This week I read a great article from Jenna Sargent (here) on how low-code tools can be used to eliminate Shadow IT. The point was simple, if the IT department doesn’t provide individuals with the right tools they need, then traditionally we would have seen users searching for the right tool for themselves and using unsanctioned apps. This situation can lead to security, data leak, etc risks. The new model emerging is to facilitate users with low-code tools and say that if the current set of apps doesn’t give you the workflow that best fits your role, create your own.
This really is citizen empowerment - it enables today’s Generation Z digital-born workforce to add real value to their organisation.
Now before we get too caried away, let’s consider what we need in place to make this successful, as once you enable your users to open up Pandora’s box, you need to be confident that whatever they do isn’t going to compromise your organisation.
Two key things we need in place are democratised data and guardrails.
As part of your digital foundation, you will have unlocked your data. By this we mean that your data is no longer locked inside a database, only accessible to certain applications, or streaming from IoT devices and only fathomable to data scientists. Democratised data is unlocked, searchable, understandable and available to anyone, app or process. Having said that, not all data should be democratised, some data will be sensitive and will remain only accessible to those with the right authorisation. So, you will need to have classified your data to know what should be freely available and what should be restricted, with appropriate access privileges applied.
As for guardrails, you don’t want to curb the creativity of your workforce, so you need to setup policies that will automatically and seamlessly enforce appropriate governance or cadence and will scale with your low-code adoption. Here again, guardrails form part of your digital foundation, as these are things that you need embedded into the digital fabric of your organisation, so that they are automatically enabled and working in the background on every digital service, whether IT developed, or citizen developed.
So low-code workflow development could be the answer to solving Shadow IT. It could also be an unexpected route to finding new talent in your organisation. It is definitely a way to empower Generation Z within your organisation. But before you embark on this journey you need to ensure that you have digital foundations in place, making that the right data available to be leveraged and having guardrails are in place to protect your users, data and the organisation.
Logicalis can help. We have packaged solutions that we can rapidly deploy to give you the right digital foundations to let your users innovate, while giving you confidence that the right governance is in place. We can also get you started with the right set of low-code tools to start your journey to citizen empowerment. Connect with us at Logicalis to find out more.