A digital factory provides a professional framework for low-code in your company.

Has your organization already completed some successful projects with low-code? The next logical step to take, is to further professionalize the development and management of low-code applications within a digital factory.

 

Low-code is clearly gaining momentum. Through a platform like OutSystems, companies have the opportunity to cover their specific needs with custom software, but without the long lead times and high budgets traditionally associated with software development. When the first, cautious low-code projects prove a success, the time is ripe for the next step.

 

That step involves integrating the low-code platform into the company’s IT landscape. Part of this is ensuring that every new low-code application meets all the requirements in terms of security and authentication, for example, but also that it is quickly integrated into the broader application landscape of the company. After all, if low-code remains isolated on its own island, part of the added flexibility is lost.

 

Professional framework

Of course, it’s a good idea to start small with low-code. But once the experimental phase is over, it’s imperative to provide a professional framework. Don’t forget that low-code applications very often target large groups of users and rely on business-critical data. In short, step by step low-code applications are becoming a critical link in the IT landscape of companies.

 

At this point, it becomes important that you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture, especially the importance of governance. The low-code applications must not only be secure and scalable, there must also be clear agreements about their management, integration with other applications, and so on. In that context, it’s useful to expand the concept of the digital factory within the company.

 

All expertise in one team

The digital factory, or Center Of Excellence, comprises a group of employees who build the applications within the organization and make them available to the users in production. The team includes all kinds of profiles: project managers, analysts, UX and UI specialists, architects, delivery managers, product owners, test engineers, developers, and yes also a representative from the business side. The team has all the expertise needed to create a new application, from the initial idea suggested by someone in the business to the daily management of a completely finished application.

 

As the team — and by extension the company — gains experience with low-code, new roles will be added and the team’s expertise will only grow. This ensures that the processes within the digital factory become more mature, leading to greater efficiency, lower costs, faster development processes, less maintenance, and above all to more user-friendly applications and more satisfied users. This creates a cycle that further reinforces itself and will drive innovation and digital transformation.

 

Pragmatic approach

In practice we very often see that companies become acquainted with OutSystems by building two or three applications with a small team. Once they are convinced of the potential, they enlist our help to give concrete shape to their digital factory. Over the years we have helped multiple customers in setting up these digital factories, from a basic foundation towards a full blown digital enterprise setup. And always we have held tight to our credo “start small, grow big”.

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