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Low-Code Functionality Could Help Municipalities Create Smart Cities

Joshua Hoffman
May 5, 2015

Intelligent building functionality has come together with smart grids, big data and widespread access to cloud computing to make the smart citya popular prospect in a variety of sectors. Of course, actually integrating data, applications and services within a municipality is an incredible challenge that is only complicated by the fact that city governments have diverse user groups to support in any smart city concept. A recent Information Age report explained that low-code development principles could end up helping municipal governments unlock smart city concepts by letting them taking advantage of citizen developers or similar users to improve functionality.

"Low-code principles can fuel the innovation needed for smart cities."

Looking at the promise of smart cities through a low-code lens

Citing Forrester Research, the news source explained that smart city technologies in theenergy, health care, building, governance, infrastructure and transportation could end up creating a total market value of approximately $1.5 trillion moving forward. By 2020, smart city solutions could create value reaching $408 billion annually, the U.K. government believes. These projects showcase how much potential smart cities have to revolutionize the economy, but there is work to be done.

According to the report, the promise of smart cities is clear, but how we will get there is far from certain. Internet of Things technologies, social solutions, data analytics and similar platforms have given the world glimpses of what a smart city could look like - Google Maps, for example, can use social data to report on traffic - but putting all of that disparate data into a context that is useful for consumers, public sector employees and other stakeholders is a major hurdle. This is where low-code can come into play.

The reality is that public sector organizations do not have the time, money or resources to develop complex apps to meet the demands of smart cities. However, low-code lets organizations empower end users to access development platforms that require minimal technology expertise to build solutions. Low-code or no-code principles can fuel the innovation needed to create smart cities, the news source said.

Getting low-code and BPM together

Business process management solutions are increasingly being designed to work as application development platforms. Using BPM tools to create an application platform lets your workers not only take advantage of low-code functionality to build custom apps with ease, it also enables them to integrate those apps into their everyday processes to maximize value. In the end, you can combine the longstanding benefits of process optimization and automation with custom, code-free apps to make sure business and technology needs always align.