The year 2020 has urged the need for digital transformation in businesses across the globe. This is mainly due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put every business at a standstill.
In this scenario, business decision-makers are prompted to leverage digital solutions, driving the next process transformation to stay relevant and competitive. Process transformation focuses significantly on business activity, using advanced technologies that open up new opportunities for organizations to reinvent business processes throughout the organization.
Many organizations still find these transformations challenging to implement and fail to meet the consequence. These failures are particularly affecting their customer relationships.
Low-code/no-code platforms can help companies to drive process transformation. These platforms provide a development environment for non-professional developers to build application software. These professionals, as Gartner refers to them as “citizen developers” within an organization, can design and build applications that can be scaled without having to write any code.
Interpreting Low Code/No Code Platforms
Owing to the soaring need for digital transformation tools, combined with growing professional developers' costs, low code/no-code platforms are becoming a new business phenomenon. Though these platforms are critical to software development, they are not similar.
What are the blurring lines making them distinct from each other?
A low-code platform helps develop software, applications, or databases using a graphical user interface (GUI). As this development platform requires the use of a visual integrated development environment (IDE), a professional needs a minimal amount of programming knowledge. In contrast, a no-code development platform demands no previous coding knowledge. Users can use this development platform through a GUI by dragging and dropping features straight into their application framework.
Low-code platforms require professional developers who can work within the platforms' constraints whereas no-code platforms are accessible to any end-business user. As low-code platforms rely more on hard code to specify an application's core architecture, no-code platforms mean to function off a model-driven, declarative approach where the end-user commands an app's design through drag and drop interface.
In terms of the user interface, low-code platforms may provide greater flexibility at the cost of additional coding and complexity requirements. Conversely, no-code platforms most often rely on a present user interface layer that simplifies and streamlines an app's design.
Why Low-Code/No-Code Platforms?
With the recent increasing popularity of low-code/no-code platforms, one question raised is that what are the forces driving these platforms over traditional development methods? One of the major factors is organizations’ immense investment towards digital transformation and efforts to become an agile business.
The platforms significantly remove the need for manual coding, stimulating the entire business process. This results in the ability to update software more often, efficiently giving organizations a considerable competitive edge.
According to Forrester, the increased adoption of low-code platforms alone is driving nearly 50% annual growth, with the market forecast to reach over $15 billion in 2021.
Advantages of the Platforms
By embracing low-code/no-code platforms, individuals or teams within an organization can experiment, prototype, and deliver apps in a reasonable time – within days or weeks.
Low code/no-code platforms enable faster development of software or apps, unlike traditional development methods that usually take several months. These platforms are cross-platform and can be deployed across multiple devices for use.
With these platforms, business decision-makers will have the ability such as agility and responsiveness to change. While decision-makers need systems that can adapt and respond to the ever-changing business requirements fast, some systems that are rigid or cannot be customized retard the organization’s response to the business needs.
This is where low-code/ no-code platforms solve that issue as applications built on these platforms can be modified or extended at a fraction of time.
To use low-code/no-code development platforms, businesses don’t require having trained developers familiar with programming languages. Basic HTML knowledge is adequate, allowing businesses to utilize IT professionals to implement their development solutions.
These development platforms also deliver benefits to businesses, including clear IT backlog, enterprise-grade solution development, improved security and scalability, governance, better collaboration, and more.
Getting Started with Low-Code/No-Code Platforms
Low-code and no-code development platforms are different. Low-code requires deep knowledge of coding and programming languages, while the no-code platform does not require the same, except basic IT knowledge.
How can businesses leverage low-code/no-code development platforms to accelerate digital transformation?
It is important for businesses to adapt to changes quickly. Once they comprehend the potential of these platforms and how they work, they will be more able to meet market demands. As a basic technological development, low-code is predicted to continue to grow significantly. According to Gartner, Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP) are expected to remain the largest component of the low-code development technology market by 2022, growing around 30% from 2020 to reach $5.8 billion in 2021.
Businesses also look for driving innovation from every department, instead of relying on a single core team to innovate and ideate. This is majorly important because low-code/no-code platforms enable collaboration, allowing all the teams to come together to set expectations and deliver accordingly.
Once business leaders begin using these development platforms, they need to measure the ROI for better process transformation. In this regard, they have to understand their transformation objectives, define the budget, and set milestones and timelines to review results and check the effectiveness. They should measure it frequently to perform better in the future.
Today, major cloud vendors offer advanced solutions in the low-code platform space. For example, Microsoft Power Platform, a line of business intelligence, app development, and app connectivity software application. This low-code platform allows businesses to work together to address their challenges effectively.
Low-code/no-code platforms can be a new approach to customer experience. While customers want to engage with businesses using new platforms like AR, VR, or via conversational interfaces, businesses must use a multi-channel experience strategy to increase key KPIs.
These include customer satisfaction and retention, as well as revenue for the users on these platforms. In the retail industry, low-code platforms help retailers test innovative retail ideas quickly to adapt to changing market conditions.
In a nutshell, the better and quickly businesses learn how low-code/no-code platforms work, the better and faster they adapt to changing market dynamics and drive effective process transformation.