Low-code changes the development of enterprise applications to enable true innovation. It delivers apps fast and with minimal coding.
Use low-code to quickly and intuitively build business solutions
Low-code is all about simplifying application development. There are a lot of low-code platforms, all slightly different. But all of them use predefined building blocks to construct apps modularly. This makes it easier to develop enterprise solutions and greatly reduces development time. In short, low-code platforms are a set of tools that enable developers to build applications visually through modelling and a graphical drag-and-drop interface. With low-code, it becomes possible to develop applications to replace traditional software, but also to expand upon existing systems.
Instead of having to write hundreds upon hundreds of lines of code, developers can use low-code to construct complete applications. This also gives rise to a hybrid form of working called Citizen Development. This is the development of specific solutions by, for example, process owners with a broad knowledge of their process architecture. There are other personas suitable for this role, too: tech-savvy employees and problem-solvers to name a few.
There are a plethora of different low-code platforms saturating the market, though they all have three basic features in common:
A visual-based environment where blocks are dragged and dropped to build the UI, data models and workflows of the application.
The potential to connect the application to other software like legacy ERP systems, to automatically handle data streams.
Integrated tools to manage the application development of the different phases of its life cycle through a standardised process.
Beyond these three features, no two low-code platforms are the same. Some platforms are regarded as generalists, others specialise in specific business needs. But all of them give rise to a new, more agile way to develop digital solutions.
Quickly adapt to rapidly changing market demands
Organisations nowadays are under a lot of pressure to innovate as fast as possible. The more competitive the market becomes, the bigger this pressure gets. The majority of companies struggle to hire sufficiently competent employees, while the IT staff they do have are buried under an ever-increasing backlog. Additionally, the current pandemic shows us that the possibility to adapt to new and unforeseeable demands is absolutely necessary for the survival of businesses. With traditional application development, only the largest fish in the pond have the resources necessary to meet this demand. But low-code changes the game.
The flexibility of low-code technology allows organisations to change direction with ease and precision. If, for example, a business has a sudden need for digitisation of their commercial proposal process, low-code offers a solid solution with short development times.
The benefits of low-code
Shorter development time
The modularity of low-code’s building blocks keeps the amount of code needed at a minimum. This automatically means less manpower is necessary, which saves time (and money). It also means the time to deployment is shortened, which is the reason low-code is sometimes referred to as Rapid Application Development (RAD).
The agility of a business determines its ability to adapt to market changes and new opportunities. Low-code allows organisations to use digitally innovative solutions to shift gears quickly and exploit the technologies usually associated with agility, like containers and microservices.
Lowers the bar for digitisation
For a lot of smaller organisations and businesses, digitisation efforts used to be a Herculean task; possible on paper, but hard to achieve. Mostly the costs would far outweigh the benefits. Low-code platforms change this and make digitisation feasible for all, another step towards the democratisation of technology.
One of the defining aspects of low-code is that processes are at the centre of it. This means that before development starts, it’s possible to pinpoint the ideal process structure and build the application accordingly. Where traditional development restricts businesses to work within a certain framework, low-code is adaptable to the workings of the business.
Eliminates shadow IT
Tailor-made IT solutions always were a thing. It just happened to mostly fly under the radar of the IT department. Shadow IT encompasses all software solutions built by business users without consultation or approval of IT. This form of stealth development is understandable, but it can hinder the implementation of best practises and be security sensitive.