processes as well as respond faster to business needs. Their time can be spent on strategic projects and sharpening a competitive advantage.

5. The New Role Of IT

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The reality is that low-code is already shaping the IT industry, and embracing it is the only way to take advantage of the opportunities this shift presents. Decentralized app development is an opening for more creative problem solving and leadership within the IT department.  

The main shift we can expect to see will be for the IT department to transform into more of a managerial role. In order to maintain scalable, disciplined and strategic development, some form of governance framework is important to have in place, and that will be IT’s job. With this emphasis on management, IT is also expected to have an evolving role in business decision making, which we can already see through the increased presence of CTOs and CIOs in the decision making rooms.

Low-code technologies and platforms do not take away from the existing IT jobs, rather just shift them so that they can focus more on the work that matters and only they have the skill sets for.

As a Mendix solution partner, Kyanon Digital works hard to ensure this partnership’s goal is to accelerate digital transformation for our clients by providing excellent low-code solutions from Mendix. We’re also keen to dramatically boost the development of new apps, enhance the power of pre-built and customized low-code solutions, and expand the business ecosystem.

At Kyanon Digital, we understand the value of accepting and implementing change that allows us to stay ahead of modern demands. We celebrate our employees when they learn new skills and  hope you do the same! 

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