Accelerate Digital Transformation with Low Code
VP, Principal Analyst
Forrester Research Inc.
VP & Global Business Head, Infosys Digital Experience,
VP & Head of Products and Solutions
Alex De Capitani
Senior Director- Enterprise Sales, Americas
The business landscape is constantly evolving, forcing enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives to remain relevant and future-ready. But how can organizations enable this?
Low code is the answer.
Join our panelists from Infosys, Forrester, and Newgen as they share their insights and experiences on the importance of low code for accelerating digital transformation initiatives.
- Evolution of low code platforms in the last 2-3 years
- Key ingredients of a low code platform
- Recommendations for leaders to choose the right technology
- Measuring the success of a modern low code platform implementation
- Next steps
Alex de Capitani:
Hello, and welcome to the panel discussion, Accelerate Digital Transformation with Low Code. I’m Alex de Capitani, Senior Director for Enterprise Sales for the Americas for Newgen Software, and I shall be your host and the moderator for this webinar. I thank you all for making the time to join us today. The response has been overwhelming and we are excited to talk about why low-code is imperative now for accelerating your digital initiatives. Let me begin by introducing our esteemed panelists and I’ll have them introduce themselves. Uday, why don’t we start with you?
Thanks Alex. Hi everyone. My name is Uday Kotla and I lead the Digital Experience Practice in the markets for Infosys. And I’m based over in Dallas, glad to be here and looking forward to this discussion and share some of our experience from the past.
Alex de Capitani:
Thank you, Uday. Rob?
Hi, I’m Rob Koplowitz. I’m a Vice President and Principal Analyst with Forrester Research. My research focuses mainly on an area that we call Digital Process Automation, which is a combination of workflow and low-code. And I also spend a fair amount of time focusing on process optimization tools in order to drive a pipeline for process automation.
Alex de Capitani:
Thank you for being with us today Rob. Anurag?
Hey, hi. I’m Anurag Shah. I’m the Vice President and Head of the Products and Solutions for our America’s GEOS. It includes US, Canada, Caribbean, South and Central America, Spanish speaking and Brazil. So, happy to be here.
Alex de Capitani:
Thank you, Anurag. So digital transformation offers an opportunity for every industry and business to thrive. Change is happening rapidly today, pushing enterprises to seek, embrace and effectively manage digital transformation. But the reality is that most of these efforts struggle to succeed. A McKinsey research report indicated less than 30% of organizations were able to achieve their stated objectives as they embarked on transformation efforts. Kind of sobering. How do we address this? Is low-code the answer? And with that, let’s start the discussion. Let me start by posing a few questions to the panelists. How have you seen the definition of low-code evolving in the last two or three years? Rob, I’d love to get your take?
Well there’s a few things that have happened here Alex. First off, I would say that the definition has been relatively consistent. These are tools that allow you to build applications of varying types without the use of code. Without a degree in computer science, if you will, in a more declarative way. So it opens up the aperture of who can become a developer and it does it significantly. Now, I think it’s been, we certify everything. So we used to talk about low-code applications, other low-code, business intelligence, or low code contents intelligence. And what’s critical here is, during the course of today’s conversation, we’re going to be talking about low code for general use applications, which is where it’s all began. So rather than the definition, I think there’s a couple things we could focus on around the characteristics of low-code and how they’ve changed within that context.
And the first thing I think that’s really important to note is it’s become mainstream, right? These are no longer things that are being used in niches here and there within an organization, they’re being embraced, they’re proving themselves. And one of the ways in which they’re proving themselves is they’re proving themselves to be very, very effective at mission critical applications. And I think that was probably really proven out through COVID, where we saw a whole bunch of applications, including New Gen’s PPP loan application here in North America, that was rolled out very widely and allowed people to very, very quickly roll out applications that could handle very mission critical loan processes in the midst of COVID. So this mission criticality I think is a very important distinction, a very important characteristic that’s emerging. And then I think the other piece that’s a characteristic, is this kind of bifurcation between low-code and a no-code.
So we’re starting to see tools that are being built that allow low-code for professional developers to build very quickly. In some instances, citizen developers, being able to come in and use these tools. And there’s no code, a class of applications that’s actually designed and aimed at these business developers. The last piece I would point to just around the characteristics, and we’ll talk to this more during the course of the conversation today, is the functional characteristics. And one of the things I think that’s worth pointing out is the area, which we would call digital process automation, process applications, case management applications, workflow type applications, these types of functional areas are becoming critical to low-code platforms. So there’s a lot of change. Definition’s been fairly static, but the characteristics of what constitutes low code have shifted dramatically.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. Interesting. Uday, your thoughts?
Sure. Here’s my point of view, right? For ages, even more than decades, our marketing organizations who work on their initiatives, especially initiatives, have always tended lead away from their internal IT and go to lean on external IT. And even SAS platforms in the last 10 years or so. This was done, essentially, to take control into their own hands. It was out of frustration that the IT is not responding to their end customer business needs. And this lack of IT agility led them going rogue, I guess, right? And shadow IT. Now, not all of that needs can be addressed by a local platform, but there’s this element of challenge of the agility of the IT organization that respond to business, have made this low-code platforms evolve into giving some elements of control to, and tool sets to this audience.
And hence the adoption of the certain developers kind of saying, “Hey, by the way, let me see with the madness going on, how I can help in this process.” And the maturity of the products which started primarily with configuration, visual rules and workflows. Now they have broader capabilities of doing designing data models, designing UI responses, some quite, I would say more maturity on the UI engineering side of things. And apart from that it’s no longer the low hanging just automation, the companies that are trying to achieve, there’s a significant amount of UML powered automation, deep insights, and the products have matured quite a bit. Even in the enterprise platform space like Salesforce and ServiceNow are stepping in to address the space.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. Interesting. Anurag?
Yeah. I mean, well, if we just take a little bit of a view beyond last two, three years. I mean, it all started from what used to be called business process management. And then it started calling itself intelligent business process management, and now we are calling it low-code, no-code, and all of those things. You know? So if you see here, several of these leading technologies are now being stitched into what we are calling a low-code development suite, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision,[inaudible] content intelligence, you name, there are several ones which are now getting stitched.
However, what I see here is that these tools, each one of these AIML and all of these RPA, NLP, all of these individually may be best in what they’re intended to do, but the overall hyper automation cannot just be accomplished by stacking these tools together, stacking these technologies together. So these may help you accomplish your automation goals in a local scope, but the key is to tie them into their end to end process. Rob talked about functional areas, mission critical processes and business. So how do you tie it end to end in your processes? And then obviously the intent is to deliver that great customer experience and with the speed. So those are the things I think low code evolution has brought us to where we are today.
Alex de Capitani:
Makes a lot of sense. And so I’m curious for the group, how does a low-code platform help in digital transformation? Uday?
So if you look at a digital transformation, the fundamental crux of that or the grounding principles or the platform it relies upon is customer experience transformation. Apart from some of the mid office digital transformations. And also as we go from the customer experience, it goes all the way from channel strategy, orchestrational business processes, event processing, very complex event processing, as things have progressed back office and workflows and eventually business process management. That’s what all of these things, low-code, brings to the table. And this element of digital transformations, we have seen the market, which award from customer experience now with some of the low-code platforms, have significant amount of richness in UI capabilities, unlike before, which was non-existent. So if you have some elemental needs, you do not have to have an entire SI organization and a complex IT organization from all channels to come to help you.
In addition, we started seeing huge workforce shortage, right? Now, if you just go back to the pandemic, very twofold problem. The first one being, this business rapidly, adopting digital initiatives, this purpose, this status payment, curbside pickup. Now, when the business realized the importance of digital transformation, especially in pandemic, they kind of exponentially doubled down on that, on the initiatives. And similarly, we have this huge workforce shortage problem, right? Which kind of amplified that and became a perfect storm. This essentially helped an option of accepting that, “Hey, by the way, let me go back and look at tool sets”. And the local platforms were already maturing as we had spoken about, right? In all of the discussions in the last few minutes. There’s a maturity of these low-code platforms. There is this entire need, exponential need of digital initiatives, rapidly, with speed and agility to get to market.
And the perfect storm was the lack of IT force. We have seen this happen with the talent war and with that severe shot of distance force organizations accepted it. And now with the tool sets, which these platforms have built, not just an element of automation, but AI ML driven automation, an element of having significant amount of UI midstream capabilities, back office capabilities. It accelerated them. And if not for this LC and C initiatives, I don’t think businesses would have been able to adopt and manage the business they had to handle in the last few years in the madness of this transformation initiatives.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. Interesting. Rob, what is your thoughts?
I think they’re quite similar to Uday’s and so I’m going to build on some of the thoughts Uday presented here, but, when we looked at that McKinsey study that you referenced Alex and we also had a similar study at Forrester which had a remarkably similar conclusion of about 70% failure rate of these digital transformation projects, we started to dig into, well, what’s really going on? And we came up with this term, the digital illusion, we didn’t actually come up with it. One of our interviews in the topic, and we stole it. The term digital illusion refers to the fact that so many digital transformation projects were focused on the front end. You brought in the agency, the agency built a really slick mobile application, or they built a really slick web application. And then when you had a longer running process, what happened was it hit these manual wait states, because all of the operational things that were going on in the background were still largely manual.
They weren’t tuned for this entirely digital experience. And then going back to one of the other comments we heard earlier was just, or I think Uday made, there’s just a fundamental lack of developers. So you look at the sheer magnitude of what you have to develop and it’s massive. You want to digitize all of the operational processes that could be exposed to your customers, your patients, your citizens, and it is a massive initiative. And if we look at US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is a reasonable proxy for the world, 10 million developers short in the next 10 years. You aren’t going to get there. So you have two things that are incredibly important. One is, a massive amount of development that has to be done, and it has to be done quickly. So how do you do it?
Well you develop with tools that allow you to develop more quickly and develop more and more quickly. But probably just as important is you bring these tools closer to your business who understands the challenges and understands how to digitize the day to day operations. You cannot drive it from a top down IT approach. You have to get this development process closer to the business and closer to everybody in the business. So, we think it’s incredibly important. We put this stake in the ground a number of years ago, and we think that this is really coming to play in the market today.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. And Anurag, you live this every day. I’d love your perspective.
