In the contemporary landscape, organizations are engaged in a frenetic race to modernize their operational procedures, leading to a substantial uptick in expenditures on technology and software development. However, this heightened reliance on IT teams can introduce bottlenecks, impeding the prompt realization of development goals. Consequently, enterprises are actively seeking cost-effective solutions that not only expedite the digitization process but also enhance the overall work experience for their staff. The solution to swiftly constructing and deploying software applications lies in the realm of low-code platforms.
A global survey has compellingly demonstrated that low-code development outpaces traditional methods, boasting a speed advantage ranging from 40 to 60 percent. These platforms alleviate the strain on IT teams by empowering non-technical business users to independently craft applications, thus streamlining the entire development process.
What is a low-code platform?
A low-code platform is a software development environment or framework that simplifies and accelerates the creation of applications, typically with a graphical, user-friendly interface that requires minimal coding expertise. These platforms are designed to enable users, often business professionals with limited programming skills, to build software applications and workflows with relative ease.
Uses of Low-Code Platform
Low-code platforms have a wide range of uses across different industries and business functions due to their ability to accelerate application development and streamline processes. Here are some common uses of low-code platforms:
- Rapid Application Development: Low-code platforms are primarily used to develop applications quickly. This can include mobile apps, web apps, and desktop applications for various purposes, such as customer-facing apps, internal tools, and more.
- Business Process Automation: Organizations use low-code platforms to automate repetitive and manual business processes. This can include workflows for approvals, document management, data entry, and task routing.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Low-code CRM solutions allow businesses to create and customize their CRM systems to manage customer data, interactions, and sales processes efficiently.
- Workflow Management: Low-code platforms are employed to design and manage workflows for various tasks, from project management and content approval to employee onboarding and leave requests.
- Data Integration: These platforms often include features for integrating with different data sources and systems, making it easier to aggregate and use data from multiple locations.
- Legacy System Modernization: Low-code tools can help update and modernize legacy systems by creating new interfaces, connecting to new technologies, or extending functionality.
- Self-Service Portals: Organizations use low-code platforms to create self-service portals for customers and employees, allowing them to access information, submit requests, and perform tasks independently.
- Mobile App Development: Low-code platforms are popular for mobile app development, enabling businesses to quickly build apps for various purposes, including sales, marketing, and internal operations.
- Quality Assurance and Testing: Low-code platforms can assist in the development of test management and quality assurance applications to improve software testing and bug-tracking processes.
- Analytics and Reporting: These platforms can be used to build customized reporting and analytics tools, helping organizations gain insights from their data and make data-driven decisions.
- Compliance and Governance: Low-code solutions can be used to create applications and workflows that ensure compliance with regulations, industry standards, and internal policies.
- IT Service Management (ITSM): Low-code platforms help in building IT service management solutions for incident tracking, service requests, and problem resolution, improving IT service delivery.
- Supply Chain Management: Businesses use low-code platforms to streamline and automate various aspects of their supply chain, from inventory management to order processing and logistics.
- E-commerce and Online Marketplaces: Low-code platforms are utilized to create and customize e-commerce websites, online marketplaces, and shopping cart systems.
- Healthcare Management: In the healthcare industry, low-code platforms are employed to develop patient management systems, appointment scheduling applications, and telehealth solutions.
- Education and Learning Management: Educational institutions use low-code platforms to create online courses, learning management systems, and student information systems.
- Human Resources and Talent Management: Low-code platforms help in developing HR applications for recruitment, employee onboarding, performance management, and talent acquisition.
- Public Sector and Government: Governments and public sector organizations use low-code platforms to build citizen portals, e-government solutions, and applications for administrative tasks.
- Nonprofit and Social Services: Nonprofits leverage low-code platforms to develop solutions for fundraising, donor management, and program management.
The versatility of low-code platforms makes them applicable in a wide array of scenarios, helping organizations of all sizes and industries become more agile and responsive to their specific needs and challenges.
Low-Code Process Automation: An Explainer
Low-code process automation offers a visual and expedited means to create software applications. Rather than laboriously writing extensive lines of code, low-code platforms provide prebuilt templates and a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface for effortless application development. This simplicity, in turn, facilitates the swift creation, deployment, and upkeep of business applications.
When Do You Need to Invest in Low-Code Automation?
In the realm of low-code process automation, it’s essential to discern whether it’s a vital necessity for your business or merely an added advantage. Here, we present five compelling indicators to aid in your decision-making process.
Skill Gap Challenges:
If your organization grapples with a shortage of IT skills, you’re not alone. A survey conducted by IDC revealed that more than 52% of IT leaders consider the scarcity of skilled personnel their most formidable hurdle, potentially costing organizations nearly $775 billion annually. Whether you’re launching with a modest budget or seeking more experienced resources to meet the surging demand for tech innovation, investing in a low-code platform can be the ideal solution. Low-code automation empowers citizen developers to create applications through a secure, user-friendly interface with minimal effort.
