Customer-Facing Apps: How to Overcome the Top Development Challenges


In today’s operating environment, customer experience (CX) is king. That puts a lot of pressure on development teams like yours to create unique and engaging customer-facing apps, whether mobile solutions or self-service web portals.

As an IT leader, you undoubtedly feel this pressure while also being all too aware of the challenges you face in bringing great ideas to life with the timelines and resources you have available.

The good news is that you’re not alone. Other companies have faced similar challenges — including complex integrations, high customizations, and enterprise-level requirements for security, scalability, and performance.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can surpass these challenges with the right low-code platform.

But first, let’s start with a few definitions to ensure we’re all on the same page.

What is a customer-facing app?

As the name reveals, a customer-facing app is a software solution that is designed to interact directly with customers of a product or service. It can be accessed by users through multiple devices, from smartphones and tablets, to laptops and desktop computers.

The goal is to enable customers to interact with your company in the most convenient and personalized way to enhance their satisfaction and strengthen their relationship with your business. Examples of customer-facing apps include mobile banking, food ordering, and ride-sharing apps.

Common challenges when building customer-facing apps

If you’ve tried to build enterprise-grade customer-facing applications using traditional development or commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions, you’ve probably run into some or all of these challenges:

  • Slow development: it takes too long because traditional development is complex and can’t move at the speed of business.
  • Lack of integration and personalization: off-the-shelf solutions don’t integrate with your existing tech, nor do they help differentiate your brand.
  • Limited development resources: internal resources are scarce, and hiring developers knowledgeable about mobile and cloud development and great UX is expensive.
  • Apps don’t evolve: you can’t iterate fast enough to capture customer feedback in time to continuously meet user needs.

Clearly, traditional development and COTS no longer cut it in today’s fast, complex app development environment.

To overcome these challenges, organizations are turning to low-code development that lets them build high-quality web and mobile apps that enhance customer experience at scale quickly enough to meet the needs of the business.

But with so many vendors in the low-code market, how do you know which is the right solution for your business?

What to look for in a low-code solution for building customer-facing apps

According to Gartner, there are eight critical capabilities for low-code platforms:

  1. User experience design
  2. Development productivity
  3. Business logic and workflow
  4. Integration and APIs
  5. DevOps practices
  6. Platform extensibility
  7. Governance
  8. Security and quality of service

All are critical capabilities that you need to consider when building customer-facing apps. You can find that data in Gartner’s Critical Capabilities report that outlines how the different low-code solutions score against each of these capabilities. But for a busy IT leader like yourself, here’s what you need to know:

Based on these criteria, OutSystems outranks competitors in its ability to execute across the primary use cases, including B2C transactional apps.

Why Gartner scored OutSystems the highest for B2C apps

When it comes to building customer-facing apps that provide a better user experience and improve customer engagement, here are three areas where these critical capabilities are put to the test:

  • Creating pixel-perfect user interfaces (UIs): to create interactive and immersive user experiences faster, OutSystems provides an internal design system called OutSystems UI, which can be integrated with Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD to support UX design and collaboration between UX experts and developers. OutSystems UI has a customizable library of UI primitives (UI Patterns) — screen and app templates to accelerate development and provide a consistent look and feel across different apps. To learn more about how OutSystems can help you deliver pixel-perfect apps fast, check out our webinar on the topic.
  • Accelerating development: To accelerate app development, OutSystems provides out-of-the-box web- and desktop-based IDEs, AI-based smart development guidance, and architecture discovery. The platform also generates CI/CD pipelines for multiple environments and provides monitoring and reporting capabilities for infrastructure, applications, and security. Design- and development-time guidance is provided to developers to warn them about common vulnerabilities.
  • Ensuring the highest standards of security: OutSystems delivers advanced security features, such as advanced mobile app shielding and an embedded security operations center with logging, audit, and monitoring tools. It also actively uses AI-assisted development and integration capabilities, — including natural language processing for data queries, generation of application logic and configuration, and code and feature usage analysis for the prevention of production issues and security vulnerabilities.

These are just a few reasons that make OutSystems a high-performance low-code platform.

Explore 5 real-world customer-facing apps built with high-performance low-code

Whether you want to break new ground or get out from underneath a towering backlog, high-performance low-code can help you say “yes” to every new customer-facing app request—whether it be a new mobile app or a modern customer portal.

  • Curious to learn more about how you can launch new apps or features faster using your existing resources?
  • Want to build apps that are unique to your business and differentiate you from your competitors while ensuring security, scalability, and high performance?

Download our new ebook, An IT Leader’s Guide to Building Customer Apps and Portals to read about five companies that have successfully overcome the common challenges of building customer-facing apps using OutSystems high-performance low-code.