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Examples and Use Cases of Low-Code

Elizabeth Bell, Appian
March 4, 2024

Before low-code, enterprise IT teams had to use either traditional development or commercial off-the-shelf software to provide business solutions. But when low-code development entered the scene, teams discovered they could create custom, enterprise-grade software applications up to 10x faster

Enterprises rely on low-code features to tackle everything from simple task automation all the way up to mission-critical, complex business processes, cutting through backlogs of business needs and meeting requirements for business users collaboratively and quickly. 

To help you envision the business problems that low-code development can solve for your enterprise, we’re featuring five low-code examples and use cases in this article.  

Let’s dive in.

1. Improve the customer experience.

Every organization needs tools to adapt processes as quickly as customer needs change. Low-code tools and process automation capabilities make it easy to build workflows to meet these changing customer needs. This is especially important as AI technology takes off and customer expectations reach challenging new heights. 

For example, banks often find that people abandon online transactions at a certain point, such as filling in an application form that is too long, uses confusing language, or requires too much information. With a low-code solution, IT teams can make the necessary adjustments by using a drag-and-drop interface to adapt the forms and provide a better experience for prospects. This speed and agility can differentiate your company in a competitive market.

Example: Adikko Bank cuts customer wait times by 50%.

Problem: Addiko Bank set out to digitize internal processes to improve the customer experience. First, they reviewed how they managed loans and trade finance requests. Manual tasks for finding, keying, and re-keying data made the process take too long, and it wasn’t consistent across countries. When a customer submitted a loan request, it took at least seven business days for Addiko to approve. 

Solution: Addiko used low-code to speed up their loan and trade finance processes. Using the low-code platform’s data fabric, they unified core banking and underwriting systems. Next, they added in low-code automation to support contract and documentation creation, sending any exception requests for employees to review. 

Results: Addiko shortened the “time to yes” for loan approvals from seven days to three days, cutting the average customer wait time in half. 

Learn everything you need to know about low-code in the Low-Code Guide. 

2. Avoid risk and stay compliant.

When it comes to avoiding risk and staying compliant with regulations, business processes can’t be static—low-code tools let you adapt them as needed. When you add automation and workflow orchestration into the mix, low-code application development enables you to  quickly adapt to the most stringent requirements and industry standards.

Plus, low-code solutions with data fabric capabilities can help you avoid risk and remain compliant by making data across all systems and sources easily accessible by the teams that need it—including external auditors.

Example: FirstBank saves 1,000 hours annually on AML case management.

Problem: FirstBank’s manual anti-money laundering (AML) process was slowing down their compliance efforts. The AML department had to review up to 500 case investigations per month, all manually. They’d log all their dispositions and concerns in spreadsheets, submit another report to create another case, and manually document who they contacted. 

Solution: The IT team used low-code to create a case management application to attack the problem. They used data fabric in the low-code platform to create a full-visibility snapshot into the status of all potential AML cases, along with all associated case information, documentation, comments, and collaborations. They made all required process actions available directly from the case record, and the system enforces proper process execution while providing complete audit trails of all cases. The application intelligently routes data to an appropriate work queue based on the characteristics of each case, and a core team of AML experts processes each case. 

Results: From idea to deployment, creating their solution took only 12 weeks. Now, the AML system provides all case information in a central location that’s easy to access by management, employees, and auditors, getting 20K logins a month. The IT team’s solution provides visibility into each case and enables employees to move quickly to identify threats—benchmarking a total of 1,000 hours saved annually across their AML efforts. The new speed eliminates late filings and related financial penalties so First Bank can achieve 100% AML compliance.

3. Make procurement faster and cheaper.

Low-code automation can eliminate manual tasks for end users, freeing them for value-added work, speeding up time to procurement, and ensuring your organization purchases the best products and services at the best price. 

Example: US Air Force saves $83 million with a low-code contract writing solution.

Problem: The United States Air Force’s contracting process was built on legacy business systems that created disjointed experiences for users. Teams were spending tons of time training users on the individual systems, and once they were in, users had to manually take actions like copying and pasting data between systems.

