If you have run a few searches in the realm of digital transformation, there is a high chance you have stumbled across a lot of terms that you are not familiar with. It is often confusing to start without context and a brief understanding of these terms surrounding the latest digital transformation tools and technology. So we decided to create your go-to digital transformation dictionary, that will keep you ahead in the game.
Here is a list of digital transformation terms that will fittingly welcome non-technical and technical personnel into the world of digital transformation.
No-code, shortened from no-code platforms refers to application development platforms that require zero coding. This means applications can be built on purely visual, intuitive interfaces with no need for programming experience. These platforms often offer features that are simple such as drag and drop form builders. They work the same way you get to design a collage with stickers, simply take what you need and put it where you need it most. These are typically used by citizen developers or business users to build applications without having to write any code or depend on software developers for any help. They are sometimes also referred to as zero code platforms.
Low-code is the shortened term for low-code platforms which are application development platforms that offer the user the ability to build applications with existing elements while being able to integrate code into them. While no-code and low code are often referenced together, they have a clear demarcation in terms of the technical understanding required to operate the different platforms. These platforms may not be accessible to total beginners but are good for those who have a technical mindset in business backgrounds.
A low-code application development platform enables you to build enterprise-ready applications rapidly along with simple integration of technologies, data and systems into one platform. According to Gartner, compared to LACPs, CADPs tend to focus more on digital form use-case and support departmental workflows versus more complex process orchestration in the LACPs.
Also read: Everything you should know about no-code development
Agile software development refers to software development methodologies that are based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. The four major principles for agile project management, with the goal of developing better software, are:
aPaaS, one of the popular low code no code terms, stands for ‘Application Platform as a Service’. This most often refers to a cloud-based software service you can use to develop, run, and manage applications for a recurring fee. A lot of no-code and low-code platforms fall under this category and make themselves available over the cloud through a subscription as an aPaaS.
Business applications are software that is used by businesses to fulfil their specific needs. This could mean a leave tracking software for the human relations department, an inventory tracking software for a warehouse, or a project management timeline software for the services department. Business applications can be anything that a team requires to fulfil their functions adequately. Furthermore, these are software that is best understood by the function that utilizes them.
Business-Led IT refers to any technology that is purchased and used outside of the IT department or outside of the CIO’s purview. Business-led IT is an intentional and deliberate way of distributing I&T efforts and accountability across the organization and is supported by, at least, a service-optimized IT operating model and IT governance.
Business Process Automation (BPA) simplifies business processes through technical solutions that automate manual repetitive tasks. This helps the workforce to restructure time for more important issues when routine work is completed in much lesser time through automation.
Business Process Automation concentrates on decreasing the number of manual tasks. This leads to higher efficiency and productivity.
A variety of tools and applications have been developed with this purpose in mind. The risk of human error during processes such as data input is removed along with other potential obstacles.
Also read: BPM and BPA: What’s the difference and which do you need?
Business Process Improvement is a focused approach that involves continuously improving specific business processes in a steady manner by reiterating the processes. Since specific processes are targeted, this is a low-risk process that won’t cause any cultural or implementation problems. It simply involves recommending changes that can streamline and improve efficiency.
Business process management (BPM) is about conducting business in the most efficient way possible. In other words, BPM is the process of designing, monitoring, managing, and executing inter-related business processes. This means that you bring various processes in your organization together and optimize them for the overall welfare of the company.
Also read: Business process management – The what, why, and how
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is the activity of drastically redesigning existing business processes and workflows to achieve huge improvements in key aspects of the business such as output, quality, reduction of costs, service, and efficiency. This also involves redesigning any peripheral systems and organizational structures related to the business processes. This phrase was first coined by Michael Hammer in 1990, in his article “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate,” according to Wikipedia.
BPR affects many major components of a business such as the organization, process, technology, culture, and the overall strategy of the business. These efforts can be categorized into 3 broad phases – the analysis phase, the design phase, and the implementation phase.
Also read: Business Process Reengineering: Is it the perfect solution for your problems?
