Why low-code is key to a changing business landscape

Forrester Research defines a low-code platform as a platform that enables rapid application delivery with a minimum of hand-coding.

Everyone has heard the term digital transformation. The umbrella term coined to capture the profound shift in business and organisational activities, processes, systems and models, which have been put in place to maximise the opportunities that digital technologies have given to the market. But this is only half the story.

The rise of digital technologies and new business models have helped give birth to the next generation of customers and employees, all with different viewpoints and expectations of work.

These ‘millennials’ have now entered the workplace, bringing a comfort and familiarity with communications tools and digital technologies. The “I want and expect it now!” generation are used to adopting new digital tools to improve their productivity, wanting to work (and live) smarter, not harder.

>See also: Low-code technology: an emerging term that needs more definition

The workplace of today and the future is about innovation, what are we doing and how can we improve. When computers became increasingly adopted in the early 1980s by businesses, companies could revolutionise their operations by using them to manage inventories, payrolls, files, and produce a wide variety of reports. The rise of the computer and the applications they run has allowed companies and their employees to become incredibly efficient and productive.

However, there is a hidden pitfall. Appian frequently hears from its customer and prospects that internal IT has difficulty keeping up with demand for enterprise applications.

To avoid businesses from being left behind, we need to empower employees to build their own applications and develop solutions that will help drive their company.

Low-code is quickly becoming adopted by the world’s biggest companies like Barclays, John Lewis, and Pirelli, as a platform to bring IT and business together.

Low-code is all about speed, and enables rapid delivery of enterprise applications, unlike traditional applications which are designed using specialised programming languages like Java and C#, low-code requires minimal coding.

Bespoke apps can be designed, tested and fully delivered within weeks rather than months and even years, giving millennials the new tools they demand at their fingertips.

>See also: Low code –how smart businesses are fighting back

Barclays Bank has been using Appian’s low-code platform to develop and implement its own bespoke business applications and processes. The multinational banking and financial services company has successfully deployed nine processes in ten months, which have directly resulted in an 84% reduction in processing time associated with admin. In parallel, Barclays experienced an increased in customer satisfaction of 64% within the first month of the processes going live.

Low-code provides three fundamental functionalities, which are integral for adoption and the delivery of apps:

1. Ease of use

The employee and customer of today are accustomed to accessing a variety of apps through their mobile devices, however it’s the simplest programmes which are usually the most successful.

User experience is key for rolling out technology and ensuring its longevity. By taking this approach, Appian has developed its low-code platform to be simple and intuitive and provides users with the ability to easily drag-and-drop items to help them develop and customise their apps.

Being cloud-based, users can seamlessly switch between any device and continue with their projects on the move.

2. Speed of delivery

To make sure businesses can adapt to changing market conditions, low-code enables teams to take their app ideas from concept to roll out in just a few weeks.

>See also: On the down low: Why CIOs should care about Low Code

The speed of delivery allows companies to be more agile, empowering teams to spend more time on innovations that will give their business a competitive edge and customers an improved experience.

3. Power of functionality

The versatility of low-code means that any employee can be turned into a digital leader by developing their own apps. These can be scaled up and modified as and when required to fit the needs of the business and its changing landscape.

As industries evolve and more millennials enter the market, functionality will be even more key as technologies which are currently in their infancy like artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) become more widely adopted.

To get there however, we need platforms that enable these technologies to be available to the whole company and not just experts with PhDs or developers experienced in coding.

By bringing together IT and business, low-code allows teams to develop apps which will integrate new technologies more rapidly into their business and move towards real digital transformation.

>See also: The rise of no-code enterprise applications

Before low-code can be adopted by a business, it important to find the right partner that understands your business, its customers and recognises how low-code will benefit both.

The chosen partner needs to be with you every step of the way, taking your teams from their initial training to rolling out innovative apps that will help transform your business.


Sourced from Paul Maguire, vice president of Europe, Appian

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...