Why you should banish your application backlog with low-code


The application backlog: a frightening place where all of the exceptional applications and digital experiences that would have helped your customers and internal teams will never see the light of day. *Loooooong sigh*

The reality is that the demand for new tools, new ways of working, and the latest services to offer customers is causing an application delivery backlog in enterprises.

This challenge, on the one hand, is a nice problem to have. It demonstrates the place technology inhabits in an organization, that of being the enabler of new methods. But on the other hand, this is a significant issue that companies can’t ignore. Each app left in the backlog is a missed opportunity to improve user experiences, increase process efficiency, or drive digital transformation. Quarter after quarter, business stakeholders are left disappointed, and application and software engineering leaders remain resource constrained.

An OutSystems video, albeit humorous, highlights the consequences of applications and digital experiences left in the backlog, or as we like to call it, the “application graveyard.”

We hope that gave you a laugh. Now back to serious business…

The application backlog: Contributing factors

In discussions with CIOs from around the globe, we identified 3 common contributing factors to the increase in application backlogs.

1. The demand for new software isn’t going anywhere: It’s growing

With technology now better understood by the organization, both business and technology leaders report that application backlogs are a result of the organization demanding more technological ways to carry out its tasks. Across verticals, the business is pulling on the IT team for more technology, whereas in the past, it was IT pushing new ideas forward. Additionally, companies expect to (and must) continuously innovate software to keep up with changing consumer expectations.

2. The need for integration

Integration is where business and technology leaders often find that bottlenecks appear and cause friction with the teams demanding new applications. Low-code development platforms can provide CIOs and CTOs with an easier integration path.

3. Developer talent gaps

Whether it be headcount constraints or the struggle to keep and retain software developers, talent gaps are a common issue for CIOs. As long as demand continues to outstrip supply, the backlog isn’t going anywhere and innovation is left on hold.

Truth and consequences

The immediate and obvious consequence of the application backlog is that opportunities for digital innovation are left on the table. Companies will often attempt to define the prioritization of application development and delivery based on customer feedback or revenue growth opportunities, for example. However, even with prioritization rules defined, the complexity of business and the many stakeholders involved easily cloud the decision-making process.

Another consequence is shadow IT. When there aren’t strong lines of communication between IT and business stakeholders, non-IT teams may attempt to build what they need themselves, without IT’s knowledge. And while some might applaud this effort to reduce the backlog, it also comes with tradeoffs: security risks, reduced diligence and visibility, and a lack of IT governance. Any technical debt caused by shadow IT will ultimately become a big headache for IT down the road.

Banishing the backlog with high-performance low-code

By leveraging a low-code application development platform, teams can build mission-critical apps faster without sacrificing quality, security, and control. The right low-code platform will help developers eliminate waste and overhead, so they can build more apps without losing power and control over their code.

A high-performance low-code platform like OutSystems helps teams tackle their backlog with capabilities that include:

  • Visual, full stack development
  • Easy integrations
  • Github-like repository of reusable components
  • Embedded DevOps tools
  • In-app user feedback
  • AI-assisted development in all stages of the life cycle

Now, we’d also be remiss not to double-click on the incredible impact AI has on developer productivity. We go in depth into how AI is impacting software development and how it's helping companies deliver applications faster in this blog.

To learn more about how to tackle your application backlog and better prioritize app development and delivery, check out our webinar on How You Can Supercharge Application Delivery with High-Performance Low-Code.