When we were creating NextStep 2021, we had one goal in mind: prepare IT leaders to succeed in a world that is not only changing constantly, but changing at a pace unseen in technology thus far.

Our presenters — made up of technology experts, industry thought leaders, and OutSystems customers and partners — delivered! They brought software development and technology leadership expertise to an audience of thousands of developers and business leaders around the globe. If you didn’t get the chance to attend, or if you missed a session, don’t worry, you can watch all NextStep 2021 presentations here.


In the meantime, let’s revisit some of the highlights, key themes, and important takeaways from NextStep 2021.

Keynote Recap: Building the Future You Want

Every year, the keynote presentation at NextStep is our most popular session. This year was especially transformative to the future of our customers, as OutSystems CEO Paulo Rosado shared the most significant platform announcement in our history: code named Project Neo. This new platform is designed to empower businesses to far surpass their competition — even their own goals — with their ability to innovate through software. The focus of Project Neo is delivering serious productivity for serious apps that are built for change.

Paulo introduced Project Neo with a focus on three goals:

  1. Help developers achieve elite performance in software delivery productivity: achieve massive productivity.
  2. Remove the high cost and risk of building a cloud infrastructure that can support the world’s biggest and most complex apps: build even the most mission-critical apps.
  3. Deliver an evergreen platform where changes and updates are deployed continually and with minimal impact: be always on, always up-to-date.

Project Neo will stand alongside our market-leading platform, OutSystems 11, which is a leader in enterprise-grade low-code development, and we will continue to invest in OutSystems 11 as it co-exists with Project Neo. We will give customers options for cloud-native, multi-cloud, or on-premises solutions that work best for them.

Visit the Event Hub to watch the keynote or browse the Project Neo webpage to learn how the new platform will give organizations even greater power to innovate through software.

3 Key Takeaways from NextStep

In addition to the keynote, we hosted a wide variety of presenters who shared insights into the latest trends in software development, including how a high-performance low-code platform can make a difference in your organization. Here are three important takeaways from NextStep:

  • Don’t let tech debt hold you back. In the session “Get Out Of Debt And On With The Future With The OutSystems Platform”, I spoke with Adrian Lim, Head of the Managing Director’s Office at Ricoh — an OutSystems customer — to learn how OutSystems keeps Ricoh out of technical debt and focused on delivering new products and experiences for customers. He shared how Ricoh was able to use OutSystems to not only significantly reduce its technical debt, but be prepared to quickly adapt to the changing needs of the world when the pandemic struck in 2020. By listening to how real-world customers use OutSystems to achieve real-world results, you can easily understand the opportunities for improving the adaptability of your own organization. Visit the Event Hub to watch this session and more OutSystems customer spotlights, including sessions with British Telecom and Santander!
  • Choosing the right technology is key to business success. During “Tech Trends 2021: Lead with Confidence,” Deloitte’s emerging technologies director Scott Buchholz shared insights from the consultancy’s 12th annual Tech Trends report, highlighting accelerating trends that are likely to disrupt businesses over the next one to two years. In his presentation, Buchholz shared research showing that technology choices bear a greater role in enabling — or potentially constraining — organizational strategy, while pioneering IT leaders are embracing new approaches, technologies, and business cases to revitalize core assets.
  • You’re only as good as your platform. In the session “How Augmented Development Platforms Are Modernizing Application Delivery,” guest speaker and IDC research director Lara Greden shared IDC survey data and insights to help NextStep attendees better understand the challenges to software innovation. These include a limited developer pool, tech debt, legacy systems, and a lack of software innovation programs in place at their organizations. She also shared maturity trends that show how innovators are leveraging well-developed sourcing strategies to compete and grow, along with guidance on how you can work with vendors to optimize your development — and business — strategy.
  • Experience is the best teacher. Did you know that about 70% of enterprise transformations fail? In the session “Accelerating Enterprise Transformation with Experience,” AWS Business Development Manager Annariina Komljenovic shared how experience-based acceleration provides a learn-by-doing methodology that can eliminate non-technical barriers to enterprise transformation. She also explained how to empower teams to deliver outcomes faster and at scale by taking advantage of iterative development and unique team member experiences.

All of the insights, ideas, and connections that attendees enjoyed at NextStep wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors, led by AWS, Deloitte, and NTT Data. So, a big "thank you" to our sponsors.

Want to catch up with everything that happened at NextStep 2021? Check out any sessions you missed, rewatch your favorite sessions, and share valuable sessions with your colleagues by visiting our Event Hub to access all NextStep content on-demand.

Did NextStep inspire you to take your next step in your organization’s digital transformation? Schedule a personalized demo with the OutSystems team today to discuss how OutSystems can address your top digital priorities!