Yeah. I mean, well they talked about adoption and various aspects of it. Rob talked toward digital illusion. So I’ll maybe attempt this one from a business use case perspective. So let me see. Like I said earlier, right? I mean, there are these leading technologies which are being stitched together. However, the true transformation in digital terms, it is only achieved when these are used in the context of the business and the context of the engagement. Engagement especially with the, not only customers, but also your internal organizational employees. Let’s take an example there, for example, I mean, there are number of documents. There are number of types of documents, formats, which are used and processed across your departments, across different line of businesses. It could be orders. It could be enrollments. Claim forms, legal documents, mail room contracts, correspondences, and so on and so forth.
The list goes on. So when we look at the technologies like AI and ML, which, and then we want to employ such technologies to auto classify these documents, auto classify this content, auto index these, infuse those intelligence in the content, and then serve that intelligent output to your employees, who are in turn servicing your customers. So today, I mean, if I have to take a different look at it today, I probably will not have to look at my email or the documents to just know the content or the context. I can train my AI ML service to do that for me.
For example, let’s say for tax return is submitted via email or a portal, and there is a loan already in the process in a financial institution. Not only the document is identified as a tax return, but it is also tagged with the respective loan transaction and presented straight to the underwriter of the credit. So those are the areas from the business perspective. If we see from the use case perspective, if we see which are helping transform this entire digital or digitalization. I mean, I’m looking at it from that perspective.
Alex de Capitani:
Yeah. Interesting. Interesting. And you know, this term low-code, it’s got a lot of buzz, and then there are a lot of tools out there which are classifying themselves as low-code. But what are the ingredients of a complete low-code platform? What are the things that differentiate the top technologies out there in this space? Rob, love your opinion here?
Well, we discussed the fact that these are being used increasingly for mission critical type of applications. We’ve discussed the need for speed, agility, adaptability, to happen very quickly. So then you have to sort of then map that to what are the functional characteristics of a low-code application, again, that you would use for general business use. For building general business applications. And we’ve had a number of comments about this from the different panelists, but it’s broad, right? So if we think about it from how Forrester would think about it, for example, we would do a wave process and say, “What are all the elements of what we would call a low-code process automation platform?” And let’s kind of think about this in terms of a customer experience, right? So a customer is coming in, they’re doing business with your company.
There are new requirements for how you interact with customers. You might need voice or chat interaction capabilities. So the ability to have chat functions, or voice functions. The ability to have natural language processing, natural language generation. These things should not be bolted on. These things should be part of how I can address the platform. I bring it in. I’m doing, to Anurag’s earlier example, I’m in a claims or loans processing environment, and there’s paper that’s going to come in. And that paper’s going to be scanned, then I have to intelligently identify and digitize that with as little human input as possible, and have that be a digital asset that I can use within the overall workflow within the overall process. So we’ve got content intelligence capabilities. We may need to then route things based upon certain very complex conditional logic.
We’re going to route this to a customer service manager for assignment. We need to understand things like skills. We need to understand things like region. We need to understand things like regulatory capabilities. This conditional logic can become very, very sophisticated. Well, we’re going to need rules and conditional logic and potentially AI assisted decisioning as a result of this. We have content things that we have to dispose of. We have to actually make sure that they’re managed and archived in a consistent way. Of course, we’re going to need RPA. There are steps that are going to be task oriented and we’re going to need to have the ability to bring those in line seamlessly, or perhaps there’s no API. So RPA is the only way I can get to it. We have integration capabilities into any one of a number of backend systems.
And then of course, we have a development environment. You have to build the applications. You have to build the workflow. You have to build the process model. It may have ad hoc capabilities that are more case management focused. So I think our audience, their eyeballs are probably bleeding at this point from this massive laundry list of things that we’ve brought to bear. And then the emerging things like AI capabilities, that should be general as well as very prescriptive. So what do we look at when you look at a low-code platform and this huge laundry list of things? What I want to avoid on behalf of my clients, is I don’t want them going out and finding best of breed capabilities and then stitching them together, becoming essentially the integrator, because what happens when things change, which they change rapidly and increasingly significantly, is I don’t want them to have to unwind all of that.
I want them to be very agile and adaptable in moving forward when requirements change. And it requires a heterogeneous technology landscape. I want the vendor to be in the position of providing that for me. So from a wave perspective, I would look and say, “Do you do all of the things that I just mentioned here? And to the extent that you don’t, do you handle the integration for me so that I’m not becoming the integrator and I lose agility when things change?” So it’s large, it’s complicated. And it’s really designed to handle very, very sophisticated applications. And again, going back to that comment, these are mission critical applications that are being deployed here. So they need to be able to handle a wide array of technologies. Oh, one more thing. They’re still humans, right? So not only do we have to handle heterogeneous technologies in line in a process and be able to manage that from end to end, we have to be able to manage the human states as well, which is certainly nontrivial as well.
Alex de Capitani:
Anurag. Your thoughts?
Yeah. Rob touched upon all, each and every aspect of it. Rob called it a laundry list. I mean, we have talked about all of those AI ML RPN NLP computer reasons, so on and so forth. But what I want to add onto, I of course, echo everything what Rob said. I just wanted to add a couple of things there that these laundry lists, these all technologies, are only effective if you include those three most integral ingredients of your business. So we are talking about integral ingredients of low-code, but let’s look at what are those ingredients of the business which typically demand all of these. And we have been talking about these since decades, at least a couple of decades. The process, the content and the communication. So all of these technology tools, these must be utilized for intelligently automating each one of these three aspects.
So if we talk about, let’s say intelligent automation tools, like computer vision. So these will be used widely and deeply in, Rob touched upon it, mission critical industry applications. For example, let’s say in an invoice processing, in a shared service center. To move the operation towards the straight through processing, towards the low touch and no touch processing of the invoices. Again, Rob talked about the chatbots, cognitive agents. These are going to take over your regular and repeated requests management in the contact center, in the call center. Additionally, these will also guide your customers in filling the application forms online or on their smart devices, on their smart device apps. Biometrics will ensure the security and privacy by complying with your industry or regulations such as banking, financial services, healthcare, insurance.
If you look at the content, it has always been, and it’ll always be, integral to any business. Rob talked about paper coming in for claims and scanning it. And so it is only changing the shape and form from the time to time. Today in the post pandemic and the decade of 2020s, it is less of paper, probably less of paper, more of electronic, but it is still the content facts, email, and going forward, maybe today we are on a Zoom video call. There may be audio meetings, video meetings, within the enterprise, within the business meetings. How are you going to assist those kind of contents in the context of the relevant business process?
Those are going to be instrumental in delivering that wow factor, wow customer experience, and in turn equivalent employee experience for your internal organization. So these content services embedded in the platform without having to struggle integrating those disparate products will be the way to go. The last but not the least, the customer engagement. Those are going to be driven by your communication tools. So I talked about process content, and this is the last piece. And these communication tools in the preference of your customer’s print, email, web portal, smart devices, social… Whatever way they’re interacting with you. The customer communication management integrated within your local platform is going to play a vital role in delivering that last mile customer experience. And I look at it from that perspective.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. Thank you Anurag. This is an important question, and I’m eager to hear your responses. There’s this notion that low-code is suited for, well suited for citizen developers. Is this fact or a myth? If not citizen developers, what is the role of the business and how do we bring them in? Let’s start with Rob. I’d love to hear your take?
So let’s start with the comment that these are only for citizen developers, and I’ll use one of my favorite words here, that is poppycock. We have been tracking the role of professional developers using low-code tools now for quite a number of years. And we’re up around well into the high 30% of professional developers, people who are trained developers, who are embracing low-code as a development environment. So it’s completely not true that these things are just for citizen developers. They’re being used by professional developers to develop more quickly. Now, we have found that there are certain characteristics of these professional developers. They tend to be closer to the business. They tend to be maybe in IT, but embedded in the business and focused on solving specific business problems. Which means if they want to get these things done very quickly, they’re not being judged by the number of lines of code they wrote, they’re being judged by business outcomes in terms of their goals and objectives.
So professional developers are using these things and they’re using them heavily. And then we also have this other class of developers, which are folks who become developers, because they have a deep, deep knowledge of the business. And they dedicate themselves to learning a tool. And they may not be professional developers, but they can learn these tools and they can learn them very, very well and build these very sophisticated applications. This class of developer is becoming very common as well. Pretty technical people that dedicate themselves to being developers. It widens the aperture. It gives us more developers that we can tap into. As for the role of the citizen developer, it is emerging. And I think it’s emerging very quickly. A lot of organizations that we work with are trying to figure out how to spin up these citizen development programs.
It’s not necessarily easy. There’s a lot you have to put in place in terms of governance, in terms of training, in terms of change management. But when you tap into it can be very, very powerful. But even if you don’t go that far, even if you simply say, “We are going to keep this in the hands of dedicated developers, pro developers or not”, the role of the business changes and it changes very, very dramatically. And the way it changes is that these tools bring the business closer. If you think about the roots of BPM, it starts with process mapping. Something that a business person can understand in terms of the flow of an application. They don’t have to dig into code in order to do that. So this is very much a part of BPM forever.
But now we have prototyping tools. We have form building tools. We have things that the users can actually put their fingers on and say, this is what it looks like. This is how it needs to work in order to work within my part of the organization, in order to solve my business problem. And you have very, very rapid iteration. So no, not like that. We’re not going to do huge requirements gathering and make this big bang release. And you say, “Eh, it gets about half of what I need”. Very rapid iteration because the developers can work very quickly with the business in changing the application, in updating it, changing it for different business requirements, different needs. So it completely changes the dynamic between development and the business even if you don’t go all the way to citizen development, but we think many organizations over time will.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. Interesting. Anurag, your experience?
Well, I mean, yes, I mean, a typical notion is that the citizen developers are going to utilize the low-code for departmental and simple to medium complex information process. And then there are these professionals, developers who are going to combine several of these tools and technologies to deliver those again, mission critical and complex business automation solutions. So if we see, I mean, while local platforms are going to dominate the software development, it will especially be for those business facing applications and business facing processes. Again, from the business perspective, I’m bringing these from, from the business side of it. So, it is not only because of low-code, it is because it allows those business people, who we may be calling our citizen developers, but I’m calling them a business people, it is allowing them to actively participate into development of those business applications.
