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Hyperautomation: 8 Keys to Low-Code Success

Roland Alston, Appian
October 22, 2020

One of the biggest failings of old-school, custom software development is its inability to help large organizations survive against unexpected challenges and quickly adapt to change.

It could hardly be otherwise. For decades, companies were limited by inflexible business applications that took so much time to architect, develop, test and deploy.Not to mention the time it took to maintain, upgrade and enhance them.All of which set the stage for a revolution.

Speed Is of the Essence

Fast forward to 2020. And the devastation of the pandemic sparked exponential growth in demand for new applications. But what's playing out now is many companies are overwhelmed by the unresponsiveness of vintage systems and an endless backlog of processes to build.

More than ever, speed is of the essence. Which is a perfect segue toStarCIO President and Best-Selling Author Isaac Sacolick's expert commentary in a new book called HYPERAUTOMATION a collection of essays from notable big thinkers on the future of low-code and business automation.

Sacolick drops some serious knowledge on the low-code revolution and how it helps developers and non-developers alike develop applications and promote iterative experimentation faster than ever before.

"Candidly, I was looking for ways to cheat," says Sacolick, a veteran CIO and expert in agile practices, devops, and data science."

"I was looking for ways to build applications faster. I wanted to break the cycle of complexity and enable business stakeholders to write requirements that lead to custom software development."

Sacolick's essay inHYPERAUTOMATIONbreaks down the business value of low-code for the business-minded CIO. He reveals how it empowers organizations to build critical applications without getting bogged down in technical debt, or getting left behind whenever newer ways of applying technology leapfrogs an implementation made just months ago.

8 Ways to Evaluate a Low-Code Platform

That's useful but cutting through vendor hype can be tricky. Which is why Sacolick gives us eight key questions for finding the right low-code platform for your organization:

    • For what types of applications does the platform enable rapid development? Make sure to understand what's easy, what's a stretch, and what's truly out of scope.

    • Does the technology enable a satisfactory user-experience? Or must end-users suffer through a user experience that doesn't work well, say, on mobile?

    • How much of the application can be developed with the platform's visual productivity tools compared to customizing much of the experience, business logic or integration with native code?

    • Does the platform already connect with the integration tools your IT department utilizes? Or does it integrate with mainstream integration platforms?

    • Does the developer experience truly improve productivity? And does the expected skill set align well with organizational strategy?

    • Can the platform's hosting options and compliance standards meet your organization's regulatory, compliance, and security requirements?

    • How can the platform's development process and application lifecycle meet the minimal requirements needed to support ongoing enhancements to production applications?

    • Does the platform's cost model work well for the applications you intend to develop?

Sacolick says that low-code allows you to quickly adapt to a crisis that can't be addressed responsively through traditional software development.

"Low-code guardrails may also improve quality, provide a better user experience, and offer a more secure hosting platform than applications developed with native development languages," says Sacolick.

Cutting Through the Hype

Long story short, low-code and no-code platforms offer significant operational advantages by enabling more secure applications that deploy with minimal infrastructure configuration. Which also makes low-code ideal for helping business users solve many common use-cases, including application integrations, workflow automations, mobile applications and the like.

But don't get it twisted. Low-code is not about excluding developers from playing a role in helping non-developers with best practices in building maintainable and supportable applications.

"Business developers still need guidance on best practices in user-interface design, data architecture, naming conventions, testing, and other design considerations," says Sacolick.

If you're down with low-code and ready to cut through the smoke and mirrors, check out Sacolick's expert commentary in HYPERAUTOMATION for a pragmatic look at the future of low-code and business automation.