How Can My Organisation Become More Agile and Efficient with Low Code?
Agile and Efficient with Low Code
More organisations are realising the business value of becoming agile and efficient with low code development platforms, along with how they provide solutions to common development problems like technical debt and process inefficiencies. Low-code offers the technical agility that companies need to innovate new applications and mission-critical systems (or adapt legacy technology) faster and more securely, using existing talent and resources. Increased speed of delivery for new services enhances the experience of both customers and employees, as well as the enterprise bottom line.
Low code bolsters the reliability, scalability and security of apps and systems significantly. It can also promote sound architecture, best practices and good technical governance. This evolution has led more organizations to consider the potential for low code to revolutionize mission-critical systems and create seamless integrations.
Low-code can also help organizations address the tech workforce challenge. It can empower skilled developers to work more efficiently, so they can focus their specialized expertise on more complex, less mundane aspects of programming. This strategy allows experienced developers to complete more projects faster. Meanwhile, low-code helps newer developers achieve productivity faster, and it can yield consistently better outcomes from outsourced development.
Key Aspects of Agile and Efficient with Low Code
- More efficient development processes, reducing both the time and expense of development
- Faster time-to-market for internal and customer-facing systems and tools
- Increased innovation, allowing organizations to capitalize on creativity and respond faster to changing business and customer demands
- Fewer technology problems through more consistent adherence to standards and security requirements
The bottom-line benefits of these advantages can be substantial. For instance, when Schneider Electric deployed the OutSystems low-code platform, the company doubled its development speed, producing more than 60 new apps in about 40% of the time than previously would have been needed. This includes several large, mission-critical applications for supply chain, sales and marketing, workforce and HR administration, finance, portfolio management, manufacturing management and more.
The value of low-code becomes especially clear during digital transformation. Most organizations either already have a digital transformation initiative or are planning one.1 Yet, up to 70% of major enterprise transformation efforts fail to achieve their goals — and one of the most common goals for digital transformation is to improve the customer experience to support business growth.
“It used to be that release cycles would happen quarterly or less frequently, but today’s consumers and business users have gotten used to software updates that happen much more often,” says Nuno Borges, Director of Analyst and Customer Research for OutSystems, a leading low-code platform provider. “Now, consumers expect to be able to interact with any kind of organization in more ways with less friction — insurance companies, utilities, retailers and more. Companies that cannot drop their release cycle to about two days or less will fall behind.”
Agile and Efficient with Low Code – Faster, Secure & More Robust
Compared to the traditional “waterfall” development process and manual coding, low-code platforms support faster development and deployment of solutions. In low-code, most software can be created through visual representation, and large sections of the code base don’t need to be written from scratch.
Agile and Efficient with Low Code – Benefitting Developers
Some developers have viewed low-code as a threat to their role or to software quality. But as low-code platforms have matured, several direct benefits to developers have emerged:
- Less drudgery. In most applications, only about 10% of the code is truly unique. Low-code enables developers to focus their skills where they are most needed, removing repetitive coding from their work
- New developers get up to speed faster. New developers can attain full productivity faster with low-code tools. Typically, they also require less training and monitoring giving senior developers more time to focus on the unique aspects of the application or system architecture rather than mechanics. This approach helps development teams to grow and diversify more smoothly, despite the ongoing tech talent shortage
- Fewer problems. Generated code automatically adheres to current architecture and standards, so a developer’s work products have fewer errors that need correction. Also, deeper issues with software become easier to diagnose and fix with a more standardized, modular code base
- Enhanced job security. Low-code enables developers to build faster with fewer defects, which speeds release cycles. Increased productivity usually bodes well for job retention. Low-code also frees developers to innovate and experiment more, showcasing their creativity and initiative
- Advanced learning. Low-code can allow developers more bandwidth to explore cutting-edge technology that can support top business objectives, such as artificial intelligence
- Less isolation, more clarity. Often, developers are frustrated by unclear project requirements and goals, especially when created without their input. Low-code facilitates direct cooperation between IT and business users across the enterprise, bringing developers out of the IT silo and fostering a deeper understanding of the enterprise and its customers
Agile and Efficient with Low Code – Top Tips for Adopting Low Code
While low-code can be used to develop core systems, it’s generally better to start out on a much smaller scale. For an organization’s first low-code project, it helps to identify a relatively small, discrete problem that may yield large benefits if solved. “We often encourage companies to focus on a small piece of the larger application or system they want to update or replace, such as automating an operational process for one department rather than doing it for all departments at once,” says Forsyth Alexander, Senior Product Marketing Manager at OutSystems.
“Teams see they can quickly build something useful, and that it works. That’s an ‘aha’ moment. People get excited, and they talk to colleagues in other departments. That’s how you build momentum for the next part of the project, and convert skeptics into low-code fans.”
In the bigger picture, low-code can mitigate the common tension between business leaders and IT leaders in an enterprise.8 Friction arises when the digital demands of the business outpace what IT can support and deliver. This type of situation can hinder the ability of an enterprise to innovate or react swiftly to changing customer requirements. However, if an enterprise has adopted a low-code platform and gained proficiency in using it to develop core systems, this proficiency can provide valuable flexibility for business decisions. Thus, IT leaders can offer more options to guide business decisions about which new systems should be bought versus built, and how to best integrate new acquisitions into the enterprise.