By Roland Rust,

In agile business application development projects today we see two drivers for the transformation of teams: One is the demand for a diversified set of skills, the other is the demand for stronger integration of users. How will agile teams for enterprise application projects look like? How can the demand of more diverse skills be satisfied with ever shrinking budgets? The following blog post explores recent discussions we are involved in at Sclable and outlines how we envision the future of agile teams.

The diversification of skills

Business application users are also users of online platforms such as Google Drive or social networks like LinkedIn. They have become accustomed to a level of user experience that is not common for business applications today, therefore we see an increasing dissatisfaction with the overall appearance and usability of applications that were meant to be designed for a lifecycle of many years. Users are expecting any application to be appealing, highly user friendly, intelligent and supporting multiple devices. To provide such an experience, agile teams need a skillset ranging from user experience design to higher mathematics, from enterprise application architecture to process and data analysis.

The magic unicorn

All-around talents are rare to find. About ten years ago it was not unusual for highly skilled individual entrepreneurs to develop a specific enterprise solution all by themselves. Taking front-end design for example: We would have been going for the screen resolution most common within the company adding a “best viewed at 1024×768” note to the logon screen. Today, responsive front-ends are obligatory due to the transformation of people’s working places. Quite similar examples can be found on the server-side: Customers rarely realize that services such as databases have evolved as much as end-user’s devices.

IT budgets are growing?

According to Forrester Research and other institutions, IT budgets of 2016 will more than double those of 2012. So why are many IT departments complaining about shrinking budgets? The answer is simple: When mapping the IT project scopes to the increasing budgets it is quite clear that IT departments will have to get more things done with the same amount of resources compared to 2012. In addition to that, many companies are aiming for a transformation of their IT department from a cost to a profit center, a trend and at the same time a controversy over the last years.

Software is to be the biggest area of spending increase in 2015 at $620 billion (expected by Forrester) A big part of that goes towards analytics, as-a-service, and enterprise process apps such as ERP and CRM. Image: Forrester Resarch, Inc.

Software is to be the biggest area of spending increase in 2015 at $620 billion (expected by Forrester)
A big part of that goes towards analytics, as-a-service, and enterprise process apps such as ERP and CRM.
Image: Forrester Research, Inc.

Employee Involvement

Business Applications of the future will not be “made”. There won’t be “application launch days” anymore. Business Applications of the future will gradually evolve. And they will be evolved to a higher degree by the users of the system than by developers or architects. Non IT staff has been developing business functionality of great value all the time. Usually they rely on spreadsheets which are used as a workaround until IT departments come up with a solution. Unfortunately most of those workarounds never make it onto the roadmap of long term enterprise application strategies.

The Sclable Vision

At Sclable we envision a future where appealing, highly user friendly, intelligent and multiple-devices-ready business applications are built and evolved by the users of a system rather than by developers. The resources of skilled programmers, system architects, user experience designers, mathematicians and analysts are too valuable to be wasted with repeating tasks.

At Sclable we aim to provide a Business Application Development Platform which puts everyone in the right spot. Magic unicorns are rare. But highly skilled developers are found all over the world. Most of them have a very specialized skill set. Or can provide a very distinct business domain know-how.

The Sclable Ecosystem brings all that together. Technically we provide packages submitted and maintained by experts from different fields containing functionality, logic, know-how and more. Above that we are organizing the exchange of packaged knowledge and focus on the productivity of business application development teams.

The Sclable Ecosystem includes services, tools and environment configurations you will need to use the Sclable Business Application Development Platform (SBADP) at it’s fullest potential. Image: Sclable

The Sclable Ecosystem includes services, tools and environment configurations you will need to
use the Sclable Business Application Development Platform (SBADP) at it’s fullest potential.
Image: Sclable

So we don’t need developers anymore?

To the contrary, at Sclable we foresee a rising demand for programmers, designers and coders. What will change is the amount of work agile teams will be able to do together.

And this means that the way these teams will accomplish their goals will change a lot. Since any project’s team can’t have all the skills needed within the skillsets of its team members, knowledge and expertise must come from somewhere else.

In fact it always did. “Highly skilled” often applies to people, who know where and how to gain knowledge rather than knowing something in the first place. The only problem is that everyone needs time to get into new things.

Sclable’s Platform provides an environment for an understand-and-apply way of doing things. What if your IT staff would only have to  focus on what they are really good at?