(This is the second installment of a three-part series on the business value of low-code development. Read the final installment here.)
If you don't think you've got a problem with software development, this blog isn't for you. But that's okay. On the other hand, if your organization is among the many out there that are struggling to keep up with rising demand for business applications, you're in the right place.
Here's the thing. Research shows that software development is in a crisis. We're now in a situation where a jaw-dropping 50% of enterprise applications don't get delivered or fail to meet expectations according toa recent survey by IDG. On top of that, 80% of IT execs say they worry about dealing with the pressure cooker of digital transformation.
At the same time, the best low-code platforms can multiply the productivity of developers by allowing them to build custom enterprise applications faster than ever before.So, why haven't the skeptics switched? For some, it's easier to compromise than to change. They compromise on expectations and on the difference between ordinary and extraordinary performance.
But it turns out that many are starting to come to their own conclusions about the advantages of low-code development. In fact, an overwhelming 84% of companies have turned to low-code development to reduce strain on IT resources, increase speed-to-market, and get business leaders involved in digital asset development, according toForrester.
So, what's so special about the low-code platform? For starters, it injects Agile development processes into an IT organization.
If your IT organization is like most, you have a backlog of projects that never ends which forces you to make compromises to keep up with demand.Sure, you can slap on off-the-shelf solutions to meet your business needs. But then integration becomes an issue.
Silos of data and process start to build up and before you know it, you've created a bigger problem than you had before.
Alternatively, you can choose to build your own custom applications the old school way. But this is where many companies stumble when it comes to keeping up with expectations. Another option is to add more developers. But experienced talent is way scarce and expensive too.
Why is low-code so fast? In a word: Simplicity. "If I could boil Appian (low-code platform) down into one word," says Appian Founder and CEO Matt Calkins, "it'd be simplicity." But all companies must accelerate IT delivery without sacrificing quality or accumulating more technical debt," says Calkins. Incidentally, Appian is the first low-code company to go public.
Low-code takes the complexity out of building custom applications which speeds up the development process.
CIO magazine recently described low-code development as a Lego-like approach to building software, with drag-and-drop tools that allow developers to build applications without writing code.
Bottom line: the best low-code platforms offer new, more nimble ways for IT to help the business move faster, keep up with customer expectations and deliver faster business impact.
As low-code translates your idea into an application, it also invests that application with a host of features automatically inherited from the platform.
This includes features like enhanced security and multi-platform parity that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to code. Think of it as "free power."
It's also worth noting that low-code applications are immune to technical debt. They're easier to change, more mobile, more portable to the cloud, more integrated, and more secure.
In other words, low-code platforms enable users to meet even the toughest enterprise requirements for security, scalability, and reliability.
A recent study by Forrester revealed that firms with the lowest tolerance for downtime and data loss, and the strongest requirements for continuous auditing and independent security certification, are the most likely to run top applications on low-code.
Do I need low-code (now)? Why wait when of all impediments to digital transformation, lack of speed may be the toughest to overcome.
Something else to consider is that falling behind the software demand curve can be lethal. But here's the conundrum: The more you embrace digitization, the more complex your IT architecture can become. And, with rising expectations from your business and customers, how can your IT organization possibly keep pace?So, what are the warning signs that you need a low-code platform? Here's a cheat sheet.
If any of this sounds familiar, your organization could be a candidate for a low-code development platform.
Conventional wisdom says that it's impossible to move forward without compromise. And so, we compromise on quality or on the tools we choose to solve a problem. We compromise on our standards and on our expectations. The same is true in software development. How many times have you been forced to choose between building custom software right or building it fast?
Imagine how much more your organization would stand out from the crowd if you didn't have to compromise. That's the magic of low-code.
(Tune in next week for the final episode of this three-part series on the business value of low-code development. Check out part 1 here.)
Appian is the unified platform for change. We accelerate customers’ businesses by discovering, designing, and automating their most important processes. The Appian Low-Code Platform combines the key capabilities needed to get work done faster, Process Mining + Workflow + Automation, in a unified low-code platform. Appian is open, enterprise-grade and trusted by industry leaders.