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How to Stay on Top of Emerging Tech Trends With Low Code platforms

Low-code platforms enable companies to rapidly build software applications through a visual, drag-and-drop interface instead of traditional hand-coded development. Rather than require advanced programming skills, low-code platforms provide templates, components, and automation tools to expedite app development with minimal code.

According to Statista, the low-code market has exploded in recent years, with predictions it will grow from $13.8 billion in 2019 to $45.5 billion by 2025. Several factors drive this popularity:

  • Agility – Low code allows companies to respond faster to changing business needs and keep up with today’s accelerated pace of digital transformation. Hand-coding applications is simply too slow and inflexible.
  • Developer shortage – There is a major talent gap with not enough professional developers available, making it challenging for organizations to build apps through conventional coding. Low-code democratizes development.
  • Multi-experience demands – Companies now need apps across web, mobile, wearables and more. Low-code simplifies building omni-channel experiences.
  • Citizen development – Business users with no coding expertise can create apps for themselves with low-code tools, relieving pressure on IT.
  • Cloud scale – Low-code leverages cloud infrastructure to scale apps for fluctuating workloads more easily than traditional models.

By enabling faster app delivery with fewer skilled developers, low-code platforms provide a powerful solution for companies struggling to keep pace with modern digital demands. Adoption is accelerating to help organizations stay competitive and responsive.

Benefits of Low-Code Platforms

Low-code or no-code platforms provide several key benefits that make them attractive options for application development:

Speed of Development

Low-code platforms allow apps to be built much faster than traditional coding. Rather than writing thousands of lines of complex code, low-code platforms provide pre-built components that can be configured through drag-and-drop interfaces and simple logic flows. This enables rapid app prototyping and iteration. Changes can be made quickly without lengthy development and testing cycles.

Less Need for Specialized Skills

Low-code platforms do not require advanced programming skills. The visual, configurable interfaces allow apps to be built by non-technical staff like business analysts. This democratizes app development and allows more experimentation. Less dependence on IT and developers means apps can be created directly by business teams.

Cost Savings

The speed of development and reduced skill requirements with low-code lead to significant cost savings. Less developer time is needed which reduces human resource costs. Low-code platforms also have lower licensing fees compared to traditional development suites. Maintenance costs are lower as well. The visual interfaces make it easier to modify apps without deep programming expertise. Together these factors provide a compelling cost argument for low-code.

Challenges of Adopting Low-Code

Adopting a low-code platform can deliver many benefits, but organizations should also be prepared for some challenges that may arise during implementation and adoption:

Existing Processes Need Change

  • Low-code platforms enable much faster delivery of apps compared to traditional coding. This speed can disrupt existing processes that were designed for lengthier development cycles.
  • Organizations will likely need to modify methodologies like waterfall development to take advantage of the agility of low-code.
  • Processes around quality assurance, user acceptance testing, documentation, and release management may need to adapt to fit low-code cadences.

Training Required

  • While low-code platforms are designed to be intuitive, training is still required, especially for developers unfamiliar with visual development.
  • Governance, best practices, and platform capabilities should be covered to ensure users work efficiently and securely within the platform.
  • Organizations should budget for and schedule proper training resources for all platform users.

Security Concerns

  • Low-code platforms can enable users outside of IT to create applications, which can cause some security risks.
  • Proper governance of app submission, automated and manual code review, and security testing is essential.
  • Role-based permissions, sandboxed environments, and modularity can help mitigate risks during development.
  • Companies should take time to create strong security policies and controls tailored to their low-code platforms.

Overcoming these challenges is key to realizing the benefits of low-code. With planning and governance, organizations can enable adoption while minimizing risks and disruptions.

Evaluating Low-Code Platforms

When evaluating low-code platforms, there are some key features to look for:

Ease of Use

The platform should have an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that is easy for citizen developers to learn and use. Look for capabilities like visual modeling instead of coding and pre-built templates and components to speed development.

Integration

The platform should provide ready-made connectors and APIs to integrate with your existing backend systems and data sources. This allows you to leverage your current IT investments.

Security

Security capabilities like role-based access, encryption, and authentication are critical, especially if the applications built will use sensitive data. Make sure the platform has robust security baked in.

Scalability

As adoption grows, your applications will need to scale. The platform should provide auto-scaling, load balancing, and cloud deployment options.

Mobile Support

With a distributed workforce, mobile access to applications is table stakes. Opt for a platform that enables both web and native mobile app development.

Top no Code / Low Code Vendors

Some top low-code platform vendors to evaluate include:

  • Swiftspeed
  • OutSystems
  • Appian
  • Quickbase
  • Zoho Creator
  • Salesforce Lightning
  • Pega
  • Microsoft Power Apps

The leading players provide robust enterprise-grade capabilities, integration, and scalability. Comparing several options can help identify the best fit for your needs and use cases.

When thoughtfully adopted, low-code platforms can transform delivery and empower business users. The right platform makes it faster and easier to turn ideas into apps such as converting a website to app.

Best Practices for Implementation

When implementing a low-code platform, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure a successful rollout. Here are some key recommendations:

Phased Rollout

  • Don’t try to launch the low-code platform across the entire organization at once. Start with a limited pilot focused on building a few simple apps to validate the technology and work out any issues.
  • Slowly expand the pilot to involve more teams and build increasingly complex apps. Set a timeline for scaling up usage over weeks/months.
  • Gradually transition from pilot to production rollout. Time the full rollout to coincide with training, change management, and communication plans.

