Software companies serving organizations across industries – healthcare, retail, the public sector, you name it – are in ever-increasing competition to facilitate more intuitive, more powerful, and more creative digital experiences. Leveraging and piecing together truly innovative technologies, from AI/ML to blockchain to the IoT, are essential to achieving differentiation. But while the technologies are there for the taking, it takes expensive talent (if you can find it) to harness these myriad new capabilities directly.
Consider an established software company that wants to prioritize AI as a competitive differentiator within some of its applications. The business also understands that the speed in which it can continuously adapt its applications to changing use cases is the most critical factor in determining the application’s success. Given this pressure to deliver challenging technical achievements and push the pace, the company simply doesn’t have the time, budget, or personnel to be writing code line-by-line. With only 300,000 AI engineers in the world, the demand is nowhere near the supply and something has to give.
Democratizing Software Innovation
Low-code overcomes these limitations by enabling existing IT teams without deep developer expertise to nevertheless create powerful new solutions, and do so quickly. Without hardcoding, teams can assemble pre-built application building blocks to prototype, develop, and iterate applications. Wielding this technique can deliver applications 10x faster when compared to standard models for developing code, and at a fraction of the cost.
The low-code strategy facilitates new efficiencies by tapping into more automation throughout the development process, enabling teams to skip the basics and concentrate on delivering the advanced features that will make their application stand out. Low-code simultaneously expands the pool of development talent to include citizen developers, allowing software companies to enlist non-engineers with other skillsets. The simplicity of low-code enables these newfound developers to function as effectively as engineers with minimal training, simply by assembling and altering prepared code modules. This modular nature also ensures low-code’s broad applicability, as emerging technologies will continue to be adapted and become accessible through this framework.
Ticking the Low-Code Boxes
When vetting potential low-code platforms, software companies must verify that a chosen solution is production-ready, and delivers on low-code’s future-proof potential. To assemble enterprise-grade IT applications, low-code platforms must support scalability, extensibility, privacy, and security-first design with robust monitoring and resilient workflow backups. If an innovation or business team introduces a low-code platform that can’t produce secure production-quality software, the platform will only become a source of tension with the IT team, rather than the powerful solution the company requires.
It’s an all-too-familiar dynamic for business teams to prioritize fast delivery of an app that fulfills the customer’s criteria, while IT teams are alone in pressing for apps that meet needs from a technical system safety perspective. However, the right low-code strategy will make it simple to address each of these concerns head-on, providing requisite security and scalability alongside easy-to-realize efficiency advantages. Software companies must also be aware of how low-code platforms leverage integrated third-party or open-source codebases to enable their modular components. Low-code technologies need to be vigilant in updating security and predicting any issues associated with those components, while offering clear guidance on how non-technical developers can follow secure and effective best practices.
Established software companies must acknowledge the rise of low-code development as a transformative trend, strategize how to harness its full advantages, and anticipate their competitors doing the same. With low-code, existing teams that have been upskilled with low-code knowledge are empowered with cutting-edge technologies to create applications that would have been cost-prohibitive for many organizations. By making sure that their low-code tooling addresses fundamental concerns such as scalability and security, software companies can plot a successful course in their rush to realize low-code’s many benefits.