A business technologist is an employee who reports outside of IT departments and creates technology or analytics capabilities for internal or external business use. As per Gartner, 41% of the employee can be called business technologists. But this number differs based on the industry. For example, the number is close to 50% for IT-intensive industries like energy, while the number is near to 25% for non-IT intensive sectors such as government etc.
Case management software is a tool that can help you manage cases that are information-centric service requests, incidents that need to be resolved, or an investigation that needs to be undertaken. This software is a digital tool that can help you take your cases from offline to online. This software can also help you organize, analyze, and share all of the information related to a certain case, without wading through tedious forms and confusing procedures. This can greatly benefit your customer service or client servicing departments in speeding up their processes, which can lead to happier customers.
Case management software can be particularly useful, as every process or workflow may not need a standard number of steps. If there’s a process that can be resolved faster with fewer steps, the user can determine and set the steps, hence assigning the perfect workflow for that specific issue or case. This ability to manipulate the workflow and process associated with a case makes case management software indispensable for organizations, or non-profits, who aim to keep their customers happy at all times.
Also read: Case Management Software 101: Everything you wanted to know
‘Citizen Developer’, a very popular low code no code terms, is a relatively new term that has been coined by a research firm called Gartner, which specializes in technological research. By their definition, “A citizen developer is a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.”
In essence for no-code and low-code platforms, citizen developers are those who use the software to create new and improved applications for their business units.
Also read: The rise of the Citizen Developer and why should every business care?
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The data is stored on cloud (public, private, or hybrid) and the vendor takes care of the security and uptime. Businesses do not need to spend on additional infrastructure, resources, or data privacy within their own premises. It is a service that takes care of it all in one shot. You also do not need physical space because everything is on the cloud.
One of the highlights here is that you can get cloud computing solutions specific to your business needs. You won’t be paying extra for space or services that you do not use.
CWM enables business users without technical knowledge to model, coordinate, manage and optimize repeatable and reportable common work activities. According to Gartner, collaborative work management mix conversations, content posting, reporting, analytics, and dashboards with a task, project, workflow, and automation features. Products in this sector are characterized by their comprehensive capabilities, non-technical business users as target customers rather than project managers or business analysts, and their purpose (work planning and execution). To enable business users to model, organize, manage, and improve repeatable and reportable everyday work activities, CWM products combine a number of enabling technologies.
A composable business can be imagined as Lego blocks that can be arranged, rearranged, and discarded as necessary. In comparison, consider an inflexible, monolithic organization that is slow to evolve and difficult to change (like cinderblock). Composable businesses can respond quickly to market shifts by assembling and disassembling various components.
Conversational AI refers to a type of artificial intelligence technology that enables computers or machines to have human-like conversations with people. It’s all about creating computer programs or chatbots that can understand human language, interpret it, and respond in a way that feels natural and engaging to the user.
Just like when you talk to a friend, conversational AI systems can engage in back-and-forth exchanges, understand context, and adapt their responses based on the conversation’s flow. They can answer questions, provide recommendations, perform tasks, or simply engage in casual conversation.
Decision automation assists businesses in the decision-making process by using artificial intelligence, data and business rules. Decision automation is used in business for everyday repetitive tasks. By using automated decision-making, productivity is increased and risk and mistakes in decisions are decreased.
Another popular one from the list of low code no code terms, Democratization of technology is the process and the innovation through which advanced technology is being made available to larger numbers of people. Today with increased accessibility to resources, it has become significantly easier to reach technology to people. The average person today no longer has any barrier holding them back from learning to use or experience new technology in some form or the other. In terms of no-code and low-code platforms, this democratization is highly apparent as now everyone has the power to create applications.
Digital Assets are uniquely recognized and recorded that have or can be realized as a value proposition. Examples of digital assets are photos, videos, audio, documents, etc.
An agile and flexible team can make all the difference when implementing a digital transformation and this is where digital dexterity comes in.
Also read: Breaking down the basics of Digital Dexterity: What it means for you!
