The Citizen Developer: Low Code Application Development And The New It Organization
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The Citizen Developer: Low Code Application Development And The New It Organization

Peter Young, Director of IT Enterprise Architecture, Granite Construction in Watsonville
Peter Young, Director of IT Enterprise Architecture, Granite Construction in Watsonville

Peter Young, Director of IT Enterprise Architecture, Granite Construction in Watsonville

The software development industry is a story of abstraction, gradually removing successive layers of technical complexity for the developer. Today, with the availability of off-the-shelf SaaS applications and low code development platforms accessible to IT and non-IT alike, the need for technical expertise in translating business processes, integrations, and user experience into code is decreasing. As a result, IT must shift its competencies from managing enterprise applications to managing enterprise data.

According to the Gartner Analyst service, 41% of employees in an organization are business technologists— employees who report outside of IT departments and create technology or analytics capabilities1. By 2025 it is expected that 70% of new custom applications written by enterprises will exploit low code technologies2. As these new trends continue, it will be critical for the Enterprise and IT to re-define their contributions in the development and maintenance of business applications.

Plan for Citizen Development

Business leaders are looking to a new breed of tech-savvy business analysts to bring them competitive advantage. The new analyst, armed with low code tools, will enable business units to cheaply automate business processes, bringing the development and operations of those applications closer to the process owners. The recent adoption of cloud-based data visualization tools is a prime example of this shift. Such tools give the business autonomy and speed unavailable with more traditional Business Intelligence platforms that required heavy IT involvement.

As this trend continues, enterprises can expect similar outcomes digitizing business workflows and improving the mobile user experience.

Enforce Data Governance

Under a low code paradigm, IT’s identity must shift from Information Technology to Information Management. With the prevalence of cloud infrastructure providers, off-the -shelf SaaS applications, and a growing list of low code application development platforms, data governance is more critical than ever. IT must double-down on managing the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability of enterprise data.

Data Confidentiality, the protection of data from unauthorized access, is a key cybersecurity concept. IT must proactively manage cybersecurity policies, ensuring that enterprise systems and partners transacting enterprise data are safe from unauthorized access. Core competencies include:

o identity provisioning

o data security

o intrusion detection

Data Integrity, the accuracy and currency of data, is key in establishing trust in data across the organization. Here, IT must build competence in:

o master data management

o data cataloguing

o API management

• Data Availability, the assurance that data is available for consumption at the point it is needed, is critical for business continuity. IT must ensure that data can move across the enterprise and be accessed on request. IT must look to:

o data warehousing

o data integration

o data redundancy

Bringing it Together

As the business and IT undergo these changes, new operational agreements will be developed to ensure that the data consumed and produced by new applications meet the business’s productivity and compliance needs. New ways of exposing company data across business units will emerge. Company policies, steering, and training must ensure application development complies with those data flows and policies

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