What are the benefits of Low-Code? Here is a visual-based application development process that can be adopted by almost anyone. It’s a development process that combines the flexibility of traditional coding with the speed of No Code.
In this dichotomy, where exactly does Low-Code fit in? In short, Low-Code enables the agility and speed of development that enterprise businesses need. While some IT departments struggle with technical debt and project build-up, those utilising Low-Code are not only rolling out projects faster, but making coding accessible to the wider enterprise.
It’s a real win-win implementation, but what’s the in-depth value for enterprise businesses? Let’s explore some of Low-Code’s key advantages.
Time, Money and Resources
These three things are always on the mind of the business leader, campaign managers, workflow overseers or app developers. With the external demands and projected turnover of enterprise businesses, workforces need the right digital applications in order to either get their work done or delight external parties - such as partners or customers.
At that scale of business, effective software is needed. Unfortunately, software developers don’t come cheap. This is the first benefit of Low-Code, the ability to lower operational costs by empowering both professional and citizen developers with the ability to get projects across the line.
Professional developers can work faster and citizen developers are enabled to develop themselves, without the need for intense training or years of experience, as they’ve been given the ability to automate much of the development process. This actually helps to take a lot of the pressure off of your development team, as they can focus on the projects that require an experienced coding hand.
Simplified Development Process
The traditional application development process (Hand-Code) is long-winded. Whether you’re using web application development frameworks such as .NET MVC or Spring Boot, the process will look a little like this:
- Identify the requirements of the application.
- Plan the architecture.
- Select back-end framework, libraries, data stores, 3rd party APIs and front-end framework.
- Choose a deployment stack and create an operations plan.
- Build prototypes and wireframes.
- Code the user interface (UI).
- Develop failing tests.
- Define models and link them to data stores.
- Define business logic, then code.
- Implement workflows and UI.
- Integrate your chosen 3rd party APIs.
- Test, test, test.
- Create and deploy patches.
- Deploy in full.
- Update until it’s recalled.
While Hand-Code has been and will continue to be a go-to development option for many, within the realm of enterprise businesses, both developers and management need something a little faster. In comparison, the Low-Code development process looks like this:
- Determine requirements.
- Select 3rd party APIs.
- Using a development tool, draw workflows, data models and UIs.
- Integrate APIs.
- If necessary, add hand-code to the front-end.
- Automatically update.
As you can see, it’s a much simpler process than with Hand-Code. This means that the process is more accessible to non-technical staff that might end up using it. Simultaneously, it’s more visible for collaborative work - as developers and non-technical staff can communicate about projects without there being issues of a lack of technical knowledge on one side.
Avoiding Shadow IT
Shadow IT - the software that exists ungoverned by the experienced eyes of your IT specialists. Easily-accessible Software-as-a-Service (Saas) has made this uncontrolled tech avenue more of an issue in our increasingly agile digital environments.
In many cases, employees will act independently when they need an application that enables them to get their work done more efficiently. While it might initially help them, there’s issues with shadow IT. First of all, enterprise protocols are being bypassed in favour of speed. With uncontrolled technology, this means risking confidential data in applications that haven’t been properly vetted.
In fact, a Gartner report found that in 2020, one-third of successful cyberattacks on enterprises were enabled because of shadow IT resources. The way around this is through Low-Code.
Now, the use of Low-Code doesn’t necessarily get rid of shadow IT. The key change is that what was once uncontrolled becomes managed. ‘Managed shadow IT’ is actually an empowering situation, where employees can develop fit-for-purpose applications that are overseen by IT teams and in-line with digital security protocols.
Enterprise-level businesses are constantly worried about security - and for good reason. One gap in your defence and it could very well be game over. For example, access management is a primary concern within security considerations. At the end of the day, all software users need to remain in compliance with your security standards - and work with tech that doesn’t violate those standards.
For example, when developing applications, you entertain the following vulnerabilities:
- Broken authentication or access control.
- XML External Entities.
- Sensitive data exposure.
- Security misconfiguration.
- Insecure deserialisation.
- Insufficient monitoring or logging.
Low-Code application platforms allow for both SSO integrations and multi-factor authentication, meaning that your mission-critical applications can’t be tampered with before they’re set to go live.
We’d advise on finding a solution that has these kinds of capabilities. For example, OutSystems has security management capabilities that satisfy the protection requirements of the above issues.
Why Low-Code For Enterprise?
While the immediate benefits of Low-Code, when offered through development platforms such as OutSystems, are speed and agility (benefits not to shake your head at), more value lies under the surface.
We’re talking about capitalising on ‘multi-experience’, where Low-Code applications deliver a wide variety of customer experiences that rival market leaders. Low-Code makes the experience over multiple touchpoints seamless, meaning that there’s an undeniable focus on the user and how they interact with what you can create.
Plus, even though there are multiple touchpoints to be considered, utilising Low-Code to develop these yourself means you can provide a consistent user experience, regardless of how the customers, employees or partners are interacting with your enterprise.
There’s also development capabilities for all. Take OutSystems for example, a platform in which enterprise employees can easily upskill themselves and collaborate to deliver fit for purpose solutions. We speak from experience when we say that a platform like this truly unleashes creative potential.
If you’re looking for more information on Low-Code, it’s business capabilities and the best platforms available on the market today, download our guide.
Comparing Low-Code: The Platforms and Business Benefits
There’s a wide variety of Low-Code application platforms out there. They’re all telling you they’ll help you save time, money and other resources. The real differentiators lie in the subtle differences - those little advantages that quietly place one system as the go-to for your business needs.
If you’d like to see how we’ve broken down the offerings available to enterprise-level businesses, simply click the link below.