CIOs: Empower new developers fast to address COVID-19 challenges

Low-code apps are a win-win for compliance and agility

CIOs may be overwhelmed by the requests to build solutions in the wake of COVID-19, as their organizations operate in new ways. However, there are now tools available for IT to relinquish some of the work hours required—but not the oversight necessary.

For example, Accelare, a ServiceNow partner, quickly configured an application to assist in the safe reopening of a city’s local restaurants. It enables restaurants to easily apply for a government health inspection, and then they are automatically assigned to a mobile field inspector via a backend workflow. Though originally aimed at restaurants, its configurable for a variety of return to workplace needs.

Digital solutions like this are possible because of low-code/no-code platforms (LCNC), which allow non-technical employees to build enterprise-grade applications with minimal programming effort or experience.

Though many clients began using LCNC as a temporary stopgap during the pandemic, its value is now skyrocketing as an alternative to traditionally slow, costly development processes.

[Read also: How low-code apps can help address racial and economic inequality

LCNC offers the agility needed today, when companies are desperate for digital workflow apps to maintain business continuity. But as much as organizations need these digital solutions, they also need them to meet enterprise standards for security and scalability. That’s what sets ServiceNow’s App Engine apart.

The App Engine lets non-expert developers use enterprise-grade, pre-built components to accelerate the programming process—a departure from typical app development that requires hand-coding from scratch. For example, the restaurant application reused common ServiceNow workflows, such as in the customer service management and field service management applications. The team simply reconfigured these existing technology stacks into a novel application.

Besides speed, the use of pre-built components allows for the existence of a new type of programmer: the citizen developer. What citizen developers lack in programming skills, they make up for in understanding their team’s or customer’s needs. The benefits are business resilience and agility—what every CIO needs to deliver today.