January 28, 2023

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Why low-code development is becoming the digital transformation MVP

Without the ability to rapidly develop business applications, your organization is missing the kind of digital agility necessary for the new pace of business.

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Tony Piunno

Sales and Marketing Professional

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Is your organization lacking the kind of digital agility required to effectively respond to the new rapid pace of business? Are you still relying on code-heavy applications, manual processes, and siloed data?

If so, changing that could require heavy financial investment, months or years of waiting, and enterprise-wide change management. With no guarantee you’ll end up where you need to be. The events of 2020 further compounded these challenges. Digital transformation had been well underway, but 2020 really pushed the accelerator to the floor and created a whole new pace of business.

How can you keep up?

Low-code application development.

Key benefit of low-code = Speed

A new tool, referred to as low-code application development, has made a timely entrance onto the scene. At its most basic level, low-code is an approach to application development that leverages platform-based visual design elements — such as drop-down menus and checkboxes — to quickly and easily develop, change, and deliver business applications with minimal to no hand-coding.

This powerful capability is allowing organizations to circumvent lengthy development cycles and rigid legacy systems to rapidly stand up new business applications that meet immediate business needs.

A low-code development platform offers several benefits, but perhaps most importantly, it brings an element of speed that organizations today desperately need to succeed at the new pace of business. This type of technology enables rapid application development that, as the name implies, provides an ability to rapidly develop new solutions.

This is important, because there is a new requirement for businesses to be able to “meet the moment.” For example, if you are a school or university and you need a solution to perform COVID-19 tracing on your campus or campuses, you don’t have time for a lengthy development cycle and heavy involvement from IT. By the time you complete the solution, the original problem will have passed you by.

Organizations need a more agile solution, something they can utilize to quickly solve a problem and get it into the hands of users before the window of opportunity has closed. That’s where a low-code development platform helps, by giving your organization the ability to leverage intuitive tools to create new applications that solve business problems as they emerge.

This ability to develop or quickly adapt existing applications is a game-changing approach to digital business. It’s simple, effective, and transformational.

In fact, low-code capabilities are “table stakes for a digital organization,” according to a Frost & Sullivan report.

Overcoming the "buy vs. build" dilemma

As digital transformation continues to accelerate and organizations look to solve new challenges, they tend to default to the traditional question of buy vs. build. Both options have their drawbacks.

Buying something off the shelf can be quicker, but it will also be expensive and likely will not be a perfect fit. Building something internally will likely provide a more perfect fit, but will take more time and command valuable IT resources.

Low-code introduces a new alternative that allows you to maximize ROI from your existing tech stack. It offers the ability to squeeze even more value from existing solutions. With low-code applications, you create powerful data relationships from internal and external sources, centralize that information, and provide an ability for users to take action on it. You also leverage your existing technology solutions to bring data together and stand up new applications that put the right information in front of the right people at the right time.

By optimizing the user experience, you increase user adoption. And the more people use the solution, the more effective they are at their jobs, the more you maximize your ROI.

That’s why you need a platform with a well-documented record of enabling users to create diverse, customizable, and efficient low-code solutions. With robust low-code capabilities, contributors from outside your IT department not only play an important role in guiding applications to solve issues or improve processes, they also help design the apps.

After all, who knows how to improve processes better than the people who use them every day?

Leveraging low-code alongside core systems

A critical component to low-code integration is the ability for your app-building platform to access and use all the latest data and content from your entire content and application universe.

The best low-code strategy is one that integrates your organization’s critical content repositories with your applications and line-of-business systems — complementing those systems and maximizing your investments. Content and documents are often the most pervasive and challenging-to-manage elements across business units, which makes a content services platform ideal for launching effective applications.

In fact, “Organizations expect to see the greatest benefit when low-code development capabilities are built into a content management or process automation platform,” according to Frost & Sullivan.

To find additional areas where low-code applications can have the biggest impact, look at key departments that are still relying heavily on excel spreadsheets or Access database applications.

To find processes you can optimize with low-code, start by looking in:

  • Finance
  • HR
  • Purchasing
  • Vendor management
  • Asset management

A low-code approach — in addition to core content services capabilities like business process automation and intelligent capture — can all work together to fuel your digital business strategy and empower your organization to excel at this new rapid pace of business.

Measuring success

Your low-code platform needs to contribute to the attainment of your business objectives. Otherwise, what’s the point?

A great place to start measuring success is by looking at metrics such as:

  • Speed of deployment
  • Increases in efficiency
  • Customer satisfaction

Another critical metric is user adoption. Are users leveraging the system and corresponding business apps? If so, it indicates the solution is successful.

After all, when user adoption increases, it typically does so alongside the business benefits you’re seeking:

  • Optimal utilization of resources
  • Improved profitability
  • Maximum ROI

By benchmarking the performance of your current development system — and user satisfaction — you can measure the impact of your low-code platform.

The power of low-code

With low-code, you empower employees to effectively “meet the moment.”

Users inside and outside of IT can now contribute to growing your business processes responsively, creatively, and intelligently. You not only attract and retain top talent, you also have the critical ability to quickly pivot and evolve based on the ever-changing competitive landscape, technological innovations, and customer feedback.

And that is why low-code is quickly becoming the new digital transformation MVP.