Low-code Platforms – Why Is This The Right Strategy For 2021
As a modern way to develop applications, a low code platform is a more advanced programming platform that uses digital tools as opposed to hand-coding. Users with or without IT skills can therefore develop applications through interactive visual interfaces. Compared to the traditional hand-coding method which was highly demanding in terms of investment and time, low code greatly reduces application development time.
According to Creatio, the most current app-building technology referred to as low-code reduces development time, addresses many company data process needs, and permits the building of software that makes business processes effortless.
With low code, therefore, you are in a position to build your applications without requiring any programming skills. The platform makes this possible through a graphical user interface, drag-and-drop modules, and other user-friendly structures. However, while low code may be highly suitable for app development in some instances, it may not be appropriate for all.
What Is A Low-Code Platform?
A Low-code platform is a family of tools that make app development and delivery visually possible. As opposed to the hand-coding option where thousands of complex code and syntax are written, a low-code platform uses a drag-and-drop interface to build complete applications with data, logic, and integrations visually and rapidly.
Low Code Development, How Does It Look Like?
A typical low code environment looks like this:
- A visual IDE
Consists of a source code editor, debugger, and build automation tools. It is therefore an environment for defining workflows, UIs, and data models more visually. Besides, hand-coding is also added where necessary.
- Connectors to various services or back-ends
These platforms automatically handle data storage, structures, and data retrieval.
- Application lifecycle manager
These are automated tools that are used for building, debugging, deploying, and keeping the software in the test, staging, and production.
It is however important to note that no two low code tools are exactly similar. Due to the variations, some are limited, while some are more focused on niche businesses such as case management.
Drivers Of Low-Code Adoption In 2021
Visual Workflow Management And Planning
Low-code platforms make it much easier for citizen developers to plan and manage workflows. Besides, low code is a platform for both developers and business professionals where they can work together and execute projects.
Eliminates The Skill Gap In IT
It makes businesspersons forget the long dialogs between business teams and IT professionals, the long hand-coding process, and the high costs that come with appointing tech experts.
Organizations want to build businesses that can enjoy presence beyond office spaces. Low code platforms are therefore a great choice for mobile applications designed with the end-user in mind. The apps are designed for seamless, high-quality visual displays on mobile UIs and low code makes them more responsive.
Additionally, low-code platforms have recorded increased adoption since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. We can therefore sum up the key drivers into the following:
- Success stories are beginning to appear especially about big citizen developer programs in businesses.
- Established service providers are dedicated to mentoring small enterprises to embrace low-code platforms.
- Big businesses and their partners delivering targeted applications and using low-code to modernize old apps.
Why Is Low-Code The Right Strategy For 2021
Whether you are a technology user or software developer, the way we work has greatly changed over the past year. Serving customers while staff worked remotely became a big challenge to many businesses. Companies needed to quickly transform the usual pen and paper transactions into digital platforms with minimal disruptions. Equally, employees needed drastic training to quickly understand and adopt digital platforms for business.
The business disruption caused by the pandemic in 2020 needed a quick fix and low code became a good strategy. If you are wondering which strategy to improve your developer approach, low-code provides more answers than questions in 2021.
Many developers already got a pack of technology to-do-list even before the pandemic. When the pandemic struck businesses, they needed a platform to quickly fix the pile while at the same time reinventing a working strategy that would help bridge the gap. Many developers, therefore, relied on automation and low-code.
It is expected that over 500 million more apps will be developed in the next five years. According to IDC, that is way above the number of apps created 40 years ago. The increased technological advancements have increased the demand for businesses to modernize their functions and processes. There are not enough tech experts to work around the big volume of apps required to modernize businesses. However, many people will be able to utilize this tech strategy to create apps, regardless of their coding abilities or experience. This is why low code is the biggest technology businesses demand in 2021.
Here are some of the key reasons why low-code platforms are the right strategy for 2021:
1. Ongoing Realignments For Remote Work
According to Forrester analyst reports, there is an increased need to adjust workflows and communication habits in 2021. Further, the reports say that organizations that had previously invested in cloud platforms and agile practices found it much easier to adopt remote work at the onset of the pandemic while teams that relied on traditional approaches struggled to cope with the sudden changes.
The Forrester report adds that teams must now work towards a shared purpose and implement virtual war rooms with sustained attention if they want high success rates with virtual workflow management.
2. Increased Need For Collaboration
During the pandemic, the use of collaboration platforms such as Google Meet and Microsoft Teams skyrocketed due to the work from home government regulations. 2021 therefore highly demand tools that permit workplace collaboration and integration. Currently, over 115 million active users are reported to utilize Microsoft Teams daily.
Many businesses turned remote and they urgently needed tools that can help teams collaborate to keep businesses rolling without hiccups. Teams became the best platform to collaborate. As a result, organizations needed a way to bring all the other apps they frequently use and integrate them within Teams. This is crucial as workers will be spending most of their time within Teams and do not need to waste time opening and closing apps to outsource information. The inbuilt low code platforms in Teams for instance make it much easier to build, edit and publish apps for groups in Teams without them having to leave or switch between apps.
3. The Need For Automation
Every business involves a lot of manual workflows and processes. Even within the IT environment, more manual work is done repeatedly daily. For instance, there are so many configurations on apps and machines, and many server update counts are required. Task automation in these fields saves a lot of employee time and effort while also saving organizations money. This is where low code comes in with the increased demand for new trends in 2021 for development.
Businesses in 2021, therefore, require deep analysis to identify areas where automation can help them save time and money. Low-code helps you automate activities such as data validation, data processing, generation of reports among many other repeated actions within a workflow environment. The hours saved per month can then be spent doing higher-value activities which bring more revenue to the organization.
On the other hand, some organizations use low-code automation to improve the billing process. By clearly mapping and understanding the order-billing process, including steps, the time it takes and its variations, low-code development helps teams to identify bottlenecks in the process. This way, it becomes easier to optimize billing processes throughout the organization and make processes more efficient. This is exactly what businesses need in 2021.
4. Fusion Developer Teams
Organizations have realized the importance of creating fusion developer teams in 2021 for improved output quality, reduced time, and spending. As a new concept, fusion developer teams are virtual teams of IT developers, citizen developers, and code-first developers working as a team to solve emerging business problems.
The two very interesting ways fusion developers work in 2021 are as follows. First, code-first developers build back-end APIs and connectors. They then store the APIs when they realize that low-code developers in their company can use them in Power Apps. Second, code-first developers wholesomely plan app-building projects so that they are more planned and strategic as opposed to being one-offs.
On the other hand, it is also very possible for teams of non-code first developers to collaborate with code-first developers and build apps together. All these are made possible because low-code platforms do not require prior coding experience, and are a big add for developers in 2021.
The New Normal
The new way of working, driven by the pandemic, is the new normal to many organizations in 2021. It is however important that you choose your right strategy as the unusual circumstances create innovation opportunities. Besides, it changes how developers think about the work they do, and low-code is an integral part of the new thinking.