Launch of low-code-powered application development initiatives fuels an aggressive “Mode 2” approach to transformation on every level.
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Mendix, a Siemens business and the global leader in enterprise low-code, today announced that a leading manufacturer of electronics and medical equipment is leveraging the Mendix low-code platform to extend its core systems and internal business processes with innovative, next-gen applications. By organizing its IT services into bi-modal teams, the manufacturer is able to integrate emerging technologies requested by business managers, and customer-facing mobile experiences (Mode 2), while also supporting ongoing, mission-critical legacy systems that operate across sixty countries (Mode 1).
A key enabler of the “Mode 2” innovation teams’ success is their adoption of the Mendix low-code platform to deliver four IT initiatives: a mobile competency center, an innovation lab, a rapid application development process, and an offshore development office. These solutions, all built on the low-code platform, will enable the organization to achieve revenue growth, cost savings, and maintain its competitive advantage in a rapidly changing market.
The concept of bimodal development has been popularized by Gartner. According to this concept, Mode 1 encapsules traditional IT that is responsible for service continuity, efficiency, and cost optimization. Mode 2 or agile IT, on the other hand, stands for innovation, flexibility, and faster time-to-market.
The Mode 2 team was tasked with leading the charge to build applications that further the manufacturer’s business goals; differentiate its product offerings in the marketplace; and improve customer engagement. The team needed an application development platform that enabled a high degree of business collaboration, fast turnaround, and frequent updates. They also required an open platform that enabled interoperability with core and legacy systems. Mendix was the only solution that met every criteria for rapid digital execution with appropriate IT oversight and governance.
The goal was to leverage low-code to its full capabilities with a three-pronged approach. First, existing core platforms were to be optimized with new capabilities, such as mobile support. In a second step, emerging technologies such as chatbots were to be explored to identify new opportunities. And lastly, transformational technologies such as Machine Learning or Augmented Reality are to be used for new and innovative solutions that do not yet exist.
The applications were devised and developed on the Mendix low-code platform. Low-code is a visual development approach to application development that enables developers of varied experience levels to create applications for web and mobile, using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphic user interface.
Achieving complete lifecycle support for global operations
Initially, the manufacturer’s IT organization was organized to fulfill traditional goals of ensuring stable, available legacy systems. However, relying solely on legacy systems in a highly competitive market was considered risky. Low-code, with its inherent openness to extend their IT stack, enabled the manufacturer to build rich and intuitive applications that utilize native device features for an enriched customer experience across multiple devices.
Since the Mode 2 team has been established, over 20 applications have been built to improve customer engagement and product development. Each of those applications was completed within four to eight weeks of development time — a vast improvement over the development time required by traditional development methods. These applications include:
- An application that allows the manufacturer to directly interact with equipment users and has improved the customer experience for over 2,000 physicians and healthcare professionals.
- A digital platform for seamless request, approval and tracking of premium freight service requests for the company’s global supply chain. The app helps coordinate delivery dates for spare parts and therefore minimizes downtime of crucial medical machines and improves the scheduling of examination appointments.
- A digital solution that gives a real-time overview of factory lines. This app was built once and deployed in factories across three continents, saving time on the development of separate applications for each factory. The app can be easily adapted for use in each of the manufacturer’s factories, despite every factory depending on different data sets.
“Low-code technology has become the cornerstone of innovation because it enables IT professionals to collaborate,” said Derek Roos, CEO of Mendix. “By bridging the needs and concerns of both business experts and IT professionals, the Mendix platform fosters deep collaboration. Our platform was built to address the underlying business challenge of deploying skilled makers who can create solutions. A holistic, low-code platform that enables digital execution at scale quickly reveals how enterprises can drive tangible value from technology.”