As we saw in the previous article in this series, the benefits run the gamut, from better speed to market, to enabling greater efficiencies and automation in processes, encouraging innovation within the organisation's teams, and better connecting to suppliers and customers.
Low-code development is an approach that delivers benefits across all sectors and at every point across the digital transformation curve. Some examples of how one low-code platform, Intrexx, has been able to assist organisations across the globe achieve leading digital success include:
Mitani: Custom foods specialist, Mitani, had a legacy IT environment in which responsibilities across the organisation were siloed, which made it difficult for team members to collaborate and work together. It was also causing inefficiencies in the rate in which work was done, as actions across the work chain needed to be triggered manually by specific people within the organisation. With Intrexx, Mitani was able to break down the silos, and now has a strong culture of sharing information, with a more agile work force that has also allowed Mitani to broaden its offering – now providing smaller volume services for a large number of smaller customers.
IPWEA Australasia: The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) was able to leverage a low-code solution to offer analytics services through an online portal, with the low-code platform actualizing an asset management planning portal, called NAMS+. This solution captures data, runs calculations, runs graphs and reports, and produces reports in multiple languages for actioning. Intrexx was selected as the low-code provider for the combination of its speed of development, as well as the uncompromising level of security when handing sensitive data on the portal. This engagement also has resulted in IPWEA being able to expand beyond Australasia and offer its services worldwide.
A Medical Services Provider: Also in Australia, Intrexx partner, Advance Business Consulting, was able to build a business intelligence and reporting system for a medical services customer that needed managers to provide daily feedback and context to operating reports and financials. With the disruption brought on by COVID-19, the customer needed the ability to build apps that supported new processes and compliance requirements with regards to crucial supply chains rapidly. Low-code enabled them to achieve those outcomes with the great rapidity that the market conditions demanded.
Not all low-code platforms are created equal – here's what to look out for
Low-code is a solution that addresses the digital transformation challenges that organisations face in the current, highly disrupted environment. The pressure on companies of all sizes and scales to transform their operations is massive. An Industrial Financial Systems (IFS) report found that 70% of businesses are either maintaining or increasing spend on IT transformation projects through the pandemic and beyond. And yet, prior to the pandemic, over 80% of transformation projects failed. With the pandemic, that challenge of driving successful transformation has only become more critical to the business health of the enterprise.
For digital transformation projects to be successful, organisations need to realise tangible benefits from their projects quickly. Low-code development can help here, as a good low-code solution will offer the following four key benefits:
1) Ease of Use: Low-code is not a no-code environment (which would limit the ability for the team to customise solutions), but it is much more straightforward than working in code environments, meaning that organisations won't need to navigate through skills shortages within their development teams to deploy solutions.
2) Rapid Deployment: Development teams will no longer need to build everything within an application from scratch and will have access to "shortcuts" that allow them to remain focused on delivering business outcomes, rather than code.
3) Customisation: A good low-code platform is not just a combination of simplicity and speed; it also allows the user to tailor the application to their specific needs. It allows companies to create a solution that is not "off the rack".
4) Highly Flexible, Scalable, and Adaptable: With the rapid changes that businesses are now going through, being able to be flexible with the technology and solutions deployed into an environment is key for being able to adapt to that rate of change.
How CIOs should think about low-code and its role in the IT environment
One of the key benefits of low-code is how easy solutions are to integrate into existing business processes and environments. Nonetheless, there are strategic considerations that organisations should undertake to drive success in adopting a low-code approach to application development:
1) Orientate in the big picture. One of the reasons that transformation projects struggle and ultimately fail is that they often become so bogged down in the minutia that they lose sight of the vision and are ultimately scrapped as unable to deliver meaningful value to the organisation. Low-code is an opportunity to keep the eye firmly on outcomes rather than allow the project to slip into "transformation for transformation's sake" territory.
2) Build collaboration between departments. One of the challenges that organisations face with transformation projects is getting buy-in across the organisation. Low-code can help here as it's a comfortable approach to application development that departments outside of IT can quickly understand with minimal technical explanation.
3) Standardise across the organisation. For low-code to be truly effective, it needs to be implemented across the organisation wherever it can be. By standardising low-code as the platform for application development, workflows and processes across the organisation can be improved without inhibition.
Low-code development is underpinning much of the work that organisations are doing to digitally transform their operations and strategically adapt to new market conditions. The rapid nature with which applications can be developed and rolled out, combined with the highly tailored nature of the solutions that low-code enables makes it ideal for a broad spectrum of enterprises, of all sizes and across all sectors.