“We’re at the beginning of the end of an incredible moment in time: the need to react, respond, and differentiate greater than ever before.”
— Paulo Rosado, OutSystems CEO.

That was the statement that opened the OutSystems and AWS Cloud Innovation Summit and set the tone of the two-day conference.

2020 was a challenging year that tested every company’s capacity to adapt to change. In fact, according to a study by McKinsey published late last year, respondents were three times more likely to say that at least 80% of their customer interactions were digital. And although we’re slowly getting back to normal, COVID-19 has changed business dynamics forever.

Today, staying competitive requires companies to invest in new strategies and practices that allow them to innovate and change at the speed the market demands.

But when only 21% of senior IT professionals consider their company more capable than competitors when it comes to change (source: Speed of Change: How Fast Are You, 2020), how can a business deliver value to customers while unlocking new opportunities for a market that didn’t exist before?

That’s what we covered in the Cloud Innovation Summit. Let’s dive into the highlights.

 

Facing Technical Debt Head-On

“The biggest cost of technical debt is the opportunity cost.”
— Paulo Rosado, OutSystems CEO.

One of the most significant innovation impediments highlighted by Paulo Rosado is technical debt.

The architectural, coding and operational shortcuts that organizations take in favor of getting to an end result faster are a significant contributor to technical debt. The result is apps that end up consuming resources, time, and energy, and that rob those companies of the ability to compete, innovate and adapt for the future.

To avoid investing in technical debt, companies are increasingly turning to modern development platforms to deliver truly unique, differentiating solutions and that avoid the pitfalls of short-term solutions.

To illustrate how investing in a modern platform approach helps establish a culture of innovation and avoid technical debt, Paulo recalled two great examples of OutSystems customers: Humana and Stemcell. The latter joined him in the virtual stage.

Results of the first solutions develop by Humana with OutSystems.

Using Humana’s example, Paulo showed how by investing in the OutSystems platform, when the pandemic hit, Humana already had the agility backbone that equipped them to pivot quickly and rapidly respond to change. In just a few weeks, Humana launched a COVID test allocation finder app for customers, a full suite of back-office solutions, and a customer-facing, AI-powered self-service experience for testing at over 8,000 locations.

Humana and Stemcell are just two examples of companies that have realized that value comes from tackling technical debt head on by investing in a modern platform for innovation. These forward thinking investments have enabled them to deliver delightful and incredible experiences for users, customers, employees, and partners.

At the end of the day, investing in a core platform that changes the way solutions are built opens up incredible opportunities to compete, innovate and adapt.

In my session at the Summit, I explored the concept of a platform approach with further detail and how it can help companies eliminate digital transformation silos and accelerate innovation. To learn more about it, take a look at Succeeding at Digital Transformation: How to Overcome Siloed Business and IT Initiative, now available on-demand.

Changing the Way Software Is Built: From SaaS to Hyper-Customization

“The process of building asks a fundamental question: what is important for the user?”
— Paulo Rosado, OutSystems CEO.

To better demonstrate the importance of a platform for innovation in today’s business landscape, Paulo explained how digital transformation has evolved from commodity systems usually related to apps that don’t bring any real differentiator to the business (mostly SaaS software) to the need for innovation, custom solutions focused on delivering specific, differentiated value for users and customers.

Today's digital Transformation scope.

Nowadays, building software should always start by answering a fundamental question: what is important for the user? In other words, what delights them? What increases their efficiency and value?

We use software to make our lives easier, do our job better, to perform daily tasks more efficiently. And as users, we all expect frictionless experiences that delight us and make us come back for more. That’s why the next generation of software needs to be hyper-customized for user experience.

Later on at the Summit, Mariana Henriques and João Grazina discussed this topic and how a modern platform helps companies deliver effortless omnichannel onboarding experiences. Check out their session Omnichannel Customer Journeys: Speed and Flexibility in the Cloud, now available on-demand.

Paulo also explained that today, companies have thousands of siloed, dis-connected SaaS systems and hundreds of legacy systems. But if we focus on what is important for the user and start with a platform that enables us to orchestrate all these disparate systems and services, we will be able to deliver delightful user experiences, provide precisely the right data, streamline the process to the minimum, and ultimately succeed where others might fail.

In their session entitled Enable Strategic Innovation: How to Unlock the Power of your Existing IT Systems, Mafalda Póvoas and Tony Ollivier explored this topic further and showed how businesses extend and unlock the potential of existing systems to deliver innovation faster. And the good news is, you can now watch it on demand as well.

Finding the Winning Combo: OutSystems and AWS

“Take the speed of the OutSystems platform, take the power of the AWS cloud, pull those two together and it’s a winning combination.”
— Patrick Jean, OutSystems CTO.

To close the keynote, Patrick Jean, OutSystems CTO, and Miguel Alava, Managing Director from AWS, discussed the business need for building apps in the cloud and how OutSystems partnership with AWS can help companies in that endeavor.

OutSystems and AWS have a long history of working together and there are a multitude of customers that have been benefiting from the winning combo of OutSystems development speed and the power of the AWS cloud.

Last December, OutSystems and AWS broadened that partnership with a strategic collaboration agreement. With AWS releasing new services and enhancements almost daily, it can be hard for companies to keep up. With OutSystems, you can get the power of AWS out of the box, but it also makes it vastly easier to add and integrate AWS services without the need for investing in a specialized cloud architect or engineer.

To make it even simpler, Patrick also took the opportunity to announce a set of AWS Cloud Accelerators that wrap in sample apps, demos, and how-to’s to help developers leveraging the power of AWS in the

OutSystems platform for key digital transformation scenarios.

OutSystems Cloud Accelerators for AWS

Throughout the Summit, attendees also had the opportunity to watch OutSystems and AWS in action in several technical sessions hosted by our team of experts and that is now available on-demand:

Eager to Learn More?

Then why not speaking to one of our experts? Request a demo here!