With cloud-based low-code and no-code platforms, digitalization projects can be deployed rapidly and cost-effectively. Modern technical data management offers all the advantages that are linked to low-code technology – from reducing the workload for IT to accelerating development processes.
Shortage of skilled IT staff creates digitalization backlog
The pace of digitalization has picked up so sharply during the pandemic that IT departments are now being stretched to their limits. According to a recent Gartner survey, a whopping 64 percent of IT managers have pinpointed the lack of qualified staff as the single most significant obstacle to adopting new technologies – a figure that stood at just four percent in 2020. As a result, companies are facing a serious digitalization backlog.
A low-code/no-code approach will speed up your digitalization projects
To counteract this situation, a growing number of companies are turning to low-code or no-code platforms. These involve standardized development environments that are quick and easy to use, even without extensive programming skills. They empower people from in-house departments – including those who aren’t actually developers – to generate software-based applications for their respective fields, or to adapt existing ones. Utilizing the work of these “citizen developers” greatly alleviates the impact of the shortage of specialists in a number of areas and reduces the workload for corporate IT departments.
Cloud-based technical data management – a low-code/no-code solution
In today’s supply chains, exchanging documents and data is part of the day-to-day business. This often involves unstructured data, including plans, manuals, 3D models, and specifications. On top of that, working collaboratively also requires approval or release workflows.
Modern technical data management stores information centrally in the cloud (also known as a CDE – common data environment). This means that, in addition to the stakeholders within the company, all participants in the supply chain – such as manufacturers, suppliers, partner companies, as well as public authorities and end customers – can access the data, in accordance with their authorization level. And they can do so regardless of their current location, the time of day, or the end device they are using. This requires a pronounced focus on processes, specifically in the form of workflows for releases or approvals that have already been integrated.
The use cases described below illustrate how cloud-based technical data management works in practice:
Graphical process editor
The solutions come complete with a graphical process editor that lets users customize workflows to suit their specific business needs, giving even non-programmers a powerful tool to work with. That allows users to model what are known as ad hoc processes that make it possible to respond to unforeseen events, handle exceptional situations, and actively support stakeholder decisions – all without getting the IT department involved.
Using “categories” to steer documents
Legal requirements and compliance regulations frequently mandate the retention of certain types of documents for a specific period of time, to be followed by erasure after the retention period has elapsed. With this in mind, the solution offers users the option of defining deadlines by category, so that, for instance, a “customer inquiry” document containing personal data can be deleted automatically.
Users from the business departments can use simple low-code expressions to steer the behavior of form fields. Features such as calculations, field validations, and visibility rules will help to execute even the most complex use cases: If an invoice amount exceeds a pre-defined total, an additional mandatory field can be displayed to request further approval – from management, for example.
Low-code and no-code require maximum security
Low-code/no-code approaches only work in conjunction with a clear set of rules and corresponding measures. Smart technical data management uses two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to the platform right from the time of log-in. On top of that, an intelligent roles and rights management scheme controls who is allowed to see, edit, review, or approve any given content.
A professional cloud service provider will itself ensure the maximum level of security – assuming that it is a native cloud provider that operates the cloud on its own hardware (not licensed from a US corporation) and using proprietary technologies in European data centers. This way, companies can be certain that they are in compliance with the GDPR with respect to personal data. In addition, a wide array of certifications, such as the C5 requirements catalog, demonstrate that the provider meets the most stringent security standards.
A boost for digitalization while easing the workload for the IT department
The fact that low-code and no-code solutions aren’t just futuristic visions is demonstrated by the use of modern technical data management. It facilitates process modeling and adaptation with minimal effort and no programming knowledge, saving precious IT resources while reducing development times dramatically. By leveraging the innovative power and personal initiative of citizen developers in their in-house departments, businesses are making great strides forward in the digital