As enterprise IT organizations have struggled to successfully achieve meaningful return on investment from systems development efforts, it has become more fashionable to look favorably upon the likely contribution that line of business (LOB) organizations and other silos within the business can make on these efforts. We think that a lot of the interest in the so-called bring your own device (BYOD) movement, as well as what is commonly referred to as the “consumerization of IT”, are, in fact, both examples of this trend towards considering an important role for LOB organizations in systems development.
In fact, enterprise IT organizations will benefit from a shift of some responsibility (as well as authority) over to LOB organizations in this type of activity. If a requirement is specified by one of these organizations, then it makes sense to provide the organization making the request with a seat within the team that will deliver the solution. After all, if the customer plays a directly role, then who can the customer blame should the final system not meet expectations.
Following this argument further, then one can understand why using no code process development platforms makes a lot of sense for enterprise business. Given the intensity of interest in business intelligence (BI) gathering, together with a matching expectation that automated tools (for enterprise resource planning, ERP, etc) empower users, successfully, to take action, rapidly, in response to changing business conditions, we think it makes sense for ISVs to think about coming to market with no code solutions.
Including citizen developers in the likely typical user mix, makes even more sense for ISVs. After all, these users will come from LOB organizations. Further, citizen developers tend to play important roles within business process management (BPM) operations. They may have a comparatively wider view of the set of factors that must be treated by an automated solution. Therefore, it makes sense to provide them with a role in the development effort.
We think that enterprise IT ISVs with workflow products should take the steps required to keep their offers from trending to commodity. Further, we think that it makes sense for these businesses to consider adopting a razorblade product development architecture (complete with durable and non durable features) for their offers. Recurring revenue is always an attractive model. Broadly speaking, providing a development platform to which different, LOB specific modules can be applied with an annual licensing charge may make sense.
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