Low-code platforms are software development tools that enable users to create applications using visual interfaces, drag-and-drop components, and minimal coding. With low-code platforms, users can streamline workflows, automate processes, and create digital solutions with minimal technical expertise. These software platforms allow developers to solve business problems by crafting new applications without having to write code from scratch.
What is Low-Code Development?
Low-code development is an approach to software development that speeds up the process. Developers do not need to write complex code from scratch to complete an app, as most of the application’s functionality is created using pre-built components and visual interfaces. Many of these platforms include pre-built app templates and components that are easy to use.
Low-code software typically provides integration capabilities that enable users to more easily connect to databases, other software solutions and workflows. This means that developers can easily integrate their applications with business processes and other software solutions, such as CRM or ERP systems, without writing complex code.
Compared to traditional development methods, low-code development provides several benefits, such as:
- Faster Development: Low-code development speeds app building by eliminating the need to write code from scratch and providing components for routine coding tasks.
- Reduced Technical Expertise: Low-code development allows users with limited mobile app development expertise to create cross-platform apps that run on many smartphones and tablets, reducing the need for mobile developers.
- Improved Collaboration: Low-code development allows developers and business users to work more closely to solve business problems, improving collaboration and reducing development time around such tasks as requirements gathering.
- Increased Flexibility: Many low-code platforms provide pre-built app templates that kickstart development and components that ease complex development tasks, making it easier to create custom applications that meet specific business needs.
- Accelerating Time to Market: Low-code development allows developers to create applications quickly and efficiently, which can reduce development time and speed up time-to-market for new applications. By accelerating the development process, businesses can stay competitive in the market and meet changing customer needs.
Streamlining Workflow with Low-Code
By leveraging the integration capabilities of low-code software, companies can improve information sharing to power better inventory control, risk mitigation, or customer service. For example, when you integrate low-code apps with existing systems, you can trigger alerts or events and streamline workflows.
By tying low-code apps directly into existing processes and systems, you can share information quickly. This will improve processes, reduce manual tasks, enhance collaboration and communication, and accelerate time to market.
- Improving Processes and Reducing Manual Tasks: Low-code development provides automation capabilities that allow developers to create workflows that trigger actions based on specific events. This can automate repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and save time. For example, a low-code platform can automate a company’s employee onboarding process by automatically creating new employee profiles, sending welcome emails, and scheduling orientation meetings, which can reduce the need for manual data entry and ensure consistent communication.
- Enhancing Team Collaboration and Information Sharing: Optimizing connections between teams and information allows them to work together better, take action quicker, and understand the priorities every step of the way.
- Reducing Risk or Seizing Opportunities: Accurate data makes it easier to act quickly. When a safety issue triggers an alert, the manager can resolve the problem faster because they have the right information to act on. This is also true when using integrated systems to restock an inventory item ahead of time to avoid rush order fees when running out of materials.
Best Practices for Implementing Low-Code Successfully
Implementing a low-code platform for workflow and efficiency requires a calculated approach to achieving success. Here are some best practices to consider:
- Assessing the current workflow and processes: Different low-code tools’ functionality are more applicable to certain areas of a business and certain types of processes. Finding a solution that builds apps that best meets users’ needs is crucial for integration and automating tasks. Needs and use cases will be different for sales reps, HR departments, or marketing teams, so alignment is key.
- Choosing the right low-code platform: It’s important to choose the right low-code platform that meets your unique technology needs. This includes evaluating the platform’s capabilities, scalability, security, and support. It’s also important to consider the match between the development environment and the skill level of the person(s) developing your apps. Implementation is vastly different depending on whether you’ll use internal developers, business users, or an external development team.
- Building a cross-functional team: To ensure the successful implementation of a low-code platform, it’s important to build a cross-functional team with expertise in different areas of the business. This can include representatives from IT, operations, and business units. Having a diverse team can help to ensure that proper business requirements are gathered, the right team is user testing, and the low-code platform is aligned with business goals and objectives.
- Defining goals and KPIs: Setting clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) can help managers measure success properly. Depending on who is using the software, the goals, and KPIs will likely be quite different. For existing teams, it might be a measurement on improved collaboration or levels of adoption. On the other hand, management might want to know how many or how much manual tasks have been decreased.
- Continuous improvement and iteration: After the initial implementation, it’s important to continuously improve and iterate these apps for the dominant user or teams who regularly use them. You’ll also want to make sure the app keeps up on the evolving needs of the business – from business processes to integration, to workflow, to security. This can include soliciting feedback from users, monitoring performance metrics, and identifying areas for improvement.
Boosting Efficiency with Low-Code: Real World Results
Low-code development can be applied to a wide range of use cases to boost employee productivity and competitive advantage. For example, Building Engineering Company built a mobile app that saved each inspector 15 hours per week doing home energy inspections. These kinds of cumulative gains have a massive impact in the long term.
By replacing its paper warranty process with a mobile field app, GBS Enterprises increases the productivity of its field team by 80%. It’s these kinds of real world results that drive the market.
Delivering a 23 tier-one corporate application, Bendigo Bank, one of Australia’s major retail banks, completely changed the way customers interacted with them. They were able to release more than one app per month because they were all created utilizing ta low-code application development platform.
These are some of the reasons that Gartner predicts that by 2023, over 50% of midsize to large companies will use a low-code solution as one of their strategic application platforms.
Low-code development has become a popular solution for streamlining app development and boosting efficiency within companies. When you build powerful mobile apps that can tie directly into business systems and daily workflows, the solution becomes even more powerful. As the demand for agile and efficient solutions continues to rise, low-code development is expected to play an increasingly important role in transforming businesses and driving growth.