Albert Einstein famously said, “Genius is making complex ideas simple”. The digital transformation of industrial processes can be challenged by a cloud of data complexity, but a simplified IT platform can reduce the workload. In this piece, Johan Jonzon, CMO and Co-Founder of the pioneer in edge analytics for the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Crosser, looks at how low code platforms can alleviate the IT bottleneck.

Digitalization is a megatrend for industry, with stakeholders adopting the latest technologies to build seamless connectivity, gather valuable data insights, and optimize processes. This has created a large workload for IT departments, with a report by Mulesoft finding the number of projects IT teams are asked to deliver to have increased by at least 30 percent year-on-year since 2017.

IT teams have struggled to meet this growing demand due to limited resources and an industry-wide lack of developers. This has created an IT delivery gap, where the digital advancement of industrial businesses is being delayed by the IT bottleneck.

Work smarter, not harder

When thinking about how IT teams can conquer their backlog of projects with limited resources, it’s helpful to remember the phrase work smarter, not harder. In other words, the accumulation of IT work can be completed more quickly by using a simpler system, such as a low-code platform.

Instead of extensive coding languages, low code platforms use visual interfaces with simple logic and drag-and-drop features. They rely on as little code as possible and are intuitive to use.

The streamlined nature of low code platforms means they are easier to learn how to use, and thus don’t require experienced coders or software developers. This opens up the possibility to train existing staff from other areas of the industrial business on the platform, so they can move to IT for support when needed.

Sharing the workload allows IT problems to be distributed across the organization, easing pressure on individual employees and teams. This is especially important, with a survey of 13,000 global workers by team organization software developer Asana finding that 71 percent of workers experienced burnout in 2020.

With more people available to work on the platform, and its overall quicker nature, industrial businesses can accelerate their digital transformation. According to Forrester, using low code platforms can make software development ten times faster than traditional processes. In fact, a survey by low code platform company Appian found that nearly 80 percent of IT developer respondents believe that using low code can free up developer time to work on higher-level projects.

Fight complexity

The Crosser platform is designed to fight complexity, being a straightforward and logical system. Its pre-built modules and drag-and-drop feature in the Crosser Flow Studio make designing, deploying, and managing data flows fast and easy for any user, especially those with less experience in developing.

Fragmented networks, raw data, limited bandwidth, and thousands of tags are all sources of complexity in digital transformation. For example, if data is too large to be held at a frame, it can be divided into fragments at the network layer. This can be problematic, as the fragments may take different routes or arrive at the destination out of order. Fortunately, the Crosser platform offers an agile and easy-to-use system to overcome issues such as these by streamlining and effectively managing data.

In addition, centralized low code platforms like Crosser are thoroughly tested and approved, because they are going to be installed by many users, and effecting many different systems and use-cases. Not only does this force the code quality to be even better, but it also makes it easier and faster to find and fix eventual bugs and issues, due to a large number of users and applications. This creates an overall more secure and reliable system.

Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important, with threats constantly emerging and adapting. In fact, a survey by Make UK found 60 percent of manufacturers to have been subject to a cybersecurity incident.

It’s true: genius is often uncovered when things are kept simple. Low code platforms offer a simple solution, providing an easy-to-use system that can be operated by employees without extensive coding experience. This increases the efficiency of IT operations, thus accelerating the industrial business’ digital transformation.

Founded in 2016 by Johan Jonzon, Martin Thunman, and Ulf Bjorklund, Crosser is a Swedish software company with installations in over 20 different countries. We design and develop a Low-Code software platform for Streaming Analytics, Automation, and Integration for any Edge, On-premise, or Cloud.

The company aims is to remove complexity, simplify development, and to enable non-programmers to innovate faster with a dramatically lower total cost of ownership. Our vision is that there are enormous business opportunities for companies When Machines Talk(™).

The software is ideally suited for Enterprise customers of various Industrial verticals such as Process Industry, Manufacturing, Utilities, and other asset-rich verticals. The modular and flexible solutions enable many different applications, including Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT, and next-generation Hybrid Integration, also called Hyper Automation by Gartner.
Industrial customers include SCA AB, Valmet Corporation, Novo Nordisk, Gebhardt, Clarebout Potatoes, and RubbleMaster.

Crosser was included in the “Cool Vendors in IoT Edge Computing, 2018” report by Gartner, Inc. and was named among the Top 10 Smart Factory Solutions in Europe 2020 by the industry magazine Manufacturing Technology Insights.




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