And the local platform, it enables these business people to collaborate with the professional developers, without them having to learn those programming and scripting and those development languages. We will see. I mean, the professional developers are going to delegate certain business logic concerning part of the application to these business champions, these business people. And they are going to do those through tools like Rules Engine, which takes near English inputs from these business people to collaborate and to contribute in those things. For example, let’s say an underwriter in an insurance industry can configure those hundreds of rules on medical, non-medical, several parameters for life and NUT policy. They can configure those risk, this pricing for those innumerable permutations and combinations of probability of those, including those economic parameters.
So there will be, if we take these kind of scenarios, what we are trying to achieve is to avoid those loss of transmission, avoid those Chinese whisper from business to IT. That’s what we want to achieve. Are we calling them citizen developers? Maybe. So if you see more and more of such tools, the AI, the ML, the Rules Engine, the digital sensing, social networking, these are going to come more and more and continuously these are going to come. And this is going to shape the course of the software development in the future. It is no more, it is not going to be those nineties and 2000, years of 2000 decade, when the developers were writing those intelligent functions and libraries to achieve certain automation goals. But now those all will be done using these tools, providing these intelligent functions and libraries, and the key will be to bring, again, those business people intrinsically in the development of the business applications for a quick delivery.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting, interesting. Uday, your experience here?
I was kind of intensely listening to Rob and as Rob had rightfully mentioned to begin with, I think it’s just people getting carried away in terms of how low-code platforms evolved and how one thing led to another. And now the concept of citizen developers has started and people are losing sight of how it all started to begin with. I mean, you can call it low-code, no-code or low-code or no-code, or a combination of both, but if you fundamentally go back and even look at platforms or tool sets even built 10 years ago, they were built essentially with gooey or [inaudible] centric approach. And that was pretty much only used by IT then. So clearly it’s a myth and people not realizing the evolution of IT over the past one to two decades that we have seen, who tend to see the last three to four years of power platform development and have concluded that way.
Having said that, we should go back and see, go back to the fundamental question you asked, which is the second part. If not citizen developers, what is the role of business? Right? When should we bring them in? And this, again, goes back to traditional IT systems we used to build. And this makes all of us feel quite old when I answer this question, we had this concept of waterfall development. So we used to sit with business, spend 4 to 5, 6, 8 months, depends on what complex system you’re trying to build, extrapolate all their thought process on business. What are the rules of business? And you go build the systems which come to evolution maybe a year and a half late later. Number one, clearly business is not going to be stagnant. And as it progressed to the last few years, it’s much more robust.
So the whole waterfall development went into agile development and this DevOps processes, all of it has been done. But what fundamentally cannot change is the fact that business, evolution of business, especially in the last three, four years, it needs an agility. There will be changes. And all of these things you build, it goes back into a quick an element of, I want to change something, which in fact, I built only two months ago.
Alex de Capitani:
And if you go back and say, “Oh, by the way, let’s go take four more months, three more months”, it’s a deal breaker. No one is going to now sit back and say, I’m going to wait and give you two months to change a field, change a business process, or a workflow logic, or introduce additional fields in what the form capture was doing, right? In this automation. So this is the reason where along with the fact that the maturity of these platforms are coming in, that you want to engage these business users as citizen developers, so that they’re not only just taking the low hanging fruit, but these are the people in their minds don’t know what they want. And once you bring this tool set to them, and the fact that they can build this rules within their flexibility, and obviously the complex code comes in, you’ll get the mainstream developers. But I essentially feel that the aspect of business that sits in the head, they know how to compose and the complexity of these use cases as much articulation they can do and hand off in IT will never be successful. Right?
But, and a final note, we all know we are short of additional workforce and this evolution as we are speaking for the last 15, 20 minutes, is that you have to give some control to them. There is a reason to give control, not just for the fact of there’s the agility needed, but the fact that they know business as they’re business users, and if they have the tool sets to do their job, why not? But fundamentally there also should be a balance, right? And the balance is about accepting, the organizations accepting this shift and bringing some governance in where the business users going to citizen developers, or maybe business only, and a set of people who are tech savvy business users, who are citizenship developers and the mature IT workforce, and an entire platform, which is giving governance in some element of construct to it. All of this will be coexisting. And that’s the only way to go and build this platform for the future.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. Thank you. So every organization has things that are common and need to be automated for a seamless customer journey. Content, communications, and processes. What recommendations do you have for leaders in choosing the right technology for such business transformations? Anurag, your take?
Well, I mean, so let me see. You need a technology platform that I would say manages five key aspects. I would classify into five. Number one, it must be able to manage your business complexity. No matter how much we say that the business is simple, line of business is simple, look at a lending operation, look at insurance claims, or services, or policy issuance, or shared service operations. You name anyone in any industry, healthcare, the businesses are inherently complex. And the reason why they’re complex is again, that brings me to my second aspect, which is the data which is scattered across your enterprise. Tens and tens and hundreds of applications, databases, file stores, content. So how are you going to access these enterprise wide scattered data? Which brings to the third point, which is when you are doing the, we are talking about low-code, no-code application and development suite. So the reason why we are talking is to rapidly develop those applications required for the business. And when we look at developing these applications, these are for those complex business processes.
