The adoption of low-code development is growing exponentially, owing to the increased need for business applications and the rapid digital transformation. Moreover, IT teams across industries are under pressure to deliver custom and problem-solving solutions to the front-line teams, fueling the inevitable growth of low-code technology.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this trend, resulting in increased remote development to automate specific tasks, provide customized solutions, and address niche pain points. This movement is being driven by low-code platforms, which has turned non-IT members into citizen developers.
Today’s business landscape is experiencing a tectonic shift, and organizations that champion citizen development will improve productivity and operational efficiency. Low code provides them with a much-needed lifeline, driving automation through the entire business, enabling business agility, supporting growth, and improving creativity.
Low-code development offers drag-and-drop features and an intuitive interface to allow non-IT professionals to build custom apps and bespoke solutions. And as more business professionals seek to add business agility to their processes, delivering these capabilities across the organization will be critical.
Here are five major benefits of low code that your organization will see when using this technology.
With low-code development, business users without technical knowledge can build custom applications, saving businesses hundreds of development hours. The development process involves using intelligent devices, drag-and-drop capabilities, pre-built models, ready-made components, templates, and point-and-click editors to create and deploy fully functional business apps.
Because of this, this process can cut development times by 50-90%, compared to building applications from scratch. Low-code technology also eliminates the underlying complexities and tediousness in developing and deploying business-grade apps, allowing teams to work faster and productively for immediate impact.
Additionally, teams across the business don’t need to wait for IT to deliver the solutions they need. Low-code platforms allow business teams to manage application development for the processes they are closest to, improving team performance, collaboration, and productivity. This gets the job done faster and more efficiently, saving organizations time and resources.
2. Lower Costs
Low code development also lowers the cost associated with workflow automation, application development, and system integrations. It eliminates the traditional IT development burdens, which attract more expenses and IT resources. With low-code development:
● Developers simply use drag-and-drop functions, cutting labor and time costs
● Non-programmers can develop apps, reducing the HR costs of hiring developers
● It takes less time and resources to build, deploy, or maintain apps
● Teams can improve productivity and efficiency, resulting in cost savings
For example, Diversakore, a construction-industry supply company, built a cost estimation app using Quickbase, which helped cut their material and labor costs. Implementing Quickbase provided them visible insight across the entire organization, making it easier to correlate between project details and estimation data. With their dollar-value savings, they can now better serve customers at a better value.
3. Automation of Manual Processes
Manual and repetitive business processes not only waste precious time, but also eat into your budget. This impacts employee satisfaction, customer experience, revenue, productivity, performance, and compliance. With a low-code development platform, you can automate routine tasks, increase workflow efficiencies, and free up your staff for high-impact tasks. This results in:
● Reduced data entry errors due to manual operations
● Minimized labor costs
● End-to-end visibility into core processes
● Enhanced business elasticity and operational agility
● Improved ability to innovate
Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found that 92% of IT leaders believe giving business users the tools to automate their own processes is critical to digital transformation success and increased business agility. Companies that automate their processes are more agile, responsive, and competitive. As such, leveraging the benefits of low-code development platforms lets you automate specific tasks in the development process to save time and resources.
4. Less Maintenance
During development, low-code applications use pre-built modules to remove technical hurdles. As a result, they require less maintenance to function seamlessly.
They’re built using ready-made templates and components, which can be changed, upgraded, or extended independently without affecting the entire ecosystem.
Developers and IT teams can also set governance guardrails to guide this work, saving them time and effort that would otherwise be spent inspecting work. Plus, developers who were not involved in the original development process can still maintain applications built using low-code platforms. Less maintenance time means IT teams can channel their efforts and focus on innovative tasks that drive business value.
5. Rapid Prototyping
Developers know that application or software development can be pretty involved — the process entails a lot of iterating, prototyping, and feedback implementation. Thanks to low-code software, it’s possible to leverage Rapid Application Development (RAD) to get prototypes to the end-user without building a complete product.
This helps to reduce traditional hand-coding in app and software development, enabling the accelerated delivery of mission-critical enterprise solutions. Developers can test ideas directly on the low-code platform, allowing them to build and validate prototypes faster. Plus, the platform takes care of the operational tasks, saving resources and time.
Basically, low code platforms deliver an agile methodology, enabling fast development times, easy scaling, and faster time to market. The right platform allows you to focus on building what you need to showcase to end-users. You can iterate quickly, leverage structured approaches, and input real data to determine use cases and define a process model, resulting in a production-ready prototype.
Common low-code questions
What’s the difference between low-code and no-code?
As the demand for business applications grows, low-code and no-code platforms have become the go-to solutions for building enterprise-ready apps. While both options are potent enablers for IT and business, it’s vital to understand what they mean and how you can use them in your development process.
Low-code is basically a way of building applications faster by reducing hand-coding. It also enables business users with no coding background to create apps with minimal effort. On the other hand, no-code is like a feature of low-code, and it allows users to use visual elements to develop apps. According to Gartner, “no-code” is a low code application platform that uses text entry for simple expressions. Therefore, the research firm categorizes no-code platforms as part of the low-code market.
Ultimately, low-code or no-code platforms are successful based on the skillset most important to build application – whether or not it is designed for “business developers” or “professional IT developers.”
Is low-code/no-code the future of software development?
While low-code/no-code will never likely replace traditional development, they help speed up the development cycles and eliminate barriers to access to innovation. Plus, they’re shortening the learning curve and closing the skills gap, turning business users into citizen developers. So, it’s right to state that low-code/no-code will play a vital role in software development in the future.
In today’s rapidly evolving world, digital transformation plays a vital role in business growth and innovation. LCAPs empower businesses to build applications faster, redefining core processes and streamlining enterprise workflows. And as the HBRAS report shows, progressive IT leaders know how critical it is going forward.
In essence, software and app development still need skilled developers to deploy complex and highly customized solutions. But businesses that need quick solutions will appreciate the efficacy and simplicity of low-code and no-code platforms. The two options coexisting, in a dual-track approach to digital transformation, will lead to the most comprehensive success.
When should you use a low-code platform?
Low-code technology offers a modern agile way of developing and improving business applications, and it’s a viable option for a variety of use cases and situations. Whether you want to deploy it in marketing, IT, HR, supply chain, or sales management, a low-code platform can centralize your data, connect your teams, and streamline your workflows.
For example, supply chains are constantly experiencing disruptions, which affect production times and time to market. Low-code technology can help you disruption-proof your supply chain by eliminating manual workflows, improving access to actionable insights, and providing organization-wide visibility. This gives your business the ability to mitigate risks and adapt your business to changes.
In project management, it’s typical for project managers to utilize spreadsheets to manage projects and collect data. This can be tedious and time-consuming. With low code, you can develop an app that automates the entire project management process, allowing you to connect team members and improve access to crucial data.
You can also use a low-code platform in process management to streamline your core processes. Low-code lets you connect your hard-to-reach systems, making it effortless to centralize your data for easy access. This way, you can empower teams, easily spot inefficiencies, and quickly determine correction actions.