John Rymer is a Principal Analyst at Forrester, one of America’s top analyst firms and trend watchers in the low-code industry. Rymer is one of Forrester's leading experts on the subject of low-code and no-code platforms, and has had his insights featured in a number of publications including TechRepublic, VentureBeat, TechCrunch, and Fortune.
In a recent webinar with Kintone CEO Dave Landa, Rymer outlined why companies need to rethink their software development process and make all their employees Citizen Developers if they want to successfully future-proof themselves. Answers are select quotes from his presentation.
1. The demand for software is growing faster than developers can supply
“Everybody that I’m working with these days is, in some way, shape, or form, transforming their business from analog or physical form to digital form. What they’re finding in this process is that in order to transform themselves into digital form, they need a whole lot more software, often more than their IT or app dev organization are able to provide.
This leaves them with a couple of choices: they can try to double or quadruple their development staff. But that’s unlikely; developers are scarce and most business budgets can’t expand to that degree. So they’re left rethinking how to approach the work. That’s where low code platforms, often called no code platforms, come in.
That’s where the Citizen Developer angle comes in. Citizen Developer is a term that describes people that are business people first. They’re not professional developers, they’re not trained as professional developers, and they’ve never worked as developers, yet they’re capable of developing software given the right aptitude, the right sanction from their employers, and the right tools.”
2. Your entire business team is already building software applications for work
“Business people have been building software for quite awhile using a wide variety of techniques. The regular business person uses spreadsheets and emails as a way of getting work done. There are a lot of applications built into spreadsheets, what with macros and data models and sometimes even events and triggers built into spreadsheets.
After 30 years of experience with Excel and products like Access, plus all of the experience with SharePoint and and other collaborative environments where people build web applications, business people know quite a lot of about business software even if they don’t fully realize it.
They understand straightforward data modeling. They understand logic because they’ve built formulas and they’ve built macros. They understand web applications. There’s a lot of knowledge out there that we can take advantage of as part of meeting our digital transformations.”
3. Your can’t stop your team from building applications, but you can control it
“Any department that has a responsibility for running business operations is typically underserved, so they build applications to get the automation they need. The applications they build can be very effective for their needs, but they’re really poor as digital assets. They’re based on a personal productivity application, they’re not on a platform, and they’re not managed. This puts companies in a dangerous spot by opening them to security risks, data mishandling, and lack of oversight.
People will do what they need to for their work. A company can either let Shadow IT persist or look to move all that work to a managed platform. This work is going to go on anyways, we can actually manage it better by putting it on a platform. That’s where low-code and no-code platforms come in.”
4. Your team knows their workflow better than anyone else
“Understanding the business processes is crucial knowledge you need to have to automate a process. Business people understand that. They understand the business process and the data that drives them far better than a developer or a shared services organization ever could. It’s these people on your team who can leverage their positions and their knowledge to produce very meaningful and very important applications.”
5. Your clients want it now, and traditional software development can't do that
“People want immediacy. But un-automated processes are rarely immediate, and they risk compromising a company’s relationship with the customer. It’s imperative to automate. But setting aside two years to create software via a traditional development is neither immediate nor agile.
There are lots and lots of processes in the typical organization. We’re talking thousands. Many cross organizational silos, making them difficult as software projects. The original standard of developing a select number of projects each year with a development team means a company may never catch up with all of its processes. But low-code platforms allow people to produce a lot of projects at any given time. That’s one of the reasons low-code platforms are so important. They allow teams to produce software much more quickly.”
Hear John Rymer speak at Kintone's biggest annual conference in November
Want to learn more about what low-code platforms can do for your business processes? Join Kintone's annual software conference Kintone Connect to hear Rymer speak in person. Kintone Connect is a one-day conference dedicated to showing how Kintone’s cloud-platform helps organizations effectively manage their data and team collaboration all in one place. Rymer will discuss the value of low-code platforms for businesses at our upcoming Kintone Connect conference on November 2, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. To learn more about Kintone Connect or to purchase tickets, visit our official event page.