Low-code software occupies a lot of space in the collective business mind these days, and for good reason. The benefits of low-code platforms for business users and IT professionals solve some of the most persistent problems these teams face. In fact, the leverage that businesses get from using a low-code platform is so great that by 2025, Gartner predicts that 70% of new applications will be developed using a low-code platform.
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Below, we outline the benefits of low-code for IT, business teams, and the enterprise. But before we do that, a quick note about how we use the term “low-code.” While low-code is sometimes interchangeably referred to as “no-code” or combined and abbreviated as “LC/NC,” we prefer the term low-code because we think it’s more precise than no-code. Here’s why:
- Any system or tool that’s added to your existing tech stack will require some degree of coding — however minimal — by the developers and IT professionals on your team to implement and maintain it, so nothing is ever without coding.
- However, low-code software and low-code development platforms (LCDP) don’t require business users to know or understand any code. Combined, these characteristics are what makes them low-code.
Although the term “no-code” may still apply from the business user’s perspective, we’ll use the term “low-code” to refer to software that’s designed for ease-of-use by the business team for the remainder of this post. Learn more about the differences between no-code vs. low-code.
Benefits of low-code for IT
Because developers, IT professionals, and business technologists play key roles in adopting, implementing, and maintaining low-code tools, it’s important to understand how they will be affected. To better understand the benefits of low-code for IT, here are some ways low-code development platforms positively impact IT teams:
1. Manages complexity
One of the ways low-code benefits the IT team is by containing the complexity that emerges when customizations are needed. For example, if the ERP or point solution requires customization each time a process changes or a new workflow emerges, the build can become complicated and convoluted over time. Low-code tools can minimize the need to recode the app each time a modification is needed.
The same is true for building workflows and processes. Even though the primary components of the stack (such as the ERP or the CRM) may be used to manage core processes, customizing processes (or building new ones) within these systems can become a complicated, drawn-out production. Low-code business process automation (or low-code BPA) adds a process management layer that simplifies several aspects of process management including automation and optimization.
2. Reduces the IT backlog
A never-ending IT backlog can be a source of stress for IT teams and a source of frustration for those waiting for solutions. Our research found that for some organizations, up to 60% of requests to IT may go unfulfilled. Low-code tools democratize problem-solving and relieve IT of the burden of having to manage each request themselves. Business teams get faster results, IT gets a break from the crushing weight of having to code every change request themselves.
This benefit is especially pronounced in terms of building and modifying processes that change often. Low-code lets business teams enjoy a higher degree of self-service, which prevents throwing everything over the wall to IT.
3. Makes more time for strategy and security
Low-code empowers business teams to build and modify some of their apps, solutions, and processes. As a result, low-code reallocates IT resources and makes them available for higher priorities, such as driving strategy and enforcing security requirements.
4. Casts sunlight on shadow IT
When business teams can’t get apps and solutions quickly, they may resort to ad hoc workarounds and unsanctioned tactics to meet their needs. Low-code provides an alternative to unsanctioned methods that allows IT to maintain quality, consistency, control, and visibility.
5. Standardizes processes
Process consistency is important for businesses because it makes it easier to enforce security requirements and it improves user experiences. Standardized processes are also easier to monitor and manage. Low-code solutions provide a consistent set of building blocks that business users can use to develop and deploy apps, processes, and solutions.
IT maintains control of the building blocks, ensuring that new processes and app modifications always fall within an approved framework.
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Benefits of low-code for business teams
Low-code platforms make it easier for IT teams to support the business by reducing their backlog, reallocating resources, simplifying complexity, and standardizing processes. At the same time, business users also have much to gain from the use of low-code tools. Low-code helps business teams stay nimble and invites them to help solve problems instead of depending entirely on IT. Here’s how:
6. Improves accessibility
Systems and apps that require a steep learning curve or that are too complicated for the average non-technical employee have a built-in barrier to their use. Low-code platforms are designed to democratize technology and invite more team members into the problem-solving process.
