How Low-code Accelerates Digital Transformation

low code digital transformation

Low-code application development looms large on the horizon for anyone focused on the future of business. This new focus is justified: Gartner expects 70% of new applications developed by enterprises to use low-code or no-code technologies by 2025. 

The prominence of low-code development is also evident in projections involving market growth. By one estimate, worldwide revenue for low-code platforms will almost quadruple between 2020 and 2025, from 12.85B to 47.31B USD. This prediction indicates huge demand for low-code capabilities. 

These numbers have caught the attention of business leaders and managers who want to stay ahead of the competitive curve. What leaders may not glean is exactly how low-code will transform their businesses. In this post, we’ll briefly examine two areas of critical impact for low-code: user experience and business and IT alignment. 

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Low-code helps deliver better UX

No business strategy is complete without user experience. That includes UX for customers, employees, vendors, and other stakeholders. UX impacts a wide range of KPIs including customer satisfaction, employee engagement, turnover rate, and response times, among others. 

Low-code platforms already play a large role in UX optimization, and their screen time is quickly increasing. Why? It’s due to three low-code capabilities that are especially helpful for improving UX: 

  1. Unifying fragmentation in the existing tech stack.
  2. Standardizing and automating processes.
  3. Empowering business users to apply their expertise to solve problems.

Unifying fragmentation

Low-code tools optimize UX by integrating into existing tech stack components and connecting the dots between them. Even when an iPaaS platform is present, slippage may occur between databases or other components of the existing stack, creating disconnects that cannot be resolved by simple data integration. Low-code mitigates this fragmentation by providing a remedy for the kinds of fractures that emerge when new apps are added or existing apps are updated. 

For example, a business team may find a gap in a process in which new business requests arrive through multiple channels or with incomplete information. As a result, users may lack status visibility for their items or have to dedicate time correcting items or collecting information. Low-code tools can provide a secure workflow automation that standardizes business requests and automatically routes them to the appropriate reviewer. 