City of Las Vegas Bets on Low-Code, Wins Big With OutSystems
The City of Las Vegas wanted to rapidly develop user-centric applications for its citizens and staff in order to stay competitive. The first proof of concept: a new building inspection app. The city started by restructuring and modernizing their back-end ecosystem, but needed to choose the right rapid front-end delivery platform to deliver its value to users. OutSystems enabled the city to develop the first app in just six sprints over 12 weeks, kickstarting a mission to improve all kinds of services for 600,000+ citizens.
3 months from requirements to deployment
25% time savings per site inspection
50% reduction in hardware costs
"The OutSystems platform has bridged the gap from our middleware to deliver user-friendly systems in a fraction of the time we had anticipated it would take. All without sacrificing any desired capability in the end solution."
Making the Most of a New Ecosystem
Challenge - Like many local government organizations, City of Las Vegas (CLV) needed to modernize. By replacing siloed applications with a common, horizontally integrated data layer and overarching API and web services layer, CLV believed they’d be able to build a huge variety of internal and citizen-facing web and mobile applications fit for the digital age.
To maximize their investment in the new service-oriented architecture, it became important to have a rapid application delivery platform to quickly develop front-end applications. After consulting the Gartner Magic Quadrant, attending a Gartner summit session about OutSystems, and considering competitive solutions, Rick Virmani, the city’s Systems Manager, selected OutSystems to develop the user interfaces.
The first application developed in the new ecosystem, a mobile app for city building inspectors in the field, needed to enhance productivity and collaboration between inspectors, eliminate the need to travel back to the office to complete timesheets, and it absolutely had to work offline.
“We didn’t want to spend a lot of time building the front ends,” Virmani says. “Offline capability is the kind of thing we didn’t want the headache of having to program. We wanted our focus to be on the business API layer to support more apps in the future.”
From Concept to Completion in 3 Months
Solution - The project started with several requirements sessions facilitated by OutSystems over a four-week initiation phase. Around 20 people met to capture success criteria and user pains and then drill down into more detail with day-in-the-life walkthroughs. Ride-along observations with inspectors provided rich insight for documenting around 24 user stories.
OutSystems consultants then completed designs and key users approved them. Two developers delivered the completed system in six sprints over 12 weeks. From requirements, design, development, and testing, the full project was completed in 18 weeks. The Mobile Inspector App went live as part of the largest systems overhaul undertaken at the City of Las Vegas in the past 15 years.
“Platform independence, ease of development, and application monitoring capabilities were key for us,” explains Virmani.
- Comprehensive application management that supports design and development through post-rollout maintenance and monitoring
- Architecture analysis for monitoring performance across all layers, not just the interface layer
- Seamless integration with the back end, so everything users see on the screen is in real time
A Successful App, a Whole New World of Possibilities
Results - Based on their experience with other similar development projects, CLV estimates that developing the inspector app with OutSystems on top of their restructured API framework saved them between three to five months, cutting the timeline by up to two-thirds.
Inspectors love the mobile app, as it saves them at least 25% during inspections and eliminates the need for frequent trips back into the office, thanks to real-time data capture and automation. And making ongoing enhancements to the app is quick, easy, and economical.
"Since we rolled this out, the cost of enhancements is easily 50% less than what it was before. Because OutSystems is constantly monitoring what kind of errors the users are seeing, we can be extremely proactive in addressing them. By the time we start receiving phone calls from the field, we’ve already started to fix the issues."
Ultimately, by improving how inspections are processed, CLV is delivering not just a superior experience for its citizens, but achieving quicker compliance and enforcement for public safety and welfare as well.
Those are the kind of high-level benefits CLV plans to deliver more of in the future. Similar digital projects are already underway across multiple departments, including an app to facilitate storm water inspections and a mobile app that extends the city’s “Batteries Included” youth program by offering helpful resources to teens on the go.
The success CLV has experienced with its groundbreaking new ecosystem is paving the way for other municipalities to modernize their digital services. “We’ve been in conversations with other cities and counties that are trying to set up a program similar to ours,” states Virmani. “And OutSystems is an important part of that, because it facilitates our investment in service-oriented architecture. It’s a fundamental shift in how systems are built and delivered.”
- Great user experience even when offline where cell service is unavailable
- Integration with horizontal business API layer to enable ongoing feature additions
- Superior agility to realize CLV’s digital vision and keep the city competitive in the years ahead