The ability to be fluid, agile and responsive has long been desirable in business. It means organisations can react to changing market conditions and turn them to their advantage, gaining momentum while the competition is slowing down.
This has only been highlighted further during the pandemic. Organisations with fully digitised processes - supported by on-demand, anywhere access to whatever information or content people needed – were able to spin out new use cases for that content on the fly.
For financial services teams specific challenges included approving loans, or processing insurance claims. For many design companies and manufacturers, there were issues progressing new product prototypes. For fashion brands and retailers, problems included how to refresh promotional campaigns to counter flagging sales if they were unable to readily create new visual assets such as photos, videos, and 3D models.
There was also a sense of increased urgency around transformation. Previously, companies looked at the content digitisation challenge as a means of continuous business differentiation. How could they pivot activities to respond to new opportunities and keep ahead of competitors and market disruptors with new and exciting propositions?
Low Code Development as an Innovation Enabler
It is in this context that low-code development has risen up the CxO agenda. This is about giving companies the ability to create and roll out new user experiences without having to engage in long development projects.
The idea of low-code is to make developers more efficient, by allowing them to re-use existing components and templates to speed up application delivery, drawing on vast libraries of proven constituent software assets. Rather than doing away with the need for developers (who are very much still needed to connect up different data sources, and so on), low-code allows IT teams to make smarter and more efficient use of their time and skills, accelerating the delivery of new functionality.
The realisation that this low-code development approach can be applied specifically to content-based applications is particularly interesting for organisations emerging from lockdown. Whereas it might have taken up to 12 months to create a new customer or supply-chain experience the traditional way, development teams with access to a low-code development platform for delivering new content-based services and experiences, can do so within just a few weeks.
Making More Strategic Use of your Content
Making content work harder requires that two fundamental conditions are fulfilled. First, existing information silos need to be bridged so that content can be unlocked and used in a range of new ways.
Second, content needs to be made ‘smarter’ so that it is easier to find, combine, analyse and act on. This involves using smart technologies (specifically AI/machine learning) to enrich the data about content, so that it can be found and exploited more readily.
The tools and computing power to discover more data about content are more widely accessible now than they have ever been. This makes it possible for businesses to quickly identify critical information and fresh insights, and expose these to knowledge workers - when, where and however they need them.
The first step in making progress towards all of this new digital agility is to establish a common foundation or ‘platform’ for all of the critical information the business wants to be able to exploit in new and better ways.
Next, teams need to be able to leverage the content in as short a timeframe as possible in new apps and services. That could be to extend access to that content for enhanced business continuity/flexible working purposes, and/or to differentiate the business and its products and services in new ways. It is here that a low-code content application development platform comes into its own, enabling companies to derive maximum value from content – efficiently and at speed.
Developing Applications at speed that transform services and user experiences
Low-code tooling means that organisations with innovative new ideas can pivot more quickly and take advantage of new capabilities more readily. It is the unique combination of core content management functionality and a low-code app development environment that makes this possible: this is what enables new agility and responsiveness to customer or business needs.
For a lot of companies, the building blocks for advanced content-based services like these already exist within the organisation – buried in filing cabinets and departmental document repositories. Innovation and improved operational efficiency start with unlocking that knowledge and making it more widely shareable. Advances in software development such as low-code help to transform how companies achieve that and turn existing and incoming information into something transformational – quickly, cost-effectively, and at low risk.
To learn more about low-code and content management, download our latest eBook ‘Low Code Development and its Role in High Speed Content-Based Services’.