Low-Code for enterprise-grade applications, the time is now!
But first, what is Low-Code? Low-Code development is a way of building software that requires little to no coding. It simply uses graphical, drag and drop tools, pre-built functions and configuration steps to define the applications and from that, the low-code platform creates the code, tests it and deploys it.
Why is it so popular now? Because the benefits of using low-code are very diverse. They include, among others, reducing development cycle time (testing, deployment, maintenance etc.), decreasing project cost and risks, increasing productivity, gaining staff flexibility, and more.
According to Deloitte, low-code development is up to 10 times faster than traditional development and allows teams to explore more flexible and effective staffing models. They said: “The high productivity of low-code platforms will enable such teams to deliver results that would have required larger teams in the past.” As they mentioned in a recent post, Are You Low-Code Yet? Your Competition Likely Is, “In an era where business requirements change rapidly, low-code development is so fast, it encourages a more agile approach. Development can progress incrementally and iteratively, allowing end users to visualize and shape the solution as it develops and helping to ensure it is well aligned with customer needs.”
In the same line, IDC presented its IDC FutureScape: Worldwide IT Industry 2021 Predictions where they highlight how COVID-19 pandemic challenges IT teams and what will be the trends for 2021. They particularly noted that a “greater use of low-code” would be one of them.
Looking ahead, Gartner said, “By 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will have adopted LCAPs (Low-Code Application Platforms) as one of their strategic application platforms” in its 2020 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms
What kind of solutions can IT professionals build on low-code platforms? That was the question asked, in a recent Forrester report, When And How To Modernize Core Applications Using Low-Code Platforms, and pointing out the following overall results: 16% of IT pros responded, “Basic business applications”, 36% said they use it for “Complete customer-facing applications for mobile and/or web” and 34% for “Business process/workflow applications”, among others. When asked about the scope of the low-code solutions, 23% of them said they had already implemented or were expanding solutions at the enterprise level. 30% responded that they plan to do so within 12 months.
It should be emphasized that enterprise-grade applications are more complex solutions. They require a better design than a simple app as they must be integrated with many other systems and services. That’s where starting your solution from the architecture point of view would guarantee success. As Forrester says, “Employ modern architectural practices to tame complexity and scale (…) loose coupling of services and microservices, layering of services and process domains, and master data management”. It’s a small effort at the beginning, “but the payoff is huge, as the incremental cost of adding a new service is very low”.
Nowadays companies demand a speed of change that requires a fast reaction from technology teams, which is why software solutions must be ready quickly. But adding developers to the team is not the answer. As KPMG says in a recent advisor, Low-Code Programming – A faster way to leverage technology in response to COVID-19: “Businesses are finding their technology is a hindrance rather than a help responding to today’s fast-changing business climate. COVID-19 and its disruptions of the global economy have highlighted the need for fast and agile technology solutions to problems for which manpower alone is not the answer. Low-Code software development platforms can speed the process of developing these solutions”.
KPMG notes, in another advisory, Cracking Low-Code, “With low-code, the important metric is speed to value. Because of its simple building-block approach, low-code allows even complex projects to be accomplished quickly, sometimes in as little as a few weeks, often in stages—potentially shaving six or more months from every project.”
“With Low-Code, the important metric is speed to value. It allows even complex projects to be accomplished quickly, potentially shaving six or more months from every project”, KPMG.
Considering the analysis, and as Gartner, Forrester, and the above-mentioned research companies have predicted, it is clear to say that Low-Code Development Platforms have come to stay. They are here to enhance, boost, and supplement IT transformation processes. Moreover, it would be expected from low-code platform vendors to continue innovating in the direction to support more complex, enterprise solution architectures, customization, and deployment possibilities. Perhaps even it would not be surprising that traditional software application vendors transitioned to offer their newer versions to low-code platform-based technologies, to take advantage of shorter release cycles, consistency, quality, and maintainability.
If there is anything that this COVID-19 global pandemic has taught us, is that only those who are flexible enough to adapt to changing scenarios will endure. As it evolves, the Low-Code development landscape is showing the industry a way forward to successfully tackle modern business challenges. And on top of that, leading IT to accomplish business requirements quickly while saving tons of time and investment. Are you ready to welcome low-code development to your organization?
Gustavo L. Merchan
Blazedpath Managing Director