Dell Boomi clients wanted to launch new technology capabilities that will rapidly deliver a competitive edge. Unfortunately, project backlogs and multiple priorities often slow the pace of innovation. Overworked and understaffed IT teams often compound this problem, resulting in employee turnover that makes it even harder for businesses to retain the best and brightest IT staff.
Ultimately, the cycle of pressing priorities and strained IT resources leads to a skills gap that causes many companies to lag behind.
And integration is central to this issue. These days organizations need to be extremely agile in how they integrate their applications and data to drive digital transformation. The volume and diversity of integrations necessary for running a digital business are growing exponentially. Social, mobile, analytics, big data, IoT and AI technologies all require integration into core business systems.
But the traditional approach of hand-coding integrations has become a major obstacle to digital transformation. Hand-coding can take months of costly and resource-intensive work. It diverts IT from focusing on genuine innovations that deliver operational efficiencies, new systems of engagement, and better customer experiences. Also, hand-coding introduces maintenance complications down the road.
In situations where organizations use legacy middleware, like an ETL (extract, transform, load) tool or enterprise service bus (ESB), a lot of time (years even!), resources, and specialized skills are required to make these complex on-premise systems work. And these old tools often lack native connectivity to the cloud applications that are vital to business today.
But there is a clear way forward for companies that want to embrace digital transformation. Rethinking how integrations are built and maintained now requires a low-code approach. With low code, organizations can dramatically improve productivity and deliver integrations at the speed of business.
The Emergence of Low Code
Low code is a hot topic across the IT landscape. Dell Boomi has seen the term “low code” gain traction over the past year as businesses focus on becoming more agile and developing a culture of working smarter rather than harder.
Low code describes an approach to application and integration development that minimizes or eliminates manual coding. In a low-code environment, developers utilize prepackaged templates and drag-and-drop tools in a visual interface to configure applications and integrations much faster than hand-coding.
“The overall benefit to low-code environments is speed,” according to an assessment from 451 Research. “In general, organizations can shave 50–90 percent off development time vs. using a coding language.”
Given this benefit, it is no surprise that vendors such as Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft and others tout low-code capabilities in their offerings to appeal to time- and skill-stretched organizations. Dozens of other low-code tools and platforms are now entering the market to address an array of software and IT challenges.
Questions About Low Code
Dell Boomi pioneered low-code integration when they introduced the world’s first cloud-native integration platform as a service (iPaaS) in 2007. Even a decade ago, Dell Boomi understood the challenges organizations were facing with traditional integration tools. This is why today organizations are turning to Boomi’s low-code environment to eliminate traditional development obstacles and accelerate digital transformation.
Business and IT leaders can see the benefits of Boomi’s configure-not-code approach to integration. But in their conversations with dev ops teams, questions often come up around the skill sets and team sizes needed to support the Boomi iPaaS.
This is because some dev ops teams can feel uncomfortable with a low-code approach. They might perceive it as a threat to job security, and they are naturally comfortable with what they know, including their skills and traditional ways of software development.
They can fear that low-code integration opens the door for non-technical “citizen integrators” to build connectivity with no IT involvement, rendering developers obsolete. But this is just the opposite of what low code brings to developers.
Certainly, a shift in mind-set is required to see that a low-code environment frees up developers’ time and allows them to focus on higher-level design and strategy, as well as move far faster to complete more projects.
Hence, low code lets organizations and project stakeholders evolve to a more efficient production model while improving the employee experience. This, in turn, makes it easier for a business to provide a better experience for customers and partners. In this way, a low-code approach drives benefits throughout an organization.
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