Digital Disruption is the evolution that affects the expectations and behaviours in a culture, market, processes, and industries that come after the introduction of new technology and business models.
Also read: Top 12 Strategic Technology Trends to watch out for in 2022
Digital innovation on the other hand is the creation and/or development of new technology that will help a business or a group of people. Digital Innovation looks at taking existing technological tools and making the most from them, almost as a precursor to digital transformation. Accelerating digital innovation means setting the foundation to accelerate digital transformation.
Also read: Accelerate Digital Innovation and Promote your Enterprise
Digital modernization, in simple language, is the process of upgrading existing processes and adopting new technology systems to meet the needs of the industry. This is often under the CIO’s purview and is mainly undertaken to better the operations and infrastructure in the business. This modernization can help a business with increasing efficiency, improving existing processes, and reducing costs.
Also read: Digital Modernization a Must. Modernize your Enterprise IT today!
Digital Process Automation is the process of automating business processes for the better. When we say better, we mean efficiency-wise and in terms of overall effectiveness. In other words, it helps you optimize processes through digitization. Digital workflow is created, which improves the focus of all team members.
Also read: Digital Process Automation – Everything You Need to Know
While Gartner did not coin the term digital transformation, their heavy influence in the space of no-code and low-code software has greatly influenced its meaning. According to the glossary at Gartner, digital transformation is “the process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model.” Overall it references any organization that is using technology as a tool of growth in their business strategy.
Digital transformation runs anywhere from the corner shop using mobile payment methods to a new website for an organization that tracks the usage of the customers. It doesn’t need to be of a certain standard, but it is the process in which the focus is turned towards making the customer’s journey easier and how value can be delivered more efficiently. There is space for digital transformation in each business unit of an enterprise and each step of a supply chain, all to make the collaboration and efficiency of an organization better. No-code and low-code platforms help encourage making these changes as they make the shift easier, faster, and more affordable.
Digitalization in most cases in business refers to improving business processes, business functions, business operations, and more by leveraging the new technology the digital space provides. It allows new systems to be set up in the context of digitalization to make business easier and achieve any/ all benefits the business may have in mind.
Digitalized businesses can lead to digital businesses and increased scope for business growth. On average, digitalization in this sense of the word is seen as the middle step toward digital transformation and the creation of digital revenue streams.
Digitization is a conceptual term that holds many associations across a variety of literature. Digitization is the term for creating a digital version of analogue things. It is converting physical matter into digital format. For example paper documents, microfilm images, photographs, and more into bits and bytes that define them.
All in all, digitization is the simple process of re-representing non-digital data in a digital format that can then be used by the computing system in a variety of ways and for different functions. Thus, in this whole process, nothing of the original document is lost. While in many cases the original item is destroyed to clear up space, in any case, it lives on in digital forms.
Also read: The Conundrum of Digitization, Digitalization, and Digital Transformation
Document generation software allows the design of document templates with placeholders that can be automatically populated with information from various data sources to generate a range of documents, such as purchase orders, invoices, contract agreements, proposals, quotes, and reports without the need to create and share any of them manually.
Also read: 10 Key Business Processes You Can Accelerate With Document Generation Software
Explainable AI (XAI) refers to the ability of artificial intelligence systems to provide understandable explanations or justifications for their decisions and outputs. It aims to make AI systems more transparent and interpretable for humans.
Imagine you’re using a recommendation system to suggest movies to your friend. With XAI, instead of just getting a list of movie recommendations, you also receive clear explanations about why those movies were suggested. For example, the system might say, “I recommend this movie because it has a similar genre and high ratings, and you’ve enjoyed similar movies in the past.” This helps you understand why the system made those recommendations and allows you to trust its suggestions. It bridges the gap between humans and AI, fostering confidence and responsible adoption of AI technology.
Extended reality (XR) is a term used to describe technologies that blend the physical world with virtual elements. It includes virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).
