Business professionals who work day in and day out in the pure-play technology sector might not be aware that major progress is being made in digital transformation.
For example, engineering is way ahead of many other sectors when it comes to so-called cutting-edge technologies, like 5G, AI, and IoT.
Forward-looking engineering giant Schneider Electric, for example, has used low-code development to develop 60 new applications in less than 40 percent of the time it would have taken with a “traditional” development process.
Those apps span this large, globe-straddling engineering company, from HR to finance, to portfolio management, manufacturing oversight, logistics, and supply chain.
Examples of how companies are using low-code application development software are the subject of an eBook that discusses some of the advantages offered by the latest in low-code, GUI-led app development.
This technology is now so powerful that so-called citizen developers can work alongside traditional developers to produce the apps and services that are driving change and creating significant business value across the Asia-Pacific region.
Business managers will tell you that people are their best assets. Experienced employees know their work inside out: its processes, its complexity, and can show the path to improvement.
Instead of having separate development functions in the business, companies can use low-code to empower those who have business experience and knowledge to produce the apps and services quickly and safely; apps that will change — at a deep level — the way the enterprise can work.
Along with the new converts to application development, the existing development functions in the business also benefit. As well as using the low-code tools themselves as part of a daily toolbelt (especially taking advantage of pre-built libraries and components), DevOps personnel can turn their hands to more challenging tasks, safe in the knowledge that the low-code platform is working well, within the parameters of development methodology.
That means observing governance rules, security issues, development workflows, and existing architectures.
Furthermore, low-code enables new development staff to get up to speed faster. They need less training in the deeper complexities of the business and are quicker to produce consistent user experiences across all new apps that help drive business value.
Because low-code environments provide all users with the tools they need at their fingertips to create apps fast, companies can innovate more quickly.
New products and services, either supported or carried by new apps and services, can be presented and rolled out much quicker, whether that’s into customer-facing roles, or for positioning internally to help teams work more efficiently.
The drag-and-drop and graphic nature of the OutSystems low-code platform, for instance, makes the development process much more efficient than when teams have to code from the ground up. Systems can be built with reusable components, and connectors, quickly joining business logic drawn from the local knowledge (as supplied by citizen developers), and supported by IT’s deep knowledge of the possibilities of technology.
The waterfall development methodology can now be fully left behind. Instead, teams focus, with a results-oriented precision, on the problem that staff and customers face every day. This is problem-solving using technology by the people (armed with the right tools) with the knowledge to change things for the better quickly.
The integration abilities of the best low-code platforms mean that businesses can extend the capabilities of legacy systems, without having to employ either specialist developers or expensive subcontractors.
That means that OutSystems users can drive more ROI from legacy systems, significantly extending platform lifespans and overall usefulness. The people who use the legacy systems every day, and those who interact with end-users and customers, can work together to produce coherent, consistent, safe, and reliable applications built on proven business processes.
In this extension of existing technology alone, low-code offers significant value to digital transformation initiatives. But combined with an innovative and creative approach, the organization using the OutSystems low-code platform can unlock its own potential, without massive investment in new infrastructure or solutions.
The eBook mentions that it’s advisable to start with an existing platform in a single department or division (the eBook’s final paragraphs provide sound guidance on getting up to speed, quickly), thus proving the business case for low-code.
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