What is the ROI of low-code platforms? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’ve probably read all reports and articles about how low-code helps companies unlock digital transformation. And maybe you’ve thought that this low-code thing sounds too good to be true. 

I don’t blame you. I still remember when the so-called 4GL, CASE tools, and early RAD tools popped up, and unrealistic promises were made. But, technology evolves, and today a new breed of enterprise low-code platforms has begun an inexorable march on the software world. These platforms, identified by Gartner as enterprise low-code application platforms (LCAPs) offer what was once promised but not delivered‒built-in capabilities that support the rapid development of all types of applications and core systems with scale and security.

“By 2024, LCAPs will be responsible for 65% of all application development activity.”

Gartner, Inc. “Low-Code Development Technologies Evaluation Guide;” Paul Vicent, Mark Driver, Jason Wong, February 26, 2019

Of course, every platform is different, and it all comes down to choosing the right one for your business needs. So, if you’re evaluating the low-code market, The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Development Platforms report is a great starting point to understand which are the vendors with the strongest offer.

But let’s get back to what brought you here.

The ROI of Low-Code Platforms

At OutSystems, we have seen first-hand the benefits low-code application development brings to our customers in terms of speed, time-to-market, and competitive advantage. Here are some examples:

  • Shorter development times and, consequently, lower development costs
  • Faster time-to-market
  • Reduced hiring costs, as low-code allows you to make the most out of existing resources, reducing the need to hire highly paid and specialized resources
  • The agility to respond to the market and make changes faster

And although these benefits are exciting, a common question we’re asked during evaluation processes is what’s the real, tangible impact of faster development times in terms of cost, benefits, payback, and real return on investment (ROI)

I found that the best way to answer that question is to show you the real, hard data our customers share with us. That said, here are six stories of companies that have been using low-code and the return of their investment.

Burton 

Burton, a company specializing in products for snowboarders, had to revamp its logistics operations to adjust to new sales patterns and avoid ending the winter season with high inventory carrying costs. So, the company built a new app to connect all the sales points and tie them into the back-end systems. 

Now Burton can quickly move goods through its sales channels so that when customers want to buy, there are enough products on hand. The app processes an average of 56 shipments a day and has been helping the company maintain historically low inventory, avoiding off-price store sales and turning summer sell-offs into “shopping events” rather than clearance sales. This has resulted in 10 times ROI in revenue

Grupo Marista

Grupo Marista owns two hospitals and provides more than 450,000 healthcare appointments each year. It was looking for a solution that would optimize the scheduling of doctor appointments, reduce costs, and provide better access to patients. So, Grupo Marista used OutSystems to develop a web portal and mobile app for scheduling doctor appointments online. 

It took two developers two months (instead of the eight months needed for traditional development) to deliver the solution. The new solution has won over 500 users since its launch and it achieved ROI in eight months as measured by the increase in volume of scheduled appointments, the decrease in late appointment cancellations, and improved customer satisfaction.

Worcestershire County Council 

Worcestershire County Council (WCC) is a local government organization that delivers services based on priorities set by the county’s residents and businesses. It was tasked with improving the customer experience as cost-effectively as possible, while also replacing its legacy CRM solution. WCC ultimately chose to build a new digital solution with low-code because it met its diverse needs.

In the end, the company enjoyed a variety of benefits thanks to its partnership with OutSystems. These benefits included better technology management and service as well as faster development speeds. Not only that, it was able to save £367,547 a year, which translated into an ROI of an astounding 442 percent.

Prosegur

Prosegur Seguridad, an international security firm, wanted to provide a more predictive security service to its customers. But its old systems of record didn’t give it much room to innovate. With low-code, the team built POPS, an operations platform that delivers meaningful security insights to customers and security personnel, which has become a true competitive advantage for the company.

The Prosegur IT team developed the web and mobile version of POPS and POPS Mobile in just three months—half the time estimated for traditional development. Prosegur cut time to market by 50 percent, and reduced development costs by 20 percent, getting their investment back under 18 months.

Eneco

Eneco Group is a collection of Netherlands-based natural gas, electricity, and heating companies. To gain competitive advantage in a highly competitive industry, the company realized it needed to develop new products and services that customers would value. Since revamping its legacy system would use too many resources and rebuilding it in-house would take too much time, Eneco decided to maintain its current database but add a modern wrap around the old code, so it could deploy web services and new applications that draw on the existing data.

With low-code, Eneco increased the productivity of its existing developer and back-office staff, which means they did not have to hire new and expensive staff. This results in annual savings of €3,429,563 and an ROI of 258 percent

MicroMain

MicroMain is an organization that helps companies managing their maintenance and facilities better with its award-winning software solutions. Losing ground to its competitors, Micromain needed to build a new maintenance management solution on their existing platform that was easy to use.

The company re-wrote its existing app with low-code, giving it a more modern, mobile-ready, cloud-based solution, which has resulted in higher customer adoption and retention rates. Plus, by using low-code, the company saved roughly $250,000 in the first year and $500,000 overall in development costs.

Finding the Right Low-Code Platform

Results like these might sound too good to be true, but with the right low-code platform, they’re not. If you want to learn more about the low-code leaders, Forrester evaluated the top 13 vendors in the market and compiled its insights in The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Development Platforms For AD&D Pros, Q1 2019. Get your copy to get all the deets.