These are to include those scattered data and information across your enterprises. So how do you do that? That brings to the fourth aspect, which is integration with all of your business applications, backend applications, data repositories, databases, content repositories, and all of those things. And all of these four aspects to do what ultimately? Which is my fifth aspect, which is the customer experience. You are trying to deliver that customer experience by using all of these things. So if we see where these digital transformation is headed from about, let’s say half a decade ago, if we just take that view, it has moved from what we call those traditional management of content, business processes and communication, to what we are now calling modern platform, local platform.
So the focus has shifted from just managing the content to a pervasive utilization of the content in your enterprise. The human interventions have given way to the technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning. So these AI ML powered cognitive services. Mostly what used to be paper based documents have transformed those into different shapes of the content, email, social, audio, video, electronic documents, and those things getting generated from your business applications. And those internal workflows, which used to be linear, those have now become more and more collaborative. It is extending your enterprise to include your external participants, not only the customers, but your partners, your service providers. In different industries there are different ways, different kinds of those like producers and agents and insurance. The brokers and dealers. Brokers in financial services and dealers in Auto industry, and so on and so forth.
And if you look at all of these content and data, those have, again, moved from your single, what used to be single cohesive repository, those have now started looking at large scale, but federated repositories. There are no more one place where everything resides. Every department, every line of business, every business and applications are having their own depositories. But the key is how you are going to crawl into all of those to get what you want. From the architecture standpoint, from monolithic and self-contained architecture, these have evolved into what we are seeing modular and more service based architecture. And of course from On-Prem we are all moving to the Cloud. So those are the things that I see how it is shaping up today.
Alex de Capitani:
Uday, how do you think about this?
See, organizations use these platforms, low-code, no-code, platforms, and other platforms out there, for transforming essentially their business processes, right? Especially in enterprise scenarios with various degrees of complexity in their business process. Having entire process life cycle with complex and diverse content types has significant amount of interactions with the stakeholders, right? It’s not just one stakeholder. In fact, as that process evolves, there’s multiple, I would say actors in this mix. Having an integrated solution that lets you process and build this orchestration is quite key and gives you significant acceleration in this digital transformation shares. And organization consider saying, what all components and tool sets I need to make this happen? Newgen is a fantastic platform, right? And one of the reasons I think, there are other few, one or two others out there, which kind of have a persona of Newgen among many fold of others, which may not fit in.
But the part which really helps is you tend to look at low-code, no-code. Some of the low-code, no-code providers are, “Hey, it’s a workflow engine I have given you”, right? It’s a workflow engine by itself. But then it does not address the fact that there’s content which has to be compiled with that intent. And then you have to assemble that content and then have a communication to a customer with that. Now, what would you do? Would you buy a low-code, no-code platform with just content capabilities? Would you go then buy a fantastic low-code, no-code very robust platform with great workflow capabilities? And then, again, it becomes a herculean task of stitching all these multiple low-code, no-code platforms. So it’s very important and very fundamental for us to understand the fact that process automation comes with quite a bit of collaboration. The customer journeys come with quite a bit of commerce.
For example, let’s say you are a person at an airlines, at United, and the customer contact, again, when I give those names, I just want to make sure it’s a full disclosure, this is no reference to that examples I’m giving as that our customers, not have any mentioning any things we are doing in the market. It’s just hypothetical scenarios, right? So your contact center for an airlines or telecom customer. When that person calls in, now, it is about understanding the intent of that customer journey, his browsing, a set of products maybe, and he is not able to take that decision.
That low-code, no-code platform at that instance have to figure out, in the past, what did this person really look for? What is a content which is more applicable for this person? At that instance, which workflow back office process, which fits into this and how can I engage and communicate with this person, even if he leaves this website with a campaign, right? So all of these tool sets come into play, including commerce. I mean, I know you mentioned content communication, but the commerce element is also at play. And a tool set, which provides maturity to various degrees in all of these aspects is quite key in choosing the right technology.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting, interesting. Rob, what would be your recommendations?
Well, okay. The first thing I’d say is it’s very hard to follow an Anurag and Uday on those questions, because they were very comprehensive and they hit on, I think all of the important points that the audience should be thinking about. So I’m going to take this in a slightly different direction and focus on the process element of this and the fact that when you are going to actually think about redefining re-engineering your organization, that there probably needs to be a fundamental focus on process that I think we’ve lost of late. And I think that we do that in the context of what process looks like in the context of the new automation experience, the new automation capabilities that we have available to us. So, what I would want to bring up to the audience is, you have great technologies, you have great tools available to you.
And when you’re talking about all of these different elements coming together, obviously you need to have some diligence to make sure that the solution does what you needed it to do, and then you need to then apply that to your business. So the business people that are going to be involved in this, your process professionals, your automation professionals, your executives, need to have a really, really strong understanding about how process is going to be fundamentally redefined. And place probably a significant diligence on process optimization in advance of actually taking on the automation imperative that we’re all being faced with. And it’s a different softer skill than what we’re talking about. But I think this concept of what we at Forrester are calling, the citizen process expert, that’s emerging, we think this is an incredibly important element of these strategies being successful.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting, interesting. And just given your background and experience, Bob, I really, I have a question just for you that I’d love your perspective and insight on. How do you measure the success of a modern low-code platform? What are the metrics that you think about?