Solution: The IT team designed an application, called CON-IT, on the Appian Platform to replace all their other contract writing solutions. CON-IT, which runs in the secure, IL5-authorized Appian Government Cloud, uses automation to eliminate manual tasks that used to create inconsistencies and errors. It has DoD Authority to Operate (ATO) certification and is hosted in the United States Department of Agriculture's Impact Level 4 (IL4) data center. 

Results: By standardizing contract writing across the Air Force, CON-IT makes the acquisition and contracting teams more efficient—and saves them countless hours of manual effort. The IT team majorly cut costs (to the tune of $83 million in savings) by sunsetting over 100 legacy systems or environments and consolidating work into the new application, which they developed in 9 months. CON-IT ensures all relevant information is readily available, which keeps the team audit ready. CON-IT has become a gold standard for successful digital transformation initiatives in the DoD and has now been adopted by other agencies.

If you don’t know where to start with purchasing low-code software, take a look at our Low-Code Buyer’s Guide

4. Connect people, systems, and data across complex processes.

When your organization can design and orchestrate workflows that connect people, systems, bots, AI, business rules, and data—and do so at scale across the whole operation—you can ensure each process will deliver its intended value. 

You can also use a low-code development platform to deliver more data to end users, even data from legacy software. Using a data fabric, you can build applications and interfaces that draw from the older systems’ data and make that data available to more modern and functional applications that streamline experiences.

Example: Aviva Insurance delivers 9x faster customer service.

Problem: Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer with 33 million customers across 16 countries, inherited 750 different insurance companies over their history—along with all their systems, data, and processes. This created a poor user experience that kept call center employees from fulfilling Aviva’s customer-focused mission of delighting their customers. While trying to resolve issues with customers, employees would have to jump between anywhere from 12 to 22 distinct systems, which made it impossible to resolve customer problems quickly and effectively. 

Solution: The IT team began their effort to create an intelligent contact center with its employees at the center. Using a low-code platform with data fabric capabilities, Aviva unified 22 different systems into a single interface for call center operations, making client data extremely accessible and actionable. 

Results: When a customer calls, the employee can review a central record screen in Appian showing every service and policy the client uses. Now that employees have a 360-degree view of customers, they can act quickly to meet customer needs. Aviva's contact center is now nine times faster to respond to customers.

5. Streamline case management.

A modern and flexible low-code platform that integrates data, process, mobile apps, social collaboration, and content management is the key to accelerating intelligent decisions and turning them into rapid action for successful case resolutions. With low-code you can easily build and manage any type of case management workflow, from simple to highly complex, in a visual, drag-and-drop development interface, integrating automation wherever necessary.

Example: Northern Trust reimagines trillion dollar case management with low-code.

Problem: Northern Trust, a company with trillions of dollars of assets under management, custody, and administration in a highly regulated, highly competitive industry, needed to automate as much fund processing as possible with embedded controls for increased efficiency, transparency, and security. Their legacy case management system had reached its end of life—but it needed to be replaced, since 10,000 internal employees across 8,000 case types and 50 functional areas relied on it.

Solution: The IT team used low-code tools to rapidly develop a prototype, which helped business stakeholders visualize what was possible. Keeping user experience front and center with feedback-based iteration throughout, using low-code sped up requirements gathering, decision making and identifying gaps. To improve their overall end-to-end flow, they integrated Appian with their master client and account data source, document management solution, and even have plans to create an API for case data to other applications to offer a 360-degree client view. 

Their collaborative, agile approach to development made possible with a low-code solution enabled a new solution that met business requirements in record time.

Results: The custom application includes a number of features that enable users to self-service, reducing the support they need from the IT team. For example, when changes are needed, the IT team can use low-code to easily update and manage case types with minimal work. The application’s homepage offers easy access to what matters to users, and they can manage their own groups, email notifications, and handle basic configuration opportunities for their case types. Users can even enter their own criteria to their reports, saving and auto scheduling them to run as needed, which drastically minimizes their need to engage IT.

Low-code use cases: where will you start?

Low-code technology excels in so many areas where high-code software development or commercial off-the-shelf software doesn’t. Low-code is customizable and enables developers to rapidly develop solutions. It’s also ideally suited to use cases that demand agility, connectivity, security, compliance, better collaboration, and improved transparency. IT teams can move faster to meet the business’s needs, while business users have the precision they need to accomplish their goals. 

Which use case will you tackle first?

To learn more about low-code platform vendors, check out the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™.