(Alan Trefler speaking at PegaWorld 2019. Photo by author.)
Pegasystems Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.), has announced today at its annual PegaWorld user group conference in Las Vegas the launch of Enterprise Low-Code Factory, which the customer engagement digital process automation vendor describes as a centralized dashboard that empowers any employee to quickly create enterprise software that complies with company standards. With tools, training, and other resources, Enterprise Low-Code Factory helps businesses cultivate and scale their own home-grown community of citizen developers without sacrificing software quality, consistency, or governance, a vendor statement says.
“Enterprise Low-Code Factory encompasses three decades of learning from model-driven application development so businesses can immediately roll out low code organization-wide,” comments Don Schuerman, CTO and VP, product marketing, Pegasystems. “Whether you’re a businessperson, developer, or designer, you now have the potential to become a maker within your own organization to create applications that innovate. At the same time, IT managers can rest easy knowing that they can balance control and collaboration through repeatable governance processes.”
Because it requires little or no coding experience, low-code development has grown rapidly in the face of unprecedented demand for software. Gartner predicts that market demand for app development will grow at least five times faster than IT’s capacity to deliver it through 2021 (“The Enterprise App Explosion: Scaling One to 100 Mobile Apps,” Adrian Leow, May 7, 2015). However, notes Pegasystems’ statement, well-intended low-code app makers could unknowingly cause shadow IT issues including security concerns, software updating gaps, work duplication, and organizational silos. “Organic low-code adoption might be sustainable for small companies, but it’s hard for large organizations to effectively scale without guardrails in place to prevent IT chaos,” the statement asserts.
Pega says that its Enterprise Low-Code Factory lets businesses operationalize the global deployment of low code companywide to accelerate their digital transformation. Business without coding skills will be able to quickly build any kind of app they need to succeed, while at the same time, business and IT leaders can maintain the control in order to ensure that each app is built with an industrial level of consistency, according to Pega, leading to better business and IT collaboration, faster time to value, and lower development costs.
Part of the Pega Platform low-code development environment, the vendor says that Enterprise Low-Code Factory combines the key elements needed for successful enterprise app building for all employees in a centralized dashboard, including the following, by Pega’s description:
Tools: The Factory makes low-code more accessible to more people in the company. Users of all experience levels can start fast with pre-defined templates to build apps that are quick to deploy, up to date, and easy to change. Pega makes app building collaborative between the maker, IT and other stakeholders, ensuring a transparent, intuitive, and seamless process with a continuous feedback loop.
Guardrails: Uniform governance to ensure consistency. Citizen developers can always dabble in the Pega app making playground, but when it’s time launch a real business app, the Factory has the guardrails to ensure quality and compliance. Makers just click the ‘Request to Build’ button to generate a simple business case for the company-defined governance team. Governance stakeholders control a host of customizable options, including approvals over which apps get released, what features to include, how ‘enterprise-ready’ they should be, who gets to use them, and who can make changes. These guardrails scale as app functionality evolves over time, allowing small single-function apps to turn into powerful software for the Fortune 500.
Education: Courses and resources to empower more makers. Pega empowers all businesspeople—marketers, sellers, service, and operations people—to learn how to build the simplest app to the most complex software. Any Factory users can up level their skills with supporting educational resources, including specially-designed Pega Academy courses, video tutorials, help documents, and Pega Community articles.
Enterprise Low-Code Factory’s dashboard presents these elements together in what Pega characterizes as an integrated and intuitive environment. Users have quick access to the apps they use most, the apps they are building, and the ecosystem of approved apps built by others to enable better software reuse, as well as links to education resources, according to the vendor.
Enterprise Low-Code Factory is scheduled to be available by the end of Q3 2019 for Pega Platform customers with current support contracts. Part of the Pega Infinity digital transformation suite, Pega Platform low-code app development environment leverages digital process automation (DPA), including AI and robotics, to drive business processes and customer journeys from end to end. Pega unifies these back-end processes with its customer engagement applications on the front end with the aim of enabling businesses to provide superior customer experiences on any channel.