Well, that is the great question, isn’t it? So, let’s maybe take a step back and look at what folks are trying to achieve from kind of a data perspective. What are they trying to get out of process optimization efforts? And Forrester’s been running a survey now for, gosh, I think we’re up to our sixth iteration of this that’s about to come out. It’s been going on for about five years. And if we ask people, what is the primary focus? What are you trying to achieve now? 32% will say that they’re attempting to support their digital transformation efforts. And another 25% will say that they’re looking to improve customer experience, customer being a proxy for patient and employee and citizens as well. If we ask them to project two years out, 37% are primarily focused on digital transformation and 32% are focused on customer experience.
That’s 69% that have very strategic business objectives associated with their process optimization efforts. What you’ll notice is that we did not hear cost reduction. We did not hear regulatory compliance. We did not hear some of the things that were formally the drivers of that. So how do you then calibrate measuring success? Well, so number one, it becomes harder, right? And I’m going to talk about cost reduction in just a moment, but this is harder than cost reduction, which we’ve gotten very, very good at. But you’re working with different stakeholders for customer experience. For example, you’re working with different stakeholders for thinking about digital transformation. What are your strategic objectives as an organization? I work with an insurance company very closely and they were focused on cost reduction, then they began to focus on straight through processing for customer onboarding.
And so the new services that they’re bringing out had to have 80% of all customers onboarded come through, straight through, without having to have a human intervene in the onboarding process. That’s a business objective, a strategic business objective, that I can understand. It supports business transformation. It supports customer experience. We’re starting to see things like infusion directly into the process, into the process analytics of things like net promoter scores. Is it not only bringing on more customers, but is it doing it more effectively so that we start to see higher levels of satisfaction among our customers? These ,again, are softer benefits than we see normally. But do these things mean that we’re not measuring things like cost reduction? That we’re not measuring things like regulatory compliance? Just because we’ve taken these up to these more strategic objectives. And the answer is no, right?
So if we ask people, if that was their primary objectives, if we ask them all the things they’re measuring, they’re still measuring cost reduction as a result of process optimization. They still want to have less people developing these applications, less time for these processes to execute and it’s in the 70% range. And they’re measuring it. They’re measuring it very effectively. We’re very good at measuring how long it takes a process to execute. We’re very good at measuring the resources associated with executing that. Still important, but it becomes a byproduct of measuring it.
We’re primarily focused on these strategic business objectives. We’re getting cost benefits as a result of that as well. And then there’s just the sheer cost and complexity of building the software. This is where a lot of people focus. Can we build more software, more quickly? I would ask you to think about this in terms of agility and adaptability, and being able to serve the business needs, as opposed to simply how many applications you can crank out. But being able to build applications more quickly and at lower cost, that is a huge benefit and a very, very significant benefit.
Maybe the last one I’ll touch on is just this regulatory compliance piece, because obviously regulatory compliance is costly. Governance, risk and compliance is something that we think about all the time. And to the extent that we can drive a long tail of automation. To the extent that we can take things that we do in our business every day, codify them, automate them and be able to create an audit trail, that improves your regulatory compliance stance on everything you’re doing during the course of all of your work. So assume compliance. Assume cost reduction. Measure in terms of your strategic objectives, which are probably more aligned with digital transformation or improved customer experience.
Alex de Capitani:
Interesting. Thank you so much, Rob. And my final question, which I’ll direct to Uday and Anurag. Newgen and Infosys share a longstanding global strategic partnership. What’s the roadmap going ahead? Uday?
Yeah, I think it’s, before we talk about roadmap, it always helps to summarize how far we have come along. And thanks to the partnership and thanks to the fantastic executive alignment we have, we have seen success across multiple GEOS, right? And this is not just about going and implementing Newgen for our customers, but this is also about how we have a very close proximity to the relationship we have. And that gives us that aspect of understanding, take you to markets, hundreds of customers, and the feedback we get from customers and the consistency in terms of element of product features. We work with the product team and strategy team and engineering team at Newgen, and they’re shaping their roadmap, and fortunately able to get that visibility of these customers and align the features as whatever the customers are looking for. So the maturity of that practice is when it’s not just a one way mechanism of taking a product, just going to customers and winning deals and implementing customer problems.
But the element of feedback of listening to customers, getting that customer feedback incorporated, it could be features, it could be an element of what to put first and what are the pinpoints. Now, as we progress forward, we have done, at least we are ongoing and future for, in the future, we are going to spend a significant amount of time in building these solutions. Horizontal solutions, for example, right? How we are able to consolidate and migrate significant number of content and content types from different propriety formats to the formats like PDFs at a very large scale, right? One is conversion and able to manage it, but doing it at scale where it’s millions and millions of records, is one of the fantastic thing we have done with one of our customers. And what it does is it gives us consistency.
