Business, and business technology especially, is filled with buzzwords. Some represent developments that prove over time to have little lasting value. Others describe concepts that are game-changers. Low-code development falls firmly into the latter camp.
Low-code development describes a set of IT solutions that developers can use as the components for custom enterprise-wide systems. Rather than rely on scripting experts to hand-code solutions in esoteric programming languages, developers can use these solutions to rapidly and efficiently assemble the solutions that businesses and organizations need. Whether building a human resource information system or customizing a customer relationship management tool for your businesses' unique needs, low-code development provides a vital resource for your developer team.
The Benefits of Low-Code Development
Low-code development isn't just the latest tech conference circuit topic. Nor is it likely to be a flash-in-the-pan. Much ink has been spilled over the software developer shortage, a shortage exacerbated by firms' continued integration of digital technology across all facets of their business. Or as Jason Bloomberg, President of Intellyx, put it in a recent Forbes piece: "As companies proceed with their digital transformations, software becomes increasingly strategic and pervasive — which means they need more of it. Lots more."
Further, since the pandemic, the high demand for developers has positively skyrocketed. As consumers demand for all things, IT has soared. Regardless of the quality vs. quantity debate, many firms struggle to get the right talent in the door, and low-code development provides a potential solution to that problem. In an interview with TechRepublic, John Rhymer, Principal Analyst at Forrester, asserts, "There are just not enough developers to go around, so by going low-code, you can get a lot done with ordinary developers that you can afford."
And businesses are taking note — and advantage — of low-code development. By 2024, research firm Gartner projects that 65 percent of all development will be rooted in low-code tools. That's not just a trend — that's a revolution! As this change sweeps the development world, it provides businesses and organizations who take advantage with several significant benefits.
1. Faster Development
Low-code tools are designed for rapid deployment and customization, leveraging basic attributes like revisioning and passing data down to child components, among others. Your developers will be able to move at the speed you need them to in order to keep up with evolving market dynamics and consumer desires.
Moreover, "[b]ecause low-code platforms focus on giving professional developers the ability to build applications more quickly while minimizing the need to hand-code," says Bloomberg in Forbes, "traditional development backlogs become less about features and tasks and more about applications — improving both the productivity and morale of the developers as well as the customer-centricity of the apps themselves." Low-code tools empower your teams to build what end-users need quickly while reducing or eliminating development backlogs.
Further, because of how rapidly you can use them to develop applications, you'll have the time you need to experiment and come up with the correct solution. You may not have this time when embarking on a multi-month enterprise-wide installation and deployment, or relying on an in-house team for complex custom coding. The time you save can also free your in-house developers to make your applications more feature-rich and user-friendly.
2. Greater Cost Efficiency
"Just because you can build something doesn't necessarily mean that you should," Rhymer notes to TechRepublic. "Maybe you should reuse something that somebody already built or take something somebody already built and customize it a little bit to meet your needs."
Using low-code tools can save you money you may otherwise spend on additional in-house or outsourced developers to build a unique IT solution, or alternatively, an enterprise-wide system as well as system integration costs. Low-code tools can cost considerably less than enterprise-wide systems, especially over time, when compared to the costs involved with updating legacy systems using custom scripts, third-party integration companies, and software integration packages.
3. Greater Flexibility
Imagine the headaches consumer electronics vendors using traditional coding to power their e-commerce operations must have faced in the early days of the pandemic. As workers worldwide snatched up laptops and other necessary equipment to work from home, some businesses undoubtedly struggled mightily to scale or otherwise rapidly develop the customer-centric online experience required to capture a significant portion of buyers.
Well, the rapid development speed and efficiency that low-code tools provide also means your developers can quickly adapt what they build to meet changing demands. If you need to scale up or down, you can do so swiftly and efficiently as necessary. Moreover, you can integrate these tools easily into legacy systems or into third-party consumer platforms to identify and reach more potential customers.
4. Increased Organization-Wide Productivity
Using low-code tools can help developers focus more on developing the right solutions to automate standard functions, utilize templates to build new processes, and manage data across platforms. Most low-code tools have multiple prebuilt integrations and provide API access, allowing you to append them to your existing systems quickly. And when you automate more and reduce the daily administrative burden your staff face across departments, you free them to do the strategic and revenue-driving business needed for you to thrive.
5. Reduced the Need for Shadow IT
Chances are there are a few programs one or more of your organization's departments has deployed without your, or the IT department's, prior knowledge or consent. And those programs not only cause you headaches but proliferate once one department sees another has purchased software on their own.
Department heads make these decisions because the IT department can't provide what they need within the time frame they need it. And when your IT department is deluged with development requests, addressing security threats, and handling daily IT and administrative tasks, delays are understandable. However, you can cut down on your development time substantially with low-code tools. And by providing your firm's departments with the tools they need when they need them, you remove the reason for them to purchase and deploy their own systems and software.
Getting Started with Low-Code Tools
Far from hollow industry jargon, low-code development is a paradigm shift in the tech industry. These tools can accelerate your development speed, improve your efficiency, agility, and productivity, and help you eliminate shadow IT. When you use low-code tools, you facilitate developer teamwork and build morale. And your empowered teams can create the kind of cohesive solutions that will not only save you money but add money to your bottom line.
Getting started with low-code tools is also infinitely less painless than your next enterprise-wide system purchase, integration, and deployment. When you shift your focus from fulfilling day-to-day demands to long-term development, you're positioning your business for future success. At eSystems, we're ready to help you succeed. Contact us and sign up for a demo to find out why eSystems is the right low-code partner for you.
WRITTEN BY: Mika Roivainen | Chief Digitalization Officer