Embracing Digital Transformation:
The pandemic has compelled organizations to reevaluate their IT strategies. According to a report by AppDynamics, approximately 66% of IT professionals feel that the pandemic exposed the weaknesses in their digital strategies. Many businesses remain entangled in outdated systems, hesitant to embark on the transformative journey. Migrating to digital realms can be intricate, but it’s crucial to acknowledge that legacy systems are susceptible to security threats, resistant to modernization, and inhibitive to innovation. For forward-thinking companies in this digital era, updating IT environments is essential to drive innovation, ensure continuous improvement, and maintain a competitive edge. Investing in low-code platforms offers a streamlined pathway to modernization, delivering benefits such as proactively meeting evolving customer needs, heightened agility in changing business conditions, cost reduction, and increased productivity.
Customer Experience Enhancement:
In a world driven by technology, customers expect instant responses and seamless experiences. As industry analysts rightly put it, “customer experience is the new marketing battlefield.” If your customers grapple with long wait times, inadequate support, and low first-time issue resolution, it’s time to consider investing in a low-code platform. With low code, you can integrate real-time communication capabilities like chatboxes and voice interfaces to personalize the customer experience. In fact, 90% of IT leaders believe that the flexibility and speed of low-code automation enhance customer experiences more effectively than traditional development methods. For instance, you can create customer portals that provide on-demand access to information, reducing dependence on support agents.
If your employees spend precious hours managing data, including gathering, analyzing, storing, and cleaning it, low-code provides a solution. Low-code enables seamless integration of existing data sources and automates tasks across various data silos, freeing up valuable time. Additionally, designing low-code solutions using a visual, graphical user interface not only reduces costs but also offers greater flexibility and scalability.
Sluggish App Development:
When you realize that app development is progressing at a snail’s pace, it’s time to consider a technological upgrade. Cost optimization is a paramount consideration. Investing in low-code not only dramatically accelerates typical app development cycles but also reduces costs associated with hiring skilled professionals and extensive engineering efforts.
Incorporating a low-code automation platform can address these signs and position your business for increased efficiency and competitiveness in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Why companies should go for low-code development?
Companies should consider low-code development for the following reasons:
- Accelerated Development: Low-code development significantly speeds up the creation of software applications. This rapid development allows businesses to respond quickly to changing market demands and gain a competitive edge.
- Cost Efficiency: Low code reduces the time and resources required for traditional coding, resulting in cost savings. It minimizes the need for hiring specialized developers and streamlines the development process.
- Skill Diversification: Low-code platforms enable employees with diverse skill sets to participate in application development, reducing the reliance on a limited pool of IT experts. This democratization of development fosters innovation and agility.
- Agility and Flexibility: Low-code solutions empower businesses to be more agile and flexible. They can adapt and modify applications as needs evolve, without the constraints of lengthy development cycles.
- Integration Capabilities: Low-code platforms often offer pre-built integrations with various systems and databases. This simplifies the process of connecting to existing tools, data sources, and third-party services.
- Enhanced Customer Experiences: With low code, companies can create customer-centric applications and portals quickly, improving the overall customer experience. Real-time communication features, chatbots, and self-service options can be integrated to meet customer needs more effectively.
- Streamlined Workflows: Low-code platforms are ideal for optimizing and automating business processes. They help reduce manual and repetitive tasks, resulting in improved efficiency and reduced errors.
- Modernization of Legacy Systems: Businesses with legacy systems can use low-code to update and modernize their technology stack. This ensures security, scalability, and alignment with current industry standards.
- Improved Data Management: Low-code simplifies data integration and management, allowing companies to make better use of their data assets. This is crucial for informed decision-making and enhancing business operations.
- Faster Time-to-Market: Low-code enables quicker application deployment, reducing time-to-market for new products and services. This agility can be a game-changer in today’s fast-paced business environment.
- Competitive Advantage: Companies that adopt low-code development gain a competitive advantage by being more responsive to market changes, delivering better customer experiences, and efficiently managing their resources.
- Reduced IT Backlog: Low-code platforms can help alleviate IT backlogs by enabling business units to develop applications themselves. This frees up IT teams to focus on more complex and strategic projects.
- Scalability: Low-code applications are designed to scale easily, making them suitable for both small projects and large enterprise solutions.
- Enhanced Collaboration: Low-code platforms foster collaboration between IT and business teams. They provide a common platform for communication and understanding, leading to more successful projects.
- Business Continuity: Low-code can help companies adapt to disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, by allowing remote development and facilitating business operations from anywhere.
The Bottom Line
The low-code application development empowers businesses to be more efficient, agile, and responsive to changing demands. It reduces costs, enhances collaboration, and improves customer experiences, ultimately positioning companies for success in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.
Author: Narbhavi, Digital Marketing Executive