The spending on technology and services to support digital transformation has been growing exponentially over the past decade and it isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. In fact, according to Statista, it is projected to reach 2.16 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023 and 3.4 trillion by 2026.

However, although companies are spending more on digital initiatives, that isn’t reflected in the success of their efforts.


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I remember when I was working on OutSystems Digital Transformation Playbook back in 2018. Data from that period showed that 90% of digital transformation efforts were coming up short. That number has decreased to 73% today, but it’s still relatively high, considering that digital transformation isn’t a particular new concept.

US dollars spent in trillions
Spending on digital transformation technologies and services worldwide from 2017 to 2026. Source: Statista.

The problem is, implementing a successful digital strategy is tough. From a technical perspective, organizations need to deal with growing IT backlogs, technical debt, and developer shortage. And then, there’s the whole cultural aspect to it.

Lack of clear strategy and goals, resistance to change from employees and stakeholders, lack of leadership support, and poor execution and implementation are all factors I often see undermining the success of digital transformation projects.

The road to success

It may sound cliche, but organizations should think of digital transformation as a journey rather than a destination.

They need to apply methods and tools that enable them to meet the four objectives that are foundational for digital transformation success:

  • Enabling more innovation and coping better with uncertainty
  • Achieving more successful adoption of agile approaches
  • Architecting more flexible, easier integration
  • Delivering software faster, more reliably, and with fewer errors.

And while modern software development and delivery methods like DevOps address these objectives, low-code is the tool that enables them.

It was based on this idea and on the experience of our customers that a few years ago, we launched the low-code digital factory methodology.

Five years later, I thought it would be interesting to revisit some of our customers who have implemented it and see how they are doing on their digital transformation journey.

But before we start, let’s do a quick refresh on what is a low-code digital factory.

What is a low-code digital factory and how does it work?

A low-code digital factory is an approach to accelerating digital transformation that enables you to:

  • Deliver new software applications for your business up to 8x faster than traditional development.
  • Scale your team’s output from just a few apps to hundreds (yes, hundreds) per year.
  • Establish a sustainable capability for enterprise-wide digital transformation.

It balances the structure that prevents digital transformation initiatives from hitting a wall with the agility needed to overcome today’s challenges.

And it is based on three key concepts:

  • Digital use cases: Three distinct use cases for digital transformation are addressed by low-code: 1) customer apps and portals, 2) internal business applications, and 3) core systems. Remember that not all low-code platforms solve the same problems (you can learn more about this on low-code use cases). So, when you’re evaluating the right technology for your digital transformation initiatives, be sure to look for a platform that covers these three use cases to maximize your investment.
  • A framework for change: Digital transformation for any organization is a significant undertaking that puts an end to “business as usual.” As such, it needs a framework designed specifically for the launch and scale of a low-code implementation. A low-code digital factory provides a framework for organizing your digital transformation initiatives.
  • A three-stage digital journey: Digital transformation is a revolutionary path with three stages that companies go through as they adopt and then mature their use of low-code: 1) foundation, 2) center of excellence, and 3) full digital enterprise.

You can read all about this methodology and how to implement it in our Digital Transformation Playbook.

Explore low-code digital factory success stories

In the next articles on this series, we’ll talk with organizations that have implemented this framework, the challenges they faced, and results they’ve reaped: