‘Beyond low code’ platform helps developers navigate application portfolio modernization

Adopting a software platform that enables fast and furious application development is key to increasing productivity in the digital economy. But the low code approach can lead to some unexpected cultural upsets in the workforce.

“To anybody who starts this [application portfolio modernization] journey, I would say: ‘Do not underestimate the psychological change that needs to happen in order to become efficient,’” said Mihai Strusievici (pictured), vice president of global information technology at Colliers International.

Strusievici spoke with Stu Miniman, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the NextStep 2020 event. They discussed the unexpected effects from Collier’s adoption of the OutSystems Inc. “beyond low code platform.” (* Disclosure below.)

People need time to adapt

Colliers’ is an international real estate firm employing over 18,000 professionals across 68 countries. As head of global IT, Strusievici led the company’s digital transformation, adopting application development platform provider OutSystems’ platform to speed Collier’s internal application development and deployment. The journey was completed successfully, but not without some speed bumps.

“If you are in a typical North American organization where people matter … you can’t just be some kind of a dictatorial leader,” Strusievici stated. “You have to give yourself time, because people need to understand the benefits of the platform.”

Grossly underestimating the resistance to change inside of IT was one thing Strusievici regrets, as some of Colliers’ developers couldn’t accept the a low-code concept and ended up leaving the company. “You still need to be a great developer to be able to deliver great applications in low code,” he said. “It doesn’t diminish anybody’s value in the market. It’s just a different way that’s going to make the developer community more productive.”

Flipping the traditional concept of business waiting on IT to respond was another unexpected effect of the higher productivity levels. Unfortunately, this made the business department uncomfortable. “It was perceived that you’re putting a lot of pressure on me right now,” Strusievici said. “Well, yeah, but you know what; if you want me to be fast, you need to respond fast.”

Dead time was the unfortunate and unexpected result of having to wait on business response. While there was plenty to do paying off technical debt built in previous agile cycles, he would have preferred to have anticipated both the psychological effect on employees and the speed at which business could respond to IT questions.

“When you’re developing on this higher productivity platform, it’s something you need to keep in mind,” he said.

In the end, all was well, with the platform increasing Colliers’ IT department productivity from zero builds in the years spent maintaining legacy applications to 19 new application deployments in the past 18 months.

“Eventually, everybody is generally happier,” Strusievici  concluded.  

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the NextStep 2020 event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for NextStep 2020. Neither OutSystems Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

A message from John Furrier, co-founder of SiliconANGLE:

Show your support for our mission by joining our Cube Club and Cube Event Community of experts. Join the community that includes Amazon Web Services and Amazon.com CEO Andy Jassy, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger and many more luminaries and experts.

Join Our Community 

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.

“TheCUBE is part of re:Invent, you know, you guys really are a part of the event and we really appreciate your coming here and I know people appreciate the content you create as well” – Andy Jassy

We really want to hear from you, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at the event and in theCUBE Club.

Click here to join the free and open Startup Showcase event.