7. Increases agility
Business teams must be able to respond to customer feedback, competitor activity, and market trends quickly. Low-code accelerates the development and deployment of the solutions and processes they need to seize opportunities, eliminate bottlenecks, and remedy problems.
8. Solves process gaps
One of the most common obstacles business teams face is finding a way to optimize and automate processes that aren’t managed by their existing stack. These may be core processes that have evolved over time, or they may be entirely new processes that have emerged to meet changing business needs.
These are the process gaps that appear whenever the existing stack handles some — but not all — of the processes needed to run the business. Process gaps are a predictable part of business growth, and they present three key problems:
- Create additional manual work.
- Tempt teams to resort to shadow IT.
- Require a great deal of time to manage.
Low-code platforms give business teams the tools they need to solve these kinds of problems, without having to wait for a custom-coded solution from their developers. Low-code automation is particularly effective at building and optimizing processes that fill these gaps, a type of business process usually referred to as a “long-tail process” since it may be unique, cross department boundaries, and require a high degree of manual effort to complete.
9. Empowers co-creators
Low-code development platforms change the dynamic between business and IT teams. Instead of keeping business users entirely dependent on IT, low-code invites business teams to actively collaborate on the development and deployment of their apps and solutions. Low-code supports citizen developers and business technologists and invites them to take a more proactive stance to problem-solving for the enterprise.
10. Transforms ideas into reality
One of the most important contributions low-code platforms make to any business is that they move ideas forward and help them become reality. Business users have access to an IT-sanctioned toolbox that lets them imagine solutions and optimizations that haven’t even been considered before. This democratization of innovation gives business teams more agency, improves engagement, and may open the door to ideas that solve problems that have previously been seen as unsolvable.
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Benefits of low-code for the enterprise
In addition to the benefits low-code offers for IT and business teams, these platforms also offer advantages for the enterprise as a whole. By speeding up development cycles and democratizing problem-solving, low-code helps the business achieve its strategic goals and KPIs.
11. Lowers costs
Low-code helps businesses contain costs in a couple of ways. First, by reducing the amount of coding needed for app deployment and development. As a result, fewer IT resources are consumed. Second, some low-code solutions (such as low-code automation) can help teams minimize license arbitrage by providing more malleable tools that can be used to manage a variety of processes in different departments.
12. Enhances stack extensibility
Low-code tools integrate with the components of the existing stack to maximize extensibility and address gaps in processes and workflows. Low-code platforms complement — rather than compete with — existing ERPs, CRMs, and other legacy components. As a result, low-code brings a much needed infusion of agility to existing stacks in order to help them stay nimble as the business evolves.
13. Faster ROI and time-to-value
Another way low-code platforms can help a business thrive is by accelerating time-to-value and ROI over more code-intensive alternatives. That’s because low-code allows business teams to develop and deploy automated processes and apps faster than is possible in traditional development.
For example, low-code BPA solutions integrate with the existing stack and easily adapt across department and process boundaries. As a result, they can be quickly configured to accommodate new processes and workflows. This flexibility means that enterprises won’t always have to invest in an expensive, time-consuming expansion of an existing stack component each time a new process is required.
14. Improves productivity
Productivity is the amount of output achieved per unit of input. In other words, how much time and effort it takes to produce a discrete, measurable outcome. Low-code alters the productivity equation by allowing business teams to quickly address problems or gaps that hinder productivity.
For example, teams that have access to low-code automation can use a drag-and-drop interface to build, modify, and automate their workflows, rather than having to wait for IT teams to develop and deploy a customized solution. As processes are optimized, waste is reduced and productivity increases.
15. Reallocates resources
At the core, the most important benefit of low-code for the enterprise is its capacity to reallocate resources. IT teams get a respite from the pressure to hand-code every new app or process, which lets them redirect their time and effort towards strategy, security, and other priorities that create value.
Low-code gives business teams the tools to develop and deploy some of their own solutions, which means putting those who understand the problems best in a place where they can apply their insights and expertise.