Developing the Apps the Community Needs
Results - Even with just one developer, the City of Shawnee has already moved many of its legacy apps from Lotus Notes to OutSystems, optimizing processes and adding mobile functionality along the way. It plans to shift more systems onto the new platform and continue building new apps to support the community.
“In one year of using OutSystems, we’ve developed more than 30 apps—a pace that wouldn’t be possible without the OutSystems low-code platform,” says Mel. “Our goal for the coming year is to retire Lotus Notes completely.”
Replacing paper processes, like burn permits, saves the city time and money. Just three months since the burn permit app’s launch, more than 70 percent of applications are completed online. The app also provides a better user experience for citizens, along with an intuitive UI and workflow for novice internal users.
And with its asset management app, the city expects to save money through budgeting and forecasting efficiency and simpler asset maintenance admin. Another app for internal business licensing allows clerks to submit more than 50 payments at once, eliminating the need to enter every payment by hand.
Meanwhile, the IT department is also saving on staffing costs and realizing new efficiency gains. “With OutSystems, we’re able to build apps with fewer development staff,” Mel explains. “And we can increase efficiency through automation, which further reduces our costs.”
But perhaps most importantly, OutSystems gives the City of Shawnee new ways to help the community it serves. The platform’s ease of use means the city can give opportunities to local college students through its intern program. And the IT department’s apprentices, with little or no back-end coding experience, are creating OutSystems apps independently within six months.
“OutSystems gives us the opportunity to engage with the community and develop the apps they need,” says Mel. “And it also means we can give local people valuable work experience.”
And Alex, he’s excited to see the results of his work in action in the community. “I can see what I’m building actually helping someone do something,” he says. “I don’t just get a clear view of the outcomes—with OutSystems, it’s easier to make changes whenever they’re needed, so I can create the apps my community really needs.”