There is a universal need in business for unique software made simply. The challenge for CIOs is deciding the best way to digitize enterprise environments to express that uniqueness and achieve differentiation over the competition. With customers constantly demanding new products and unparalleled experiences, making digital transformation easier is essential.
The low-code platform market arose due to the convergence of capabilities like BPM, case management and CRM that focus on enterprise business value with developer frameworks for visual coding. Given these technologies are no longer mutually exclusive, they must be unified or at least integrated, and organizations are demanding the creation of unique software at historically unprecedented levels. Thus, it's led to the natural evolution of vendors like Appian, Microsoft and others creating a new high-productivity technology for building apps and a shared platform to execute and govern them.
Industries facing digital disruption can thrive by using low-code to expedite technological innovation while slashing application costs at the same time -- upending the tyranny of spending the majority of their IT budgets on ongoing maintenance of legacy software.
For CIOs, being unique previously required writing your own software, or at least heavily modifying packaged applications with large, expensive and time-consuming custom coding projects. There are a number of obvious disadvantages to crafting your own solutions, but custom code has long been a necessary evil for firms that wish to remain competitive. Low-code platforms present a simple way to rapidly ship and evolve powerful enterprise applications that express those unique virtues -- without custom code.
Embrace Digital Transformation With Low-Code
Forrester, which coined the term “low-code” in 2004, determined (paywall) in 2016 that using low-code can produce applications six to 20 times faster, equipping even small teams to achieve enterprise-level digital transformation. Low-code allows applications to be configured, not custom-coded, delivering tailor-made, powerful software without the cost, risk and delays of traditional development.
There’s an obvious excitement about the future, as our 2018 Digital Transformation Readiness Report found a majority of respondents are optimistic about their transformative prospects with new technologies. However, to leverage new technologies, many businesses must rewrite their code. As a result, many will fail to realize the possibilities of IoT, AI and blockchain if they cling to custom software development alone.
It is now more important than ever to allocate scarce developer resources to innovative projects instead of wasting them on maintenance. Low-code addresses this issue, enabling developers to delegate work to citizen developers and business analysts, all while retaining enterprise governance and controls. What’s more, a low-code strategy can provide both IT and business teams with an outlet to easily translate concepts into software applications quickly, with minimal technical debt.
With that said, not all low-code platforms are created equal and there can be downsides to building applications quickly. To avoid silos and broken processes, it’s critical that low-code platforms have a business process management and case management foundation. If not, applications created on the platform may not generate the business outcomes or process efficiencies desired. It’s also essential that low-code platforms be governed and highly efficient in unifying people, process and data. If the platform doesn’t provide these things, it’s unlikely to deliver the digital transformation promised.
Addressing Application Pain Points With Simplicity
It’s no longer considered a win for CIOs to simply keep their infrastructure up and running. It takes growing revenue and enacting digital transformation to drive today’s IT strategies. Low-code platforms simplify innovation because they eliminate much of the custom coding required to integrate all manners of technology. Instead of starting from scratch, developers using low-code can reuse the best of what they have already built, greatly reducing the amount of new custom code required. This cuts the marginal cost of each application thanks to software reuse. It also increases value by facilitating collaboration and data sharing on a unified platform. A virtuous cycle can be created where each new application is better than the last -- both more beneficial and less expensive to create.
We describe this process as operating similarly to Moore's Law: Every two years the size of the transistors in a chip drops by a half. For low-code, that translates to every two years the amount of work it takes to build a new piece of software should drop by a half as well. The notion of accelerating efficiency and impact is exemplary -- fundamentally, that is the thesis of low-code software.
From Low-Code To Digital Readiness
Low-code technology simplifies the building of great software, and the industry continues to grow because the benefits of abstracting that complexity are immense. But, as it stands, many organizations and their respective CIOs are unaware of low-code technology as an option -- and those that do know about it are still in their early stages of development.
As organizations pursue transformation, it is important to recognize that low-code has the opportunity to grow as a viable measure for solving the challenges of transformation. With low-code, professional development teams can supercharge their ability to deliver, while non-programmers or citizen developers are also able to get involved in building solutions. Great business ideas can turn into applications much faster, and software teams can stop worrying about technical debt and resource constraints. The faster enterprise application development becomes, the faster it will transition to the default method for companies building software. And, as a CIO, you’ll want to be a part of a business that’s ahead of the game.
Article by Forbes: