Today, a remarkable transformation in application development is underway, reshaping how businesses bring their software ideas to life. For decades, organizations had only two primary avenues in their quest to develop applications: either purchase pre-made applications from external vendors or build custom applications from the ground up, employing skilled developers and coding experts. But today, a wave of innovation has ushered in a new era of Low-Code and No-Code (LCNC) application development.
A Vision of Simplified Application Development
LCNC development offers a refreshing approach, empowering users across various business functions with the ability to swiftly construct applications and automate intricate business processes. What sets this approach apart is its intuitive, graphical interface that eradicates the need to laboriously write lines of code. Users, whether technical or non-technical, now have the freedom to innovate, enhancing accessibility, reducing the burden on IT departments, and fostering a culture of innovation.
Understanding the Difference
To comprehend the essence of this transformation, let’s first distinguish between Low-Code and No-Code:
Low-Code: This method leverages intuitive graphical tools and embedded functionalities that significantly reduce the need for traditional, in-depth code-writing. While some code-writing may still be involved, Low-Code significantly streamlines the application development process, allowing users to expedite the creation of software.
No-Code: Taking user-friendliness to the next level, No-Code empowers non-technical business users to develop applications without any coding requirements. This approach ensures that even those with no coding expertise can actively participate in the development process
The Emergence of Citizen Developers
Empowering individuals with subject-area expertise to become “citizen developers” has become a pivotal aspect of modern app development. This shift allows businesses to tap into the unique insights held by subject experts who might not be part of the IT team. With LCNC platforms at their disposal, department leaders and IT professionals can collaborate more effectively to implement the right technologies, workflows, and processes. Citizen developers play a pivotal role in meeting the demand for new applications, mitigating the shortage of skilled developers, reducing IT workloads, and accelerating responses to evolving market needs.
Streamlining the Development Process
Unlike traditional application development, which often entails long queues within IT departments, Low-Code and No-Code platforms operate on the principles of model-driven design, automatic code generation, and visual programming. These platforms are intentionally designed to cater to users familiar with their department’s processes, irrespective of their coding skills. Not only does this empower non-technical users, but it also encourages collaboration with experienced developers.
Key Steps in the Low-Code No-Code Development Journey
The journey of Low-Code and No-Code development consists of fundamental steps:
Define Your Needs and Desired Outcomes: At the project’s outset, it is crucial to identify the business needs and project objectives. Understanding the problem the application needs to solve, its target users, and the data it requires are paramount.
Draw Business Processes and Workflows: Leveraging Low-Code Business Process Management (BPM) and development tools, users define and document desired processes and workflows. Modules within the application are identified and developed as independent entities, each serving a specific purpose. Integration of these modules is the key to achieving the desired outcome.
Test and Deploy Your LCNC Application: LCNC platforms simplify the complexities of the back-end processes. Users can easily evaluate the application with the assistance of IT specialists or beta testers. Once the necessary recommendations are incorporated, the application is ready for deployment.
The Future of Application Development
LCNC platforms have gained immense traction and are poised to dominate the application development landscape. According to a recent Gartner survey, “Low-code new technologies, will remain the largest portion of the low-code development tech industry through 2023, rising by 65 percent from 2021 to $5.8 billion. Rapid mobile app development (RMAD) and rapid application development (RAD) tools are two other expansion areas.”
Applications Across Industries:
Enhancing Supply Chains: LCNC tools enable supply chains to develop responsive applications for collaboration and end-to-end visibility, enhancing trackability and traceability. These tools also facilitate automated workflows for improved supply chain operations and data digitalization, aligning with analytics and data-driven insights.
Empowering Manufacturing: These platforms unlock the potential of robotic process automation (RPA) and Internet of Things (IoT) networks. From processing raw materials to packaging and shipping finished goods, LCNC solutions enhance the efficiency and overall operations in the manufacturing sector.
Accounting and Finance: Accounting and finance teams utilize LCNC to create customized business applications supporting diverse workflows and information management processes. For example, an accounting firm can streamline tax filing processes, guiding clients through the reporting of expenses and income. Similarly, financial institutions can automate loan approvals, risk assessments, and decision flows, simplifying the lives of clients and financial advisors.
Streamlining IT Operations: LCNC platforms streamline complex processes within IT departments, increasing efficiency and agility. More citizen developers in organizations help alleviate IT bottlenecks, allowing IT professionals to focus on governance and strategy. Moreover, IT professionals and business users collaborate on a majority of LCNC development projects, enhancing overall agility and productivity.
Benefits of Low-Code No-Code Platforms
The surging adoption of LCNC platforms underscores the myriad benefits they offer businesses:
Easier Use: These platforms eliminate the need to build applications from the ground up, simplifying development. Users can focus on fulfilling their requirements without getting bogged down by code writing.
Faster Development: LCNC platforms empower users to rapidly adjust and adapt core components and basic code elements. This expedites the development process significantly. In fact, studies have shown that LCNC platforms can make development projects up to 20 times faster than traditional coding.
Increased Automation: Users can define decision-making rules, enabling the automation of workflows across various systems. Many LCNC tools incorporate Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to offer automation recommendations based on existing data sets.
Lower Costs: Streamlining the development process not only saves time but also valuable resources. Maintenance activities become less complex, reducing costs and lightening the IT department’s load. Additionally, LCNC facilitates cost-effective testing of new ideas from various departments, ultimately enhancing productivity and efficiency.
Simpler Data Integration: LCNC tools make data integration easier by creating workflows that collect, share, process, and store information. Users gain the ability to identify data sources, ownership, validity, and quality, enabling more informed decision-making.
Enhanced Agility: Rapid and effortless development enables businesses to respond swiftly to evolving opportunities, regulatory changes, and compliance issues. The simplicity of LCNC platforms encourages experimentation, allowing users to test new ideas without significant investments in IT resources.
Superior Customer Experience: Keeping applications and workflows responsive to customer feedback enhances customer experience and loyalty. Customer experience professionals can leverage LCNC platforms to develop custom surveys, e-commerce solutions, customer service portals, and loyalty applications.
Greater Privacy and Security: LCNC enables businesses to handle sensitive development tasks in-house, reducing the risks of breaches or cybercrime.
Taking on the Low-Code No-Code Journey
While the adoption of LCNC platforms promises substantial benefits, it also necessitates a commitment to change management, communication, and the dismantling of silos. Concerns about “shadow IT projects” conducted without IT’s awareness and scalability of applications created by citizen developers must be addressed. Key steps to ensure successful integration of LCNC platforms include:
Compliance and Governance: Implementing protocols supporting best IT practices and fostering collaboration between IT, citizen developers, and their teams.
Robust Training: Robust and accessible training programs are vital to ensure the effective use of LCNC platforms across the organization.
Vendor Consultation: Engaging with software vendors like Deqode can provide valuable insights into selecting the right enterprise development tools tailored to specific needs.
Low-Code and No-Code development platforms represent a significant shift in application development, democratizing the process and promoting collaboration between technical and non-technical staff. As these platforms continue to evolve, businesses that embrace them will gain a competitive edge, enhancing their ability to innovate, respond rapidly to changing market conditions, and streamline their operations.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can leverage these platforms to enhance your company’s productivity and achieve your goals.