What Low-Code actually means?
OK, let’s start from the beginning.
What is “low-code development”?
Basically, the term incorporates the idea of creating applications with no- to minimal amount of programming efforts. The name doesn’t exist for a long time, but the concept isn’t quite new. Back in time, it all started with basic tools enabling more technically advanced business users to create some automation in traditional business software.
Then the so-called “No-Code Development” tools have arrived, but their limitations of only out-of-the-box capabilities and no-coding-possible, have been a barrier for making more complex and customizable software. And that’s how the “Low-Code” has risen.
Low-Code Development platforms are the environments providing the capabilities to build apps, with tools accessible for business users and features allowing programmers to write code and extend the software and the applications. For the past few years many different variations of the concept and name “Low-Code” came from different sources, organizations and vendors. E.g. aPaaS (Application Platform as a Service).
You think it might be complex, eh?
Check out the next one – hpaPaaS (High-Performing Application Platform as a Service), RAD (Rapid Application Development Platforms), and one of the latest – Multiexperience Development Platform. All the listed above are completely functional Low-Code Platforms with slightly different nuance with regards to focus and additional functionalities. Some are cloud based only, other gives on-premise option, most of the platforms have the features to create mobile and web apps, the rest are focused on mobile only, etc.
So, this is what Low-Code Development means – something which seems complex, but actually a powerful platform enabling people that are not developers or experienced programmers to create apps with ease.
For years different businesses are automating their processes: productions, supply chain, marketing, sales, financing, planning and so on. The Low-Code Platforms do the same automation of the process of creating and delivering Apps.
Low-Code is applying the visual development approach in application building. It empowers business users, so called citizen developers and experienced developers with tools to build web and mobile applications, using model-driven workflows and components, configuring business logic, working with drag-and-drop functions, and creating the user experience and interface. Low-coding make it possible to eliminate the code writing, but also provides the possibility to create custom code when necessary.
#Developers – citizen and seasoned ones
The platforms give the possibility business users to create apps without programming knowledge required. In the low-code context they are called “citizen developers”.
These are the professionals at the company, who have deep understanding of the business domain they are into; they know the business processes, they are filling the gaps when needed, and have good technical (not programming) knowledge. In almost every department there is someone, who is very well familiar with the business and in the meantime he or she is the “excel guy or lady” or key ERP/CRM user. This is the perfect citizen developer who can bring life in new apps. Also, there are many cases where innovation ideas do not see daylight because of the lack of resources and technology skillset. Citizen developers in the Low-Code world are removing these boundaries and are able to innovate during the digital renaissance.
But the low-code platforms are as focused on business users, as they are on experienced developers, as well. The low-code environment provides the toolset in the hands of seasoned developers to do the work faster. But instead of traditional coding of common features, they can be focused on making more advanced functionalities, connectors, integrations and build smart apps. The low-code platforms provide the possibility to experienced developers to shine in the area of innovative smart apps, based on other great technologies like IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Machine Learning.
Collaboration between the citizen developers, seasoned developers, and IT experts, in apps creation, based on a Low-Code Platform, ensures smooth developing process. This synchronization, results in products which have the complete set of business logic and features, to optimize and automate processes, and drive business forward.
Low-code development platforms facilitate the creation of complete range of SMB and Enterprise apps covering immense number of business scenarios. From simple apps facing straightforward needs, through complex applications covering complicated requirements, to smart apps driven by abstract and innovative ideas – the low code concept can embrace them all in a single environment.
Bet let make some classifications. Back in time Gartner - a leading research and advisory company in the IT domain, published the “Pace-Layered Application Strategy” report, including the segmentation of the business applications placed between three different layers: Systems of Record, Systems of Differentiation, and System of Innovation. Not going in details into the concept now, you can imagine the climbing ladder to the innovation layer and the drop downs respectively (for example Facebook as a marketing tool was into the innovation layer years ago, now it can be classified as a system of differentiation; several years from now it might be considered even as a system of record.)
Basically Low-Code environments provides the platform to create Apps into every of the layers, but where they excel, and where also Sappience is focused, are the top two layers (those of differentiation and innovation).
Just some highlights of type of Apps that can be build on Low-Code development platform enabling the companies to differentiate themselves and innovate are:
- Smart Apps – intelligent applications involving other great technologies like AI, ML, Blockchain and IoT.
- Line of Business Apps – solutions for specific department into the organization, covering their unique needs, and not impacting the rest of the company.
- Apps for Open Business Ecosystem – open business processes (e.g. supply chain, sales, customer experience) to vendors, partners and clients, for higher level of automation and efficiency.
- Unique Process Automation – for unique processes, unique apps are required for full scale automation and end-to-end business continuity.
- ERP and CRM Extensions – add more value on top the systems of record, and fully automates unique business processes.
- Legacy Systems and Apps Modernization – replacement, retirement and optimization of outdated legacy software and transition to single next gen technologies.
Other specific examples are already in our products page
Also, we are passioned to accelerate businesses in their digital transformation, and our services are fully oriented in creating value, building apps for differentiation and innovation.
Nowadays, the low-code platforms are the environments and the right toolset to enable and accelerate the digital transformation, across the globe. Adopting low-code strategy, allows the companies to maximize their return of investment, and support go to market strategies, launching new products and services faster, implement new business models or processes even faster.
- Speed - Low-Code Apps can be build in days or weeks, instead of months or quarters.
- Rapid Innovation – innovation is happening now, not in a year or more. The platforms eliminate the resource shortage.
- Higher Productivity – Apps and connectors, that filling even the smallest gaps, ensure fully optimized and automated processes and activities.
- More People Empowered – having more “developers” (citizen or experienced ones) means digital transformation leadership.
- Time to Value – faster time to value ratio compared to any traditional app development approach.
- Constant Improvement – Build. Try. Improve. Repeat. It’s simple.
- Competitive advantage – unique and new business processes or models are driven or supported by latest technologies.
- Growing Apps Marketplace – companies expand and manage their own apps marketplace, but also can add ready-to-go apps created by partners like Sappience.