Think of XR as a way to enhance our real-world experiences by adding digital elements. For example, in gaming, XR allows us to immerse ourselves in virtual worlds and interact with them. It’s not just for entertainment though. XR can also be used for practical purposes.
One exciting aspect of XR is that it lets us try out products before buying them. Instead of just looking at pictures or descriptions, XR allows us to see and experience products virtually. This can be helpful when shopping online because it gives us a better idea of what we’re getting.
Social media platforms are also exploring XR. Companies like Meta (formerly known as Facebook) are working on creating virtual worlds where people can interact with each other. While this is still a new area and its impact is not fully known, it offers exciting possibilities for future engagement.
A fusion team is a multidisciplinary team that combines technological/analytical skills with subject matter expertise and is held accountable for business and technology outcomes. Cross-functional capabilities organize the fusion team, business results, and customer outcomes they support rather than functions or technologies.
Also read: Fusion Teams 101: A new Cross-Functional Collaboration Model for the Digital Era
Generative AI refers to a type of artificial intelligence that has the ability to create and generate new content, such as images, music, or text, that resembles something created by humans. It’s like having a computer program that can produce its own original artworks, compose its own songs, or write its own stories.
For example, a generative AI program trained on a dataset of landscape photographs can create new and realistic-looking landscapes that have never been seen before. Or a generative AI program trained on a collection of poems can generate its own poems in a similar style to the ones it learned from.
A hpaPaaS stands for ‘High-Performing Application Platform as a Service’. These platforms are an evolved version of aPaaS platforms that are focused on developer productivity and speed. HpaPaaS platforms provide rapid application development (RAD) features for development, deployment, and execution — in the cloud.
As per Gartner, Hyperautomation deals with the application of advanced technologies, including intelligent business management software (iBPMS), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to increasingly automate processes and augment humans. Hyperautomation extends across a range of tools that can be automated, but also refers to the sophistication of the automation (i.e., discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess. )
Also read: Hyperautomation – What, Why, and How?
Hyper Agile SDLC is the process of developing business-critical applications by leveraging the power of citizen development. According to PMI, Hyper Agile SDLC is different from traditional development or agile SDLC. It stands on the principle of creating agile delivery by recognizing the unique aspects of citizen development in order to enhance faster decision-making and project governance. It changes the way software is built and how development teams are formed and run, with business resources taking the lead and just minor IT approvals needed.
iBPMS combines Business process management with artificial intelligence. To create an agile, flexible system that enables organizations to create workflow solutions that automate and transform everyday business processes. At the onset, iBPMS requires your input with its collected data to enhance your processes. Its AI capabilities then analyze the data to determine which current process should be automated.
Image and video analysis AI refers to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and techniques to automatically analyze and interpret images and videos. It’s like having a computer program that can “see” and “understand” visual content.
Just like humans can look at a picture or watch a video and make sense of what’s happening, image and video analysis AI allows computers to do the same. The AI algorithms are trained on vast amounts of data to recognize patterns, objects, and actions in visual content.
iPaaS is another digital transformation term which is a collection of automated tools that integrate different cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individuals or across multiple organizations. When used effectively, iPaaS integrates a company’s requirements into a cloud-based toolkit built to handle the increasing data volume brought on by development cycles and sophisticated B2B transactions.
Low-code no-code development has tools to solve all the problems that were stated above. While they are not the same as traditional app development, they help solve the problems the original app development systems create. While there are lots of tools that help in many different ways, LCNC at the core of it is software that helps create and enable new applications to help a business grow.
These are software solutions that offer WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) or only a low amount of code to create fully-functional business automation applications. While not all LCNC automation enables app development, some only help infrastructure, source management, data management, and more. But we’re not here to talk about the other benefits of LCNC, we are here to talk about how LCNC is the here and now of app development.
Also read: LCNC: Is it completely worth the hype?
A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a product with sufficient features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product concept early in the development cycle. In industries like software, the MVP may assist the product team in receiving customer input as rapidly as possible so that they can iterate and enhance the product.
Multiexperience development platforms are rapid enterprise application development platforms that go beyond the ordinary. According to Gartner, MXDPs aim to centralize the app lifecycle activity— designing, developing, testing, distributing, managing and analyzing — for a portfolio of multiexperience apps. Multiexperience combines a permutation of modalities (e.g., touch, voice and gesture), devices and apps that users interact with on their digital journey.
Natural Language Processing (NLP), a new digital transformation term, is a field of computer science that focuses on making computers understand and work with human language in a way that feels natural to us. It’s all about teaching computers to process and analyze text or speech, just like we humans do.
With NLP, companies can enhance their digital experiences by analyzing how people interact with their websites or products and understanding the emotions behind their words. This helps them continuously improve their services. NLP also helps in dealing with large amounts of unorganized data by extracting useful information from it. For example, it can read through customer reviews, social media posts, or even emails to generate valuable insights.
Omni-channel application development refers to finding ways to unify the creation of an application across platforms. This means if you are creating a corporate expense management system, and you want it to work the same on desktop and mobile, it can be created all at once. This means that the code from the no-code or low-code system is created to remain compatible and malleable regardless of the platform.
The name says it all! On-premise software is literally present on a company’s premises. It is installed within the office and uses the business’ servers. Everything related to this software right from installation to maintenance and everything in between is in the hands of the office. It requires quite a lot of infrastructure and additional resources. Complete ownership is the biggest attraction in this case despite the inflated cost.
Also read: Cloud vs On-Premise | The battle of the titans
Process Automation is a brilliant way to aid collaboration and coordination throughout the organization. It may even be said that it is the key to attaining digital transformation.
Also read: How Process Automation Accelerates Digital Transformation
Process mining is a set of approaches that discovers real processes through the use of event logs, monitors them, and works towards improving them. It is an analytical approach through which knowledge is extracted from the organization’s systems.
Through this process, organizations can detect errors and bottlenecks based on the facts instead of relying on conjectures. Overall, it covers the following:
Also read: What is Process Mining? All You Need to Know
Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a form of agile software development methodology that prioritizes rapid prototype iteration and releases, the use of software, and user feedback over strict planning and requirements recording as in the case of the Waterfall method. Most low-code and no-code platforms are built based on RAD principles.
Also Read: Absolute guide to Rapid Application Development Platform
RPA is an application that automates business processes through structured inputs and logic. It takes care of the routine and repetitive tasks that are usually time-consuming and monotonous e.g. generating insurance premium receipts every time an insurance premium is paid against an insurance policy. With RPA in place, you will be able to focus on other important tasks in the business process.
However, RPA is not a deep-rooted answer. It is a basic fix for repetitive tasks and low-level events that require the use of mouse or keyboard functions. It only works to get things done faster and save human effort.
Also read: RPA and BPM: What’s the difference and which one do you need?
Shadow IT is the use of information technology systems, devices, software, applications, and services without explicit IT department approval. Business users opt for this software in the absence of any solution in the company. While shadow IT is said to improve productivity and innovation, it also introduces serious risks relating to the security of data in the company.
Also read: How to Implement and Govern Citizen Development in Your Organization
Workflow automation is the automation of steps involved in the workflow to execute your tasks efficiently with consistent and accurate results every time the workflow is executed. In other words, workflow automation is a series of automated actions created for the steps in a business workflow process.
Also read: A complete guide to workflow automation software
The digital curve is inevitable in any business. Every organization is feeling the need to up their efficiency and shift to the digital way of life. No-code and low-code platforms allow business users in these functions to unlock the hidden potential, automate processes, and build applications without overburdening the IT department.
We hope you are taking away a lot of information from our dictionary of digital transformation terms. Similarly, we have compiled an automation dictionary for you. Be sure to check out some of the other blogs on Quixy if you want to learn more about what you can accomplish using no-code and low-code platforms. If you are ready to take the next step forward in digitization, feel free to take a free trial of Quixy’s services here. We have a multitude of features and an ample support system that will help you through the process.
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