By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
This week I am excited to feature Tony Moroney as a guest writer. He is the Managing Partner of Beta Digital in Dublin, Ireland. He will share information on a topic that is of great interest to me and many business leaders—Digital Transformation.
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Forward-thinking organisations constantly search for innovative ways to remain relevant and competitive in a hyper-connected world.
While most organisations are focused on Digital Transformation, many are now starting to adopt Citizen Development to achieve their transformation objectives. Citizen Development puts Low-Code and No-Code tools into the hands of relatively non-technical people.
The driving force behind this trend is the growing need for responsiveness, agility, and improved productivity. But why is this important, and what do business leaders need to consider?
Let’s Start by Defining Digital Transformation
In my experience, there is much confusion in organisations about digital transformation. A definition is, therefore, essential. For me, Digital Transformation is about strategically repositioning the organisation to compete and thrive in a digitalised world. In essence, it is redefining the future of the organisation.
Why Citizen Development?
While the pandemic accelerated the need for digital transformation, it has also highlighted a global shortage of skilled software developers. According to research from Forrester, there will be a deficit of 500,000 software developers in the U.S.A. alone by 2024.
Against this backdrop, finding ways to empower non-IT employees to solve day-to-day challenges makes sense. Citizen Development puts the technology to automate processes and design applications directly into the hands of those who know the processes best, the business users.
Critically, it empowers subject matter experts to design, develop, and deploy applications into production as experienced coders. Doing so reduces the demands on IT departments, but it can help the organisation in terms of mindset, culture, alignment, and collaboration--all critical components of digital transformation.
There are challenges, however, and I would like to address four in particular:
1. IT Overload
Organisations face a growing number of demands from external and internal customers and must also respond to market developments and regulatory expectations. Citizen Development can help, but organisations must be wary of complexity, extensive customisation, and integration issues.
It is important to recognise that Citizen Development is not a means to circumvent skilled staff or enterprise infrastructure.
2. The Human Factor
While technology provides the means for digital transformation, success is ultimately in the hands of the people who have to work with it. All too often, organisations select too complicated tools to implement intuitively.
By comparison, Citizen Development can empower non-tech employees with a deep understanding of customers to explore new solutions as part of digital transformation.
3. Culture & Collaboration
Creating great customer experiences and good outcomes is everyone's job. Doing so requires eliminating silo thinking; developing a partnership between IT, the business, and Citizen Developers can enable organisations to become more informed and responsive to customer needs.
4. Shadow IT
Organisations must have a robust governance and collaboration model for Citizen Development informed and guided by IT best practices. The organisation can amplify best practices and specific accomplishments to encourage greater adoption.
Your People are Key
Digital transformation has become a global priority, as organisations require hyper-agile approaches to keep up with the pace of change. Citizen Development provides business leaders with an opportunity to drive change without relying on scarce and expensive core technology, IT, and engineering talent. Training and governance are critical.
Equally important, as organisations progress with their digital transformation efforts, they should never forget to put their people at the centre of it.
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I agree wholeheartedly, Tony! Putting people at the center of your Digital Transformation efforts is so important.
Michael Cantu and I talk about this in our best-selling book, No-Nonsense Digital Transformation. We address mindset, culture, and properly planning your transformation efforts, among other topics.
Speaking of our book, we are excited to announce the launch of the paperback version sometime next month! To learn more, click the button below.