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3 ways low-code development can speed digital transformation

Malcolm Ross Vice President of Product, Appian

Low-code development tools can help enterprises improve customer experiences and fuel operational efficiencies. In fact, the market for low-code tools is expected to reach $10 billion in revenue by 2019 because the technology helps address productivity issues such as project backlogs and the lack of skilled resources. 

These tools are still unfamiliar to most IT leaders. But not only are such tools cost-effective, but low-code platforms offer the benefits of speed, the flexibility to address customer needs, and the ability to streamline business processes.

Speed that's cost-effective

Low-code development tools use a visual design format, rather than coding syntax, so designers not trained in computer science can use them to contribute to the development process. A user-friendly interface also lets designers get changes completed faster and more efficiently, and that saves time and money on labor resources.

But development professionals can also use low-code tools to deliver applications faster, and with fewer bugs. These tools use prebuilt libraries and functionality to accelerate development and maximize component reuse. About 70% of IT leaders found that low-code platforms are more affordable compared to traditional development platforms, according to a Forrester Research survey, and 80% cited the ability to meet requirements within budget.

The University of South Florida used a low-code development tool to create a communication platform for its faculty, staff, and students to communicate following Hurricane Irma. "We needed to quickly create a solution that helped us gather data from people calling our campus information line and also direct them toward the proper resources," said Sidney Fernandes, Vice President IT and CIO at USF. 

The USF team deployed a platform to its community within hours by using existing applications and data points as building blocks to get the new app up and running in a fast and cost-effective way. "We already had building blocks in place, from authentication, to student and faculty information. Leveraging the existing infrastructure, we were able to develop a solution that worked seamlessly,” said Fernandes.

Flexibility to meet customer needs

In today's digital age, customers expect faster and more personalized experiences when dealing with any company. About 90% of IT leaders find that the flexible design of low-code platforms helps to significantly improve customer experience compared to traditional development platforms, Forrester found.

In a retail environment, low-code provides capabilities that allow users to rapidly implement new cost structures or operation system models. The ability to implement change is particularly important in retail during seasonal changes and holiday shopping peaks. 

On the consumer side, low-code tools also help retailers provide better customer service through omni-channel customer experiences and order fulfillment applications. Low-code platforms are helping companies to slash delivery times from months to weeks (or even hours), implement real-time updates, and deliver stronger applications driven by user feedback.

Taken together, this allows low-code users the ability to quickly scale and change applications to meet consumer demands.

Streamlining business processes

Beyond customer experience, companies are also recognizing the need to transform their business and operating models to increase revenues in the digital era.

Low-code can help automate the most critical and complex processes with drag-and-drop process modeling that allows users to build from existing applications and data. The built-in security features make low-code a reliable and secure solution for internal processes in industries such as financial services and healthcare that support critical infrastructures and maintain sensitive data assets.

A tool for digital transformation

Undergoing digital transformation is a multi-faceted journey, and there is no single tool or approach that will automatically make transformation a reality. A company's digital transformation strategy requires a wide range of new approaches and technologies.

Low-code platforms can play a central role in this mix by reducing the time and money spent on traditional development processes and empowering enterprise employees to delve into development, regardless of their technical background.

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