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Career switch: from packaged software to low-code software
I have to admit: when I applied for a job at the low-code platform vendor Thinkwise I was somewhat suspicious before the interview started. After having worked in the world of standard ERP packages such as Infor, SAP and Oracle for almost my entire career, I was fairly convinced about the concept of ‘off the shelf’. On the assumption that most organizations have the same kinds of business processes, there is a strong case for standardized solutions. If these processes are not the ‘key differentiators’ why your customers choose to buy from you, then a choice for standard ERP is justified. If you follow the processes as prescribed by the system, which in the case of modern cloud-based packages certainly provides a certain degree of flexibility, you will be a satisfied user for a few years until you experience the lack of support for new technologies or until your company has changed or grown in such a way that a new system is required.
The reality, however, is different, because vendors of comprehensive, standard ERP packages mainly serve large organizations that are quite demanding in terms of their requirements. Because of this, these standard packages contain far more, often complex, functionality that the majority of companies do not need. An implementation can easily last for several years and at the end the costs are often far higher than were budgeted for. The ‘customization’ of the standard software to support an organization’s own business processes is the main cause of this.
Because it becomes apparent: we want customized software!
Why? Because this is what distinguishes us from the competition; by delivering faster, offering a wider product range, manufacturing to customer order, carrying out last-minute campaigns, etc. The world is changing rapidly, consumers are ever more demanding. Before you know it your ERP system is obstructing your business operations and a complex IT landscape with numerous peripheral applications makes everything virtually unmanageable.
So we need customized software. ‘Oh not again!’ I hear you thinking. We associate customized software, developed with traditional tools such as Java or C#, with difficult, protracted and expensive projects which, when implemented, are often already technically obsolete. Furthermore, where do you get this software developed if you do not have your own in-house developers?
And because we are wary of customization, a vast majority of companies work with a standard ERP system that is ‘customized’ in such a way that implementing new releases is a tense and laborious exercise. With older on-premise software you often see that upgrades are no longer applied because this almost requires a complete re-implementation.
Digital transformation in danger
This, to put it mildly, is unfortunate but in reality it also constitutes a serious danger, because this old software is holding back the digital transformation of your organization and thereby endangering the very existence of your company. You hear a great deal about ‘machine learning’, ‘servitization’, the ‘Internet of Things’ and ‘meaningful insights’ but your IT landscape is not ready for them. It is obsolete. You want to, but you can’t.
Taking everything into consideration, I became convinced of the value of low-code. In this case, low-code to develop ‘mission critical’ applications. A better alternative for companies that are successful because of their special, and often complex, business processes and that should act flexible to new market developments.
No more legacy software
The low-code platform from Thinkwise enables you to rapidly develop large-scale applications with more than hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of tables. This model-driven way of software development offers flexibility; if your process changes then the software changes along with it. This requires absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of traditional programming languages such as Java, C# or .Net. The result is an application that fits like a tailored suit, can be flexibly modified to satisfy changing processes and is accessible on any device and via the web.
The principle of our platform is: you take care of the functionality, we take care of the technology. In this way, the platform ensures that your applications can always operate with the latest technology, are fully available on Windows, Web and Mobile and always have a modern GUI. They remain in sync with technological developments in the area of Machine Learning, Data Analytics, IoT, etc. In short: your software will never become obsolete again!
I risked the switch to Thinkwise and have become convinced by the success stories from our customers. Companies such as VDL Group, Antea Group and Acto can take on the competition. They build the application themselves or through one of our partners. For our customers, development with low-code from Thinkwise means a fast time-to-market of applications and no more worries about legacy systems, because they no longer exist. The success of an organization is determined to an increasing extent by the software it uses. The solution is software that seamlessly aligns with your business processes, is easy to operate, can be optimally personalized and is technology independent.
Just before the corona crisis, I switched to a low-code vendor. I could not have imagined that it became dramatically topical to work with the latest technology as a company and to be able to adapt processes quickly. Low-code is an unstoppable trend and I am happy to help as a marketer in educating people of its use and capabilities.
Thanks for reading this blog!