It gives us maturity. And it also becomes a significant accelerator in this age of getting things done fast. Apart from just accelerators and things like that, the industry solutions is quite, is a lot more important, right? We are complimenting each other. Newgen has been prominently known in a couple of verticals. And now we are taking that expertise and learnings from the platform in the newer verticals. Healthcare is phenomenal success we have seen. Some of us, we go through challenges of implementing these platforms. And I give one example, which is an ongoing implementation for us and how we are really looking at the roadmap, shaping from this learning. In the healthcare industry, your provider credentializing is a very, very massive task. It happens every toward 18 months. Every health platform provider out there have to re-credentialize and redo these contracts.
Now, the learnings we have from the deep domain expertise, and we are able to leverage the capabilities of Newgen and the engineering talent of Newgen. We are getting that entire contract lifecycle management. The provider credentializing solutions is a significant accelerator. Now customers who are really losing their sleep, if they can leverage expertise of both of us, the product, the Newgen maturity and us, in terms of domain, we can really make that task much simpler and much smoother as we progress to the next set of customers. And other element of, at least industry solution, is in the retirement space. It’s going to be launched another, maybe Anurag, I would say six months to eight months where customers would see this benefit. It’s fantastic in terms of how the advisors in the retirement service space, we build this solutions, which help them take this very humongous complex processes, have been tremendously simplified.
And the people who are running these IT systems and business systems are going to look at this and say, “Wow, I’m going to have this platform”. With that I also want to leave it to Anurag, to chime in as well. And see, from his point of view, how he sees this partnership. Not just through my lens.
No, of course. I mean, I couldn’t have said it any better there. I mean, you have touched upon the things so beautifully. And of course the partnership, I mean, the support and the partnership and the alliance from all the aspects of both Infosys and Newgen, the solution side of it, business side of it, engineering side of it, conceptualization side of it, and what you have in Infosys, the deep domain in the verticals, which we are able to include and collaborate. So, I completely agree with you when you said that both the organizations perfectly compliment each other.
Why? I mean, look at Newgen. While Newgen’s DNA is product and platform development, innovation and technology and tools. If we look at Infosys, the core is in consulting, implementation, delivery, project, program management, support, maintenance, all of those things. And I’m not taking anything away from the solution, the domain, the vertical, and all of those things. In fact, we have several such successful customer sites with Infosys using Newgen platform to deliver those business outcomes. We have stopped time, that you have said it so many times, that these are not just the software delivery to the customer, we are doing those business outcomes, delivering those business outcomes. And in several industries. Infosys has also developed its own IP on news and platform, and it is being reused across customer implementation. So that is a level of optimization and level of advanced utilization of news and product platform that we are seeing.
I mean, we are co-creating you talked about that, I mean, we are definitely co-creating a lot of industry smart apps or application accelerators, if you will. You talked about provider onboarding, contracting management and healthcare. That has been a huge success. I mean, these are one of the top five healthcare payers in US that we are doing it for. And it is so heartening to see that when we are going to your other such customers in the same space and how readily and heartily those are appreciating these solutions. I just came out of a meeting yesterday using the same solution, whether that we are doing, it is amazing to see that. And in addition to that, we are also leveraging, Newgen is leveraging Infosys business applications to integrate Newgen platform into those. Again, to compliment and supplement. For example, the student onboarding, you would remember that, within these school districts, your products, which are doing those things, and we have integrated our platform within your product.
So it is not only one way that Newgen and brings the product. We are looking it from 360 degree view. I mean, I would say that this partnership is destined to deliver those unparalleled value, preparation and business outcomes to our joint customers. That’s what I can see.
And Alex, I’m going to sneak in this one last thing, which I wanted to see if Anurag would take the liberty to speak on behalf of both of us, on behalf of both organizations. This is about how we are really innovatively in, and quite unique, it’s a work in progress, of how we are going to transform services provided for in the healthcare industry. In general, if you look at it, right? You kind of go to a doctor, the doctor treats, you go back home, there’s no measurement of how the doctor has treated you. Has there been a subsequent visit? Is this doctor equipping you with the right knowledge? Those are all missing in this market, in this industry. What we are doing is how we can help in shift the industry from fee for service to fee for value, right?
Instead of just saying, “Hey, by the way, the cost is $50 or $180”, which is your copay. How can we measure that service provided by that healthcare provider to that patient? What was the feedback from the customer? Can we capture that feedback? Can we look at subsequent engagement? Is this person recovering and having healthy habits or is he having the same recurring problem again? This approach of paying this provider, provider fee, based on the value this person provides rather than a standard rate card of 15 minute slots, I’ve read this service and this is a fee approach, is a transformational shift in this industry. And we are very proud that Newgen, us and our partner, and our customer, jointly were handholding this journey. And we intend to achieve this launch in a certain timeframe from now.
Alex de Capitani:
Really exciting. Really exciting. Well, thank you gentlemen. Clearly to succeed with their digital transformation initiatives, enterprises need to break down their larger digital transformation objectives into smaller and more manageable goals and then deploy technology tools that can optimize their systems and processes. Low Code platforms offer the perfect opportunity for companies to manage complexities and put the wheels of digital transformation in motion. With that, we bring down the curtains on what has been a truly engaging and fascinating discussion. We would like to thank Rob, Uday and Anurag for all their insights and perspective. And thank you everyone, and have a good day.
Thank you. Thank you for having us.
Thanks for the opportunity.