With digital transformation well under way at most organizations, business leaders have to empower their citizen developers to innovate and solve problems. That means allowing business users to create digital experiences, applications and services that make meaningful contributions to their company’s agility and ability to compete in dynamic markets.
Velocity and repeatability are essential. With the right resources in place, citizen developers can access exactly what they need to quickly develop applications that automate and improve their processes. Too often, organizations lack these resources.
The result is the untapped potential of citizen developers. When employees encounter inefficiencies in business processes, they don’t have a simple, proven way to solve them. There is no process in place to access the data or resources they need to come up with a custom solution. And they don’t have an easy, productive way to interact with business colleagues or professional developers to get a project off the ground.
These challenges aren’t insurmountable. They can be addressed with a digital experience platform that pulls all the relevant resources together to deliver a consistent, productive approach for citizen developers. Yet it’s not that simple! Such a platform must empower citizen developers to be autonomous in their endeavors, while ensuring IT governance is keeping the organization safe.
A digital experience platform enshrines a “governed” approach to building experiences, handling content and integrating with the company’s enterprise systems enables organizations to keep a handle on creativity and innovation when it comes to data projects and application development.
“Governed” means all the controls are in place to achieve compliance with privacy regulations and minimize security vulnerabilities that can unintentionally open the door to cyberattacks. These controls set the standards for the “who” and “what” of data: who can handle the data and what data can be collected.
Without governed processes that follow sound IT standards and best practices, companies may end up with chaotic, unsafe business operations. Instead of properly sanctioned citizen developers, an organization ends up with rogue developers and a shadow IT.
For instance, projects involving personal identifying information (PPI) may get under way without oversight from IT and compliance professionals, potentially opening the organization to regulatory trouble.
Or, for the sake of expediency — or to get around IT roadblocks — one team can take the initiative to procure a SaaS solution. This leads to the all-too-common issue of “shadow IT,” when computing resources become part of the environment without proper compliance, security, or validation by IT staff.
This creates friction. While the organization wants to empower its citizen developers (and the business as a whole), it doesn’t mean giving them carte blanche to use whatever digital tools they want. What’s the solution to turn this around? How does a company create a positive experience to unleash the collaborative and creative potential in citizen developers without running afoul of regulations or unintentionally inviting security breaches?
The Composition Platform
When citizen developers are autonomous, they can easily collaborate with professional developers when needed, and this encourages innovation. For that to happen, organizations should embrace the concept of a “composition platform.”
“This means implementing a digital experience platform that enables citizen developers to build what they need, including integrating third-party tools and services in minutes. The platform can harness the skills of business users and computing professionals so they can work together to solve business challenges and innovate.
With a composition platform, organizations avoid “vendor lock-in,” instead leveraging multiple options for mixing and matching tools that address current needs and anticipate future requirements.
Think of this as the “salad bar” approach to delivering solutions to business challenges using enterprise resources that are familiar with their business needs, goals and customers first-hand.
Salad bars always have lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other ingredients considered essential. The same goes for the composition platform; it includes basic building blocks such as personalization, content, assets, as well as various reusable components used in previous experiences that business users (citizen developers) can easily assemble in minutes.
As discussed in this video, the composition platform approach can make a big difference in a company’s agility and ability to innovate in order to solve business problems and seize market opportunities.
Instead of thinking about where your digital experience platform (DXP) should be headed or whether you should use a headless CMS or not, consider that HCL DX empowers a business-meaningful contribution to digitization transformation with real outcomes in days rather than weeks.
How? By giving an option of using the right tool and company resource — citizen and/or professional developer — to get the job done.
Learn more about a composable DXP and how it can help fit your organization’s needs by getting a free demo.