Digital transformation requires new technology, new processes, a culture change

Posted: Apr 04, 2018

Posted by Jorge A. Carrillo

Right now many legacy business models are on the verge of collapse or under severe strain from digital pressures coming from both inside and outside the business. And where many organisations are concerned, if there isn’t a programme in place to replace legacy systems (and processes) with innovative new digital platforms, then you can be sure that there will be soon.

The problem is you can’t just switch legacy off. It would be great if there was a magic button that we could simply press to take away the headache that legacy often represents, especially with large transformation programmes, but of course it is not that easy.

The crucial point we need to remind ourselves about, with regard to many of these legacy applications, is that they work. They may not be particularly pretty, easy to use, easy to change, or indeed agile by today’s standards, but legacy is inherited and there’s a lot of goodness in many of these applications. While legacy modernisation and transformation is most certainly challenging, it represents a challenge we have to have the courage to address. Otherwise, when we approach digital initiatives we may be in danger of ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’.

Digital transformation initiatives that shy away from the hard stuff are simply postponing pain and disappointment. Of course it’s important to create a cadence of delivery as we need to create trust and establish a track-record, but for every low hanging challenge you take on you should be looking at kicking off at least one high-hanging challenge at the same time. Refacing a website is low-hanging, redesigning a process from end-to-end is more challenging. While the former will be delivered quickly and is likely to provoke much delight, it’s the latter initiative that is most likely to deliver sustainable transformation.

So, lots to consider and even though I said that technology is not magical, it does have a role to play. This is where low-code platforms are helping organisations to get ahead in their transformation plans. Let me share an example. OutSystems enabled Worcestershire County Council to transform into a world-class digital council which resulted in a financial ROI of 442%. Involving cloud, mobile and analytics, in the next year, it will deliver 100 percent of its services online. Customers can now access council services anytime, anywhere, and substantial cost savings are being delivered. And thanks to OutSystems, digital solutions are now being provided three times faster, using the same amount of resources, while reducing the cost of supporting these new applications by 50%.

The Power of Low Code Platforms

Low-code platforms have offered the opportunity for non-developers to take the first steps towards transforming their business processes through accessible software design tools for decades, and it’s a market that has never stopped growing.

According to business management consultant Forrester Research, by 2020, the simplified, or low-code, development space will be valued at US$15.4 billion.

“We’re seeing the space growing very quickly along with the demand for low-code platforms from enterprise customers, as well as smaller business customers,” said Dan Juengst, principal product evangelist for OutSystems, whose customers for their enterprise-focused low-code platform range from banks and auto manufacturers to tech giants like Intel and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (now Micro Focus). “We think that it’s because of the expectation from customers and IT organizations that this is something that can help them.”


Working together

For the IT team, that means that communication with citizen developers using low-code on the front end is essential. “For the larger organizations, where the IT resources are at a real premium, there are solutions which IT departments can use to enable and empower their line of business groups — to create solutions to perfectly match their business needs,” said Kintone’s Landa, whose low-code platform branched off from collaborative software and continues its focus on collaborative development.

About OutSystems

The OutSystems Platform is a high-productivity platform as a service (PaaS) intended for developing and delivering enterprise web and mobile applications, which run in the cloud, on-premises or in hybrid environments. The current version is 10, for both the paid and unpaid versions - developers are permitted personal cloud environments to use the platform without charge.

Thousands of customers worldwide trust OutSystems, the number one low-code platform for rapid application development. Engineers with an obsessive attention to detail crafted every aspect of the OutSystems platform to help organizations build enterprise-grade apps and transform their business faster. With OutSystems, you visually develop your entire application, easily integrate with existing systems, and add your own custom code when you need it.

OutSystems CEO Paulo Rosado kicked off the September 2017 conference by drawing the line in the sand. “What happened with PowerBuilder [from Appeon and SAP], [Microsoft] SharePoint, and [Microsoft] Access?” Rosado asked. “They were impossible to scale. You ran into the wall of reliability, maintainability, scalability. It’s that wall that’s the plague of the low-code category.”

OutSystems Company Data:

  • Industry:  Enterprise Software
  • Founded:  Lisbon, Portugal (2001)
  • Headquarters:  Atlanta, GA - USA
  • CEO: Paulo Rosado
  • Products: OutSystems platform
  • Number of employees: 500+
  • Website:


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