Existing frameworks don’t address new requirements
The short answer is probably not. Here’s why: whether IT departments are operating with a legacy stack or have modernised to incorporate an open source framework, they are still not able to meet every request for the revitalised customer journey.
Legacy stacks are, unfortunately, the dinosaurs of the app development world. They represent a thorough production process of applications, solidly built by hand-coding, and cemented with “once-and-for-all” integrations which use monolithic systems. They also make rapid app development and delivery nearly impossible (or possible, but prohibitively expensive) Using agile methodology along with a legacy framework does not typically deliver the speed required in today’s app delivery market.
Open source stacks
On the other side, if IT teams have embraced a more modern open source IT stack, such as MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js and Angular.js, Node.js), it’s quite possible to build applications rapidly and in an agile manner. But now instead of attempting to force a slow, legacy framework to produce quickly, users of a MEAN stack have to deal with continual maintenance of applications. Quite often, this iterative process is broken because good developers don’t want to get stuck forever updating an already deployed app. If the lifecycle can’t be maintained, then the agile methodology is fundamentally broken. What’s the use of creating apps quickly if they can’t be iterated easily?All in all, the primary challenges for adopting an open source stack to deliver apps are complex. Some organisations may experience more significant struggles over others, depending on the current level of a company’s digitalisation of front-end processes. Typically though, the critical pain points in adopting an open source stack revolve around:
Setting up the initial stack
It can be diﬃcult to acquire the right team of developers who understand most, if not all, components of the application architecture, along with knowledge of each language that corresponds to the architecture component.
Integration of the stack within existing systems –
No matter how modern an IT department claims to be, there will always be older systems of record or big monolithic databases that require certain levels of integration. Merging new fluid languages with old static systems can become a complex undertaking, that may prove diﬃcult and time consuming.
Creating a continual pipeline of app production
If the entire app lifecycle isn’t handled quickly and eﬃciently from end to end then the stack is not really solving the essential requirements for building applications in today’s development landscape. Add that to the often immature agile processes in an organisation, and a completely broken delivery model arises.
In the end, creating a continual app pipeline is possible with an open system stack –
but it’s not easy, and it could end up being quite costly in terms of time and management. Open source stacks do provide the opportunity to be more flexible than a traditional stack, but the application lifecycle suﬀers because it’s still not fast or flexible enough.
This situation puts IT leaders in a very diﬃcult position. They are challenged with delivering the “holy grail” of applications that must be:
Attractive with an intuitive user interface
Agile, able to be rapidly changed
Delivered fast (avg 10-16 weeks)
Complex, handling in-depth business processes
Every time an app needs to be created, there is the common expectation that the final deliverable will contain most, if not all of these requests. How do IT architects utilise their current resources to oﬀer continual delivery of highly functional apps that meet all these criteria?That’s where rapid application delivery platforms come in.
So what to do? Transform IT with a RAD platform
Rapid Application Delivery (or RAD) platforms oﬀer what’s coined by Forrester as a “low-code” method of creating applications in an agile manner. RAD platforms give IT leaders the opportunity to use current skill sets and resources as well as integrate their existing systems. Developers can not only design whole portfolios of apps – but can develop, test, deploy, review, and manage them all in a fraction of the time of traditional approaches.
Since the full app lifecycle is accounted for with RAD platforms – the need for highly skilled resources from the IT department diminishes while the production and regular management of apps goes up. Going back to the “holy grail” of requirements, a quality RAD platform must meet each one. The question then turns from “DOES the platform meet each requirement?” to “HOW does the platform meet each one?”
A robust RAD platform oﬀers the ability to optimise digital touchpoints
By utilising a robust RAD platform, workflows can be optimised to simplify the mashup of multiple systems in rich unified user interfaces. User adoption can be also optimised because the platform provides the dynamic ability to rapidly iterate on requests, rather than slowly hacking through underlying code or messing with the framework of an application.
Deeply complex applications are simplified when developing with a RAD platform
Enterprise level applications often require multiple and deep integrations with various databases or systems of engagement. A good platform handles the long tail of integrations – even if the system in question changes or updates its structure