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A blog about software development best practices, how-tos, and tips from practitioners.

How Low-Code Development Helps Small Businesses

How Low-Code Development Helps Small Businesses

There is a universal need for unique and simple software in business. The speed of technological evolution has forced companies to rethink their business processes and redesign the same. Intelligent technologies are leading this revolution and affecting every facet of the businesses. It’s a challenge for every business to adopt the right technology trying to revamp their business operations at low cost.

This blog discusses how low-code development helps small enterprises.

The demand for software application development is growing at an exponential rate. According to Gartner, the market demand for software application development will increase at least five times in 2021. Moreover, traditional software development is a time consuming and costly process with enormous backlogs and for small businesses, it is exceptionally challenging.

Gartner believes that by 2020, at least 50 percent of all new business applications will be created with high productivity toolsets and low-code platform is one of them. The next technology for changing the development landscape could be low-code development platforms. 

Low-code development enables users to design and create applications with little or no code. It encourages IT and business professionals to use graphical user interfaces for creating business application software instead of traditional computer programming.

The Low-code platform has visual interfaces with the flexibility of drag and drop for simplifying application construction. All components of the project such as frontend & backend code and configuration files are generated automatically using the best practices.

A Low-code development platform utilizes fourth-generation programming languages as well as agile application development tools to restore large hand coded data, which enables you to restructure, simplify, and speed up the product delivery by decreasing huge backlogs.

Manual coding introduces many errors which can be eliminated with low-code. By using the cloud, you can start with small increments and then roll out a variety of scenarios. It ensures you to test scenarios within a scalable and integrated environment.

Below are the several benefits of using low-code platforms:

  • Cost-effective

The development tools for low-code apps are designed for the internal teams. Companies don’t need to increase the cost by hiring an external app development team. In addition, the updates can be performed by the internal team.

  • Eliminate the IT skills gap

Low-code development frameworks help the companies to bridge the skills-gap by allowing the existing IT staff and non-developers to quickly and easily build mobile apps.

  • Speed-up application development

Developing a custom application or a mobile app is a long and recursive process and sometimes it ends up by taking more than a year. However, the low-code framework decreases the development cycle dramatically. The low-code app can be developed in parallel with business requirements by internal staff.

  • Minimal training

You can select options like 'no code' and 'low-code' for development (point and click application development). The low-code frameworks also have options to incorporate the pre-existing software or develop new customization. The tools are designed with targeted ease of use, facilitating the internal preexisting teams to work on it, thus saving time and money on additional training.

  • Deploy cross-platform (mobile, web, desktop, cloud)

The low-code framework offers cross-platform deployment across mobile, web, desktop, and cloud. It is fully integrated with backend systems and it also facilitates dynamic synchronization of data between user devices and backend databases.

  • Scalability

Low-code platforms allow companies to start small with perhaps just a web app, progressing to hybrid or even fully native apps as per the business needs.

Malcolm Carroll, Director of BlueFinity concludes, ‘In today’s digital world creating business apps should be an essential part of the business strategy–growth promotion, future proofing, and competitiveness. Low-code development platforms enable companies to create apps quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively with the skills they already have in-house.’

Limitations

Despite having some sheer advantages, like everything low-code framework also comes with limitations. John Rymer (VP Forrester) said that these platforms are productive as they provide a framework for the development of business owners. Sometimes, low-code framework creates challenges to work in a unique production line.

While low-code tools can be a powerful asset during the POC and some UI / UX problems can be simplified to run an app faster. There is still a significant need for developing skills to customize the project, create backend APIs and manage infrastructure deployment.

The future of low-code

As these platforms develop alongside other technologies, builders of low-code platforms must connect their platforms to create more data sources. Technologies like the Internet of Things sensors, artificial intelligence, and Blockchain can provide even more hookups for low-code builders which will open up doors for more use cases and further development of the technology

Here are a few real-life examples of how low-code has helped organizations.

Bendigo Bank, one of the largest retail banks in Australia, transformed customer experience by rolling out 23 tier-one enterprise applications at a rate faster than one per month using Appian’s low-code app development platform. Reference Link:  https://www.appian.com/customer/bendigo-bank/

Sprint figures out an entirely new way to do business and support it with scalable technology. And roll it out in a matter of weeks using Appian’s low-code app development platform. Reference Link: https://www.appian.com/resources/forrester-case-study-sprint/

Logistics and distribution supplier Vopak needed one platform that could integrate with disparate customer supply chain solutions. Vopak Transforms its Business with Rapid Low-Code Development. Reference Link: https://www.outsystems.com/videos/agility-to-large-organizations/

Some of the commonly used Low-Code development platforms –

OutSystems: https://www.outsystems.com

Appian:  https://www.appian.com

Mendix:  https://www.mendix.com/

Conclusion

Low-code platforms can help organizations to overcome the lack of coding skills and improve collaboration within the development team. It also helps the end users to achieve better business outcomes more quickly.

 Low-code platforms increase the effectiveness of cloud-ready applications that are large, secure, and fully integrated. Many organizations that are experienced in low-code development are expanding their development teams to meet the growing demand. They execute mission-critical company applications. 

However, low-code platforms are a golden opportunity for small businesses. As the citizen developer continues to become a contributor in this space, small enterprises can be early candidates for this technology.

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