Application development, professionals in a meeting

Application Development brings a needs-based approach to operations and IT

By Nicole Blohm, Director of Portfolio Architecture, Ricoh USA, Inc. 


A “needs-based” approach brings new perspectives into application development and process automation.

Read time: 4 minutes

Gone are the days when IT departments were the sole gatekeepers to technology decisions within an organization.

Sometimes, we just need to get work done. And, thanks to low code/no code applications, technology solutions can be built incredibly efficiently based on the needs of workers. This “needs-based” approach brings new perspectives into application development.

Many will talk about the role of “citizen developers” in low code/no code development. According to Gartner, a citizen developer is an employee outside of an IT department “who creates application capabilities for consumption by themselves or others.” They build these tools because they are needed to perform a function efficiently and productively.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that colleagues in marketing or finance, for example, should develop applications – they have day jobs after all! But their perspective and knowledge can inform the needs that IT solves.

As business professionals, we all know that needs across businesses change incredibly frequently. What better way to demonstrate agility than to build solutions that solve the challenges colleagues say they’re experiencing?

While not new, a needs-based approach can be a shift for some within the organization. With that shift, comes new decision-making priorities. Historically, many technology decisions have been based on internal IT expertise with legacy tools.

But now, other priorities come into play such as:

  • Consumer-grade user experiences 

  • Individual/team needs

  • Business goals and longer-term value

A study from Boston Consulting Group that found 70 percent of digital transformation projects fail. Why? It could be because the needs were not the drivers of the decision.

Digital Transformation-as-a-Service

Nicole is responsible for developing a future roadmap of services offerings that enable Ricoh’s customers to digitally transform their end-to-end workflows while providing business insight and delightful customer experiences. She holds several patents on behalf of her work with Ricoh for inbound communication management and digital services practices.

Nicole Blohm

Director of Portfolio Architecture

Ricoh USA

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