2020 is a challenging year on many levels. A lot is also expected of CIOs this year. There is a lot of pressure on their shoulders, and not only because they are expected to actively contribute to an increasing business value. How do they ensure that they experience as few speed bumps as possible on their way to achieving this? In this overview, I share the three biggest challenges for CIOs and what they can do to minimize them.

1. Reducing, or eliminating, the technical debt

If there’s one word to describe the past ten years it would be ‘faster!’ The development times for new applications and technologies that are just now considered acceptable were unprecedented only a few years ago. But technical debt is lurking because companies want to move faster and faster. Technical debt refers to all the extra work that is created in the long term by choosing a solution that is easier to implement in the short term. The business is calling for speed, creating a diabolical dilemma. Do you opt for a perfect product or for a short time-to-market? And do you take into account the extra maintenance and continuous updates? Standardizing application development can help reduce technical debt. But that’s easier said than done. And who should take care of this? The CIO, of course.

2. Increasing the organisation’s competitive advantage and resilience

The pressure on CIOs to respond quickly to changes and new customer demands is immense. Slow services, performance issues, difficulties with data storage, difficult user experiences and outdated interfaces are all possible reasons for the loss of customers, reputation damage and revenue loss. CIOs know what it takes to become more agile and achieve better user experiences and stay ahead of the competition. Modern infrastructures and applications can be adapted quickly and provide agility and a competitive advantage. But it is difficult to write a business case for it when the C-suite focuses on reducing costs. CIOs must have a cost-effective way to achieve goals, but how?

3. Responding faster to new technology trends

New technologies are trend-sensitive, but not without reason. Microservices, for example, provide flexibility, faster time-to-market and easier management. The use of AI in applications creates new experiences, such as chatbots, augmented reality and voice. These technologies attract new customers and users. The Internet of Things generates usable data and offers the possibility to perform real-time analyses and better support decision making. The challenge here is to find or train developers who can develop intelligent apps and systems that not only grow the business but also deliver real return on investment. How do you ensure that these smart apps and user experiences see the light of day?

Three challenges for CIOs, one answer

Developing applications graphically, using a drag-and-drop interface and without writing thousands of lines of traditional code. It can be done with a low code development platform, and it would solve all of the mentioned challenges above. The use of low code reduces technical debt and makes the maintenance burden manageable. It also allows developers to develop faster, increasing productivity and speed. Low-code makes for a more agile organization without the CFO choking on costs. In addition, low-code allows new technologies to be easily incorporated into applications, including the best user experiences. In this way, the modern CIO can meet three challenges with one solution.

This is a contribution submitted by Willem van Enter, Vice President EMEA at OutSystems. Through this link, you will find more information about the possibilities of the company.