Interview by Executive People 'Getting a grip on data? Go model driven'

By 2024, larger organizations will be using at least four low-code solutions, Gartner predicts. According to Geert Waanders, product manager at eMagiz, not surprisingly: 'There is a shortage of specialists, while the need to get a grip on the growing amount of data is increasing. The issue is that organizations want to become more agile, and by working model-driven with low-code, this is possible.'

'One of the most important developments I see with customers is that the point at which they want to get started with data comes much earlier,' says Geert Waanders, product manager at eMagiz. 'It doesn't matter whether organizations have been around for years or are just starting out: the time between when they started collecting data and when they want to have more control over their data is getting shorter and shorter.'

Pushing the vision of customers into product development

Waanders sees the development when he visits his customers. As product manager, he spends a lot of time with customers. On one hand, of course, to promote eMagiz's products and, on the other hand, to gather the vision and opinions of customers in order to be able to continue product development. And when he is talking to his customers, he hears about the new business models, the data needed for them and the lack of specialists.

'Organizations are getting increasingly faster to the question: how can I deal with data in a structured way? And: how do I get a better grip on that data? For example, they want to use data from one business process for another business model: how can they unlock that data? For example, to use today's data to predict what will happen tomorrow and develop a business model around that.'

Complying with the AVG

But it is not just about internal processes: they are also looking for a way to process data from suppliers or chain partners, for example, into their own processes. For example, to gain insight into an entire logistics process and thereby keep a grip on the data and be compliant and able to comply with the AVG. 'Naturally, privacy legislation remains the guiding factor in the question of whether you are allowed to use that data.'

What matters, according to Waanders, is the awareness process about data. 'Data from multiple business processes is being used to fuel new business models. But for that you need to know: what do I actually have? What does it mean? What cross-connections can I draw? It's becoming more and more interesting, because organizations are thinking much more consciously about what they can do with data they already have anyway.'

What you can do with data

One example Waanders cites is an on-board computer installed to track the logistics route. 'But if a delivery truck is stationary for an hour, for example, you might ask: what's going on? Can you maybe get that employee on his way? Is he having trouble? Or take smart pallets, it's amazing what all you can measure with the sensors in them!'

To prevent systems from being overloaded by all that data, Waanders suggests setting up an event-driven architecture. 'You have data and events about that data. An event is a notification that data has been updated. For example, an event is the updating of an address. In an event-driven architecture, that event is leading and that event is pushed to the relevant systems on demand.'

Event driven architecture becomes leading

Thus, with event-driven architecture, systems do not have to retrieve the changes themselves, thus relieving systems. It also means that systems can operate independently of each other because the event-driven architecture is leading. If one system fails, it has no impact on the other systems. And: to use data from other systems, only a link to the event-driven architecture is needed.

The biggest challenge for organization is just: how do we find the people who can help us leverage our data? 'Our answer: go model driven,' Waanders says. 'When you start working model driven, you work with a low-code solution that hides the code in blocks that people can use to build the processes. This removes complexity, but allows users to access functionality.'

Employing business professionals for IT issues

By deploying low-code, organizations can employ business savvy employees, "These employees are very good at asking questions about the business model. Often they also have an affinity for IT. With our platform, corporate employees can get started in no time. And with that you can still get moving without hiring all kinds of in-depth specialists.'

Not surprisingly, Gartner also sees low code as an important development. For example, they predict that by 2024, 66 percent of larger organizations will be using at least four low-code platforms. So far, they already saw a growth of about 23 procent per year in recent years. "It's a technology that allows you to get moving without hiring all these specialists first.

A toolbox for new business models

The main benefit of low code is the agility it brings to organizations. The employees an organization often already employs can quickly unlock data and use it to solve other business issues. Waanders: "Our customers get a toolbox that they can use fairly quickly to roll out new business models. That's the power of low code.'