Monday, December 21, 2020

Why low-code Development Matters, especially during COVID-19

Platforms for low-code creation allow organizations to build personalized business applications and services, removing inadequacies that once went unacknowledged due to a lack of resources. Low-code and no-code platforms, veiled in business-speak and terminology, are simply systems that enable non-coders to develop their own applications. In order to intuitively construct usable and attractive business systems, they typically feature drag-and-drop features. Instead of requiring a developer to work on a process, the individuals involved in the workflow can create an application that satisfies all their needs. There is an intrinsic benefit to functionality like this and using low-code can accelerate digital automation and empower an organization’s digital strategy.

In recent years, low-code and no-code instruments have been gradually recognized. In addition to undermining companies and their continuity, the COVID-19 pandemic has also threatened the core operations of firms. Many depend on low-code or no-code platforms because of their inability to employ experienced programmers, developers and software engineers to build applications, particularly start-ups and small businesses, with businesses trying to create applications to improve their processes and enhance customer experience.

What is Low-code?

Using a graphical user interface, low-code development platforms enable companies to create mobile and web applications and automate much of the manual processes to increase quality and deployment time. The low-code platform provides a way to modernize its legacy apps and develop responsive applications that meet the needs of business users for CIOs dealing with shrinking IT budgets and skills shortages.

In short, these tools make the creation of applications simple. Anyone, regardless of technical skill, can construct applications with drag-and-drop features, intuitive process flow capabilities and visual guidance. This allows some workers, also referred to as 'citizen developers' who are not generally part of the IT team to take control, streamline common development activities, improve productivity and eventually take some of the pressure of the IT and development teams that are overwhelmed.

Low-code and no-code: What are the Differences?

While somewhat similar, a major difference exists between no-code and low-code solutions. Although the distinction is fairly apparent, no-code creation is fitting for those with a minimal background in coding, , while low-code can have major business implications as the low-code platforms do have a coding aspect involved. At the enterprise level, no-code and low-code platforms have taken off with large corporations encouraging citizen developers and tech savvy power users within their organizations to create new processes for their businesses.

No-code: Anyone can Build Apps

According to an article from Joget, Inc., a no-code approach works well to empower citizen developers. Gartner defines a citizen developer as “a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT”. 

Low-code: Power Users Customize Apps

However, It is important to recognize that there is absolutely no way for any solution to immediately cater to every requirement out there, especially in a no-code manner. As such, here is where the Joget no-code/low-code platform steps in to allow IT or tech savvy power users to supplement apps with low-code. 

For example, app designers can add a little scripting or coding (e.g. JavaScript, CSS, BeanShell scripts, SQL queries) to customize certain behavior or user experience when built-in functionality or configuration does not support a specific requirement.

What is a Joget no-code/low-code Platform?

screenshot from Joget back end page

As a no-code/low-code platform, Joget is designed to cater to different types of business application requirements for both citizen developers and tech savvy power users, using a visual drag-and-drop approach. With Joget, it is possible to visually build and deploy a complete workflow application without coding, as demonstrated in this video showing a Visitor Registration App being built in less than 20 minutes showcasing data management, QR code generation, workflow approval and more.

To kickstart an organization’s application development initiatives, the Joget Marketplace is here to provide ready-made apps, plugins and templates that can be seamlessly installed. These can be used as-is, or can be customized to suit specific needs. Below are some examples of the enterprise apps:

Click here to read the full blog post about the flexibility and extensibility that no-code, low-code and pro-code can bring to the organizations.

How Low-code Development Platforms come in handy during the Pandemic?

This pandemic has caused a ripple impact on the workforce, where millions of office employees are now working remotely to retain social distance. With fewer developers and programmers to work with many businesses have struggled to complete projects on schedule, including larger businesses. Once again this enabled businesses to accept these simple plug and play platforms that enable developers and other workers to speed up their workflows.

Companies also use Artificial Intelligence to build apps to remain important in this competitive environment, which again brings the importance of democratizing application creation, where non-technical people can pool themselves to build applications. In exchange, this encourages the core technical community to focus on more important projects that will benefit the bottom line of businesses. Also, amid this crisis, many businesses and healthcare providers began creating applications to provide their services, and low-code platforms with their expertise can be a helpful tool for circumstances such as this where developers need to constantly refine their software. In the healthcare and education sector, low-code platforms have played a huge role in creating fast applications for hospitals, schools and colleges to exchange valuable information and resources with their customers. 

Low-code Features

With IT groups stretched thin throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, low-code instruments can be helpful as they offer a variety of features like-

  • Fast prototyping;
  • Fast learning curve;
  • Reduced costs: Developers are expensive. Good developers are even more expensive. No-code platforms can help replace developers with people without technical backgrounds;
  • Better agility: Thanks to web-apps with simple user interfaces and pre-built components, your organization can more quickly build apps and be more agile;
  • Easy changing: When you use reusable components and build applications using the UI interfaces, it’s easier for you to make changes to the application;
  • More productivity: People can make more apps and features without any coding skills.
  • Deployment to several platforms;
  • Easy maintenance: You can update your app in minutes instead of the long process of changing something by digging into the code;
  • Collaboration.

Collaboration to Digitally Transform

Low-code skills also make it possible to interact more with non-technical people in the organization. In light of people's Covid-19 related concerns, such skills can help those with a better business understanding of what makes both a good customer journey and a pleasant customer experience to take a more active role in the growth and enhancement of current processes, resulting in satisfied customers. As a result of Covid-19's concern about increased customer turnover, the need to handle clients with the empathy they need has never been more relevant.

The whole organization will unite and contribute to one mission by getting citizen developers into the meetings of IT or development teams: designing the functionality that consumers struggling to cope with in the current crisis need most.

Telco's - Accelerating Digital Transformation

If Telco's can take advantage of low-code development platforms, they would have a big advantage in outmaneuvering competition with the opportunity to easily adjust the way they reach consumers on their chosen networks, whether they be mobile apps or self-service portals. In essence, even though they continue to be forced to operate remotely, they can motivate their workers with the right resources to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.

The pandemic has reinforced the need for all organizations to be agile and to accelerate their digital transformation strategies, even when the crisis dies down. It may seem far off to finalize these plans, but Telco's can provide normalcy for customers if they can leverage the power of low-code tech, which can be the rocket fuel that helps them get there.

Faster & Cost-Effective Application Development

The pandemic has created an urgent need for IT departments to develop modern, complex applications that can not only assist the remote workforce but also contribute to revenue generation. This is easier said than done, however with the rising uncertainty, tight budgets and the threat of a global recession.

Therefore, more and more companies are rethinking their existing strategies for app growth. Low-code platforms allow for quicker and more cost-effective ways of creating apps that help companies achieve their rapidly evolving goals. Research also indicates that the production of low-coding apps will reduce the total development time by about 90 per cent. Organizations will also reduce the costs involved in recruiting new developers by retiring the conventional approach to app creation.

Democratization of Innovation

Democratizing creativity is what is distinguishing winners from the laggards in the new standard. Innovation will not be limited to only a core group of industry leaders. Businesses can deliver creativity across roles and levels by empowering workers with low-code platforms. These platforms allow subject matter experts to more easily collaborate, create and customize their apps, without undergoing any unwanted challenges and bottlenecks that can hinder progress.

For example, doctors, hospital personnel, and health agencies can handle and organize millions of terabytes of data through various e-health networks, insurance programs, and patient billing applications with the use of low-code platforms. Specifically, to increase the standard of organized patient care and provide more efficient therapies, they should automate the entire information flow.

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