What do you use to build custom applications? Have you considered the benefits of low-code platforms?
Many organizations find low-code development meets many of their requirements. In traditional app development, programmers write every line of code manually (hand-coding). In contrast, a low-code platform requires very little manual coding, if any. Instead, developers use an intuitive, drag-and-drop editor to create visual models of an app’s business logic, integrations and user interface. If that low-code platform is full-featured, generating, compiling and deploying the necessary code is automatic.
Low-code automation allows users to create and deploy high-quality web and mobile apps significantly faster - typically in weeks rather than months.
Enabling IT departments to meet the growing demand for the rollout of new apps is only one of the benefits of low-code platforms. These platforms also streamline app maintenance and updates. This is critical, given today’s rapidly changing business needs. If the low-code platform is robust, it can also integrate readily with existing IT infrastructure. Migration and legacy enterprise systems are much less of a concern. In addition, you can manage integration for easy access and replication, resulting in ongoing efficiency.
When to Consider a Low-code Platform: Key Needs and Objectives
How do you gauge the benefits of low-code platforms? How useful could one be for your organization? To answer these questions, consider whether any of the following statements apply in your case:
- You need to rapidly build and manage multiple apps for your business.
- You currently have a backlog of mobile or web apps to build.
- In-house IT development can be slow, prone to errors or both.
- Company leadership is mandating the use of mobile apps as a competitive advantage.
- Your apps need to work on all major mobile platforms.
- Lifecycle management, iterations, and changes are important considerations.
Top Benefits of Low-code Platforms
The benefits of low-code platforms are compelling enough to merit serious consideration. Here are the top 7.
1. Greater Stakeholder Engagement and Satisfaction
Because low-code platforms build and update apps so quickly, developers can share fully functional features with stakeholders in days or even hours. Maintaining a short, dynamic iteration cycle fosters more active engagement. In addition, there is a clear, ongoing sense of progress and responsiveness.
2. Lower Risk and Higher ROI
With a low-code platform, all the security, cross-platform support and data integration capabilities have already been built. And, they can be customized easily. As a result, developers and others can focus on solving business problems rather than mundane, error-prone technical requirements. The risk of catastrophic failure drops significantly.
3. Elimination of the IT Skills Gap
The intuitive, visual editors in low-code platforms do a lot to "level the playing field." Knowledge of specific languages isn't required, nor do they have to have years of experience to use them. Therefore, more developers can contribute to a project. In some cases, even non-technical stakeholders can learn to build their own prototypes. Waiting for IT support becomes a thing of the past.
4. Scalable Governance of Multiple Apps
When IT backlogs grow, business leaders often outsource work to external vendors. This addresses short-term needs, but it often creates longer-term challenges. Multiple IT teams and projects can become increasingly difficult to manage. By shortening lead times and using common infrastructure, low-code platforms can enhance transparency, security and compliance.
5. Building Once and Deploying Everywhere
The best low-code platforms are game-changers for those accustomed to traditional methods. Why? Because you can build apps for multiple platforms simultaneously. Not only that, but it can be done in a fraction of the time needed to hand-code an app for just one.
6. Full Lifecycle Maintenance
App development doesn’t end with a successful launch. After all, there are updates, feature improvements, and bug fixes to consider. With a low-code platform, you can often make complex updates and deliver new features (such as integrating data from a third-party SaaS app) in minutes. And, it's done with minimal impact on other projects in the development queue.
7. Innovation and Impact
Hand coding an app is time-consuming and labor intensive work. With low-code platforms, all that goes away. As a result, developers can create innovative new functionality or customize features without the mundane dragging them down. In addition to its direct benefits, this shift tends to keep top performers more engaged and enthusiastic, which can help you maintain a satisfied, stable team.
The Benefits of Low-code Platforms in a Mobile World
The need for mobile apps is largely driving new and innovative approaches to app development. Traditional and modern development stacks are changing. Hand coding can still be effective in some cases. However, more organizations are finding that low-code platforms enable them to develop and deliver the applications companies use to delight customers.
Why OutSystems for Low-code Development?
At Green Lemon Company in Brighton, we help our customers accelerate and deliver their digital transformation road maps. Therefore, we research and partner with innovative technology companies like OutSystems. Offering an award-winning low-code development platform for delivering enterprise-grade mobile and web apps, OutSystems is endorsed by the likes of Gartner, Forrester and Ovum. In addition, a recent independent survey showed that 74% of OutSystems customers improved their speed of software delivery by 6 times or more.
If you want to accelerate and deliver your digital transformation program, we at Green Lemon Company would be delighted to help. For more information, please contact one of the team. For details visit www.greenlemoncompany.net
This article originally appeared in Platinum Business Magazine (with a different title) on November 21, 2016.