Start with Simple Use Cases

  • Identify a few straightforward, high-value business scenarios that can be addressed by simple apps built on the low-code platform.
  • Examples include automating manual processes, building small departmental apps, and creating basic data collection forms.
  • Deliver quick wins to validate the platform and build momentum for more complex use cases later on.

Involve Stakeholders

  • Engage with business leaders, IT teams, and end users from the outset and incorporate their input.
  • Manage expectations and secure buy-in for the low-code rollout plan.
  • Frequent communication and collaboration will ensure the platform addresses real business needs.
  • Consider forming a steering committee with stakeholders from various departments and roles.

Pitfalls to Avoid

When adopting a low-code platform, there are some common pitfalls that organizations should be aware of:

Inadequate Training

One of the biggest pitfalls is not properly training developers and citizen developers on how to use the platform. Low-code is intuitive, but it’s not entirely self-explanatory. Taking the time to train adequately team members will help accelerate their ability to build applications. It also ensures they follow best practices and avoid creating technical debt.

Lack of Governance

Low code allows faster application development, which can lead to a lack of oversight. Without proper governance, different departments may create redundant applications or architectures that don’t align. Having a governance plan to review new applications and set organization-wide standards is important. This helps ensure applications meet security, scalability, and maintainability standards.

Too Many Customizations

The flexibility of low code allows for endless customizations, which can be a double-edged sword. Too many customizations make applications harder to maintain and update. It’s usually better to start with out-of-the-box configurations and only customize when necessary. Resist the temptation to over-customize early on.

Measuring Success

Adopting a low-code platform can provide many benefits, but to truly know if it is succeeding, you need to measure results. Here are some key metrics to track:

User Adoption

  • Number of active users on the platform
  • Frequency of use
  • Number of applications/workflows created

Strong user adoption indicates that your team is embracing the low-code platform and using it for app development. Low usage may signal poor change management or training.

Time/Cost Savings

  • Development time per application
  • Cost per application
  • Maintenance costs

Compare these metrics before and after implementing low-code. Efficiencies should increase as developers can create apps faster with less hand-coding.

Release Velocity

  • Number of releases per month or quarter
  • Cycle time from request to deployment

Faster release cycles demonstrate the agility enabled by low-code. Prioritize tracking metrics that align to your objectives, like releasing new apps faster.

By regularly monitoring these quantitative metrics, you can clearly demonstrate the impact low-code is having and if it is delivering on the expected benefits. Course correct if adoption is low or efficiency gains aren’t materializing. The key is pairing metrics to your strategic goals for low-code.

The Future of Low-Code

The low-code development platform market is poised for tremendous growth in the coming years. According to Gartner, the low-code development technologies market will grow at a CAGR of 23.6% to reach $187 billion by 2030. As more businesses realize the benefits of low-code solutions for accelerating digital transformation and enabling business agility, adoption rates will continue to climb.

Low-code platforms have the potential to impact software development roles and processes significantly. Rather than replacing developers entirely, low-code will enable developers to focus on more complex tasks and innovations while leveraging the efficiency of low-code tools for simpler use cases. Citizens developers will emerge across organizations, allowing more non-technical employees to build solutions tailored to their workflows and needs.

The proliferation of low code will require adjustments to developer training programs and organizational processes. Collaboration between professional developers and citizen developers will be key for delivering robust enterprise applications. Governance frameworks and DevOps practices will need to evolve to support low-code built solutions.

As low-code platforms grow more advanced with capabilities like AI App Builder, ML, and blockchain integration, they will empower developers of all skill levels to build increasingly sophisticated apps. The future is bright for innovative organizations that leverage low code as part of their digital transformation strategy. With the right planning and governance, low code can help companies gain competitive advantages today while positioning themselves for continued innovation and agility.

Conclusion

The low-code platform landscape is evolving rapidly, offering organizations new ways to build applications and automate processes quickly. While low-code solutions provide many benefits like faster delivery times and lower costs, they do come with challenges around governance, support, and long-term flexibility.

When evaluating low-code platforms, it’s important to consider factors like the type of apps needed, integrations required, and desired level of control. Leading platforms provide robust features while maintaining the ability for advanced configuration and customization. Proper implementation with the right team setup and training is also key to success.

By understanding the pros and cons, mapping out requirements, following best practices, and measuring outcomes, organizations can maximize the advantages of low code. This technology enables faster innovation, agility, and the ability to digitally transform – giving companies the capability to stay ahead of the curve.

The potential of low-code platforms is vast. As the technology continues maturing, we’ll see even more sophisticated solutions that empower businesses to be nimble, cope with rapid change, and harness digital capabilities better than ever before. Organizations that leverage low-code strategically will have a competitive edge in their industries.

IEMA IEMLabs
IEMA IEMLabshttps://iemlabs.com
IEMLabs is an ISO 27001:2013 and ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we are also a proud member of EC Council, NASSCOM, Data Security Council of India (DSCI), Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The company was established in 2016 with a vision in mind to provide Cyber Security to the digital world and make them Hack Proof. The question is why are we suddenly talking about Cyber Security and all this stuff? With the development of technology, more and more companies are shifting their business to Digital World which is resulting in the increase in Cyber Crimes.
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