Cost reduction and optimization of the delivery time of business support software.
From a business perspective, low-code is one of the strongest trends in building and delivering tailor-made IT applications. Today, Software Development is undergoing changes that are no longer just a new version of the wordpress framework or an alternative approach to data collection. It is much more than that. Starting from applications that work like Grammarly for Programmers, to solutions that allow non-technical people to build a workflow on their own.
However, one of the biggest challenges of recent years has become building a bridge between the so-called "business" and "IT" - they seem to always go hand in hand (they are mutually dependent on each other), but as in every marriage, we find corners and everyone wants to take them differently - business shortcuts, IT along the axis of the arc.
From definitions of Low-code, the most relevant one I found (webopedia):
Low-code development allows developers to design applications in a visual platform without hand-coding every part of the application. This development often uses a flowchart or drag-and-drop feature for a largely visual design process. Because it doesn’t require the entire application to be manually coded, low-code development takes less time and fewer resources; it also allows non-programmers to design applications.
However, from experience, I can distinguish 3 types of solutions:
a) Applications that are limited to a graphical interface and minimal technical knowledge - no-code, examples include:
b) Platforms that combine a graphical interface and allow, in justified cases, to extend it with a built solution using a selected programming language - low-code:
c) Platforms that are a balance between the first two. Less-code are tools that minimize the amount of development work and maximize the final effect using graphic or quazi graphic interfaces:
Does it mean a change for the IT industry - yes. We have reached the critical point, where both due to the lack of a sufficient number of Programmers on the market (and the ever-growing needs) with the constantly growing development costs - we need new solutions. Just as AI in magnetic resonance imaging will not replace a doctor, but will only help him validate his work faster and more effectively, these platforms will democratize the market and allow the wider community to benefit from the benefits of IT solutions.
Many of us have encountered a situation where a great business idea comes to mind, for example related to a new product that can potentially improve sales in the company. For example, we have identified that customers are missing a mobile application connecting them to us. We initially validate the hypothesis with several clients - it turns out that this is "something".
In the next step, we go to the legal, marketing, and finally IT departments :-) Of course, you can create this simple mobile application, but its cost is 300k PLN (because of the resources, because there is a queue of projects, because you have to hire more people or wait for developers). There is also a business case, there is a valuation, there are alternative offers, and we are in the ROI trap. Nobody wants to risk such costs to validate the hypothesis of a potentially new communication and sales channel. We fall into a trap of business risk - and we torment ourselves with the question of whether it is worth it!
Below is a comparison of traditional software development with the Mendix platform (it illustrates a mental shortcut at the level of building, development and maintenance of 1 enterpsires class application):
The applications we mention are characterized by:
The traditional approach to application development, whether by a local vendor or by an in-house team, has one common drawback. Even if you manage to organize the described budget, in the next step you should secure the time frame of the project. And suddenly it turns out that the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) will be delivered at the earliest in 3-4 months from signing the contract. We realize that the project will be will be launched effectively in a few months. It is never optimistic if what we create is to provide the company with a competitive advantage and distance us from the competition.
Below is one example of how quickly we can create an application that is not only resoponsive but also has functionalities supporting the company, e.g. for consultants working in the field:
In addition to the very obvious benefits, such as savings and greater flexibility, both from the perspective of the needs of business owners (PWA, responsiveness, multi-platform, built-in infrastructure), I can indicate a few that CTO faces on a daily basis:
Now. This is definitely the best time to think about implementing these solutions in your organization. According to Deloitte Tech Trends 2021, we have just entered the Core revival phase. It's hard to sum it up more accurately:
If you want to verify whether there are also areas in your organization that can be optimized thanks to the low-code, you can take advantage of a 30-minute free consultation. During it, our consultant will suggest whether and in what areas it is worth focusing in the first place in order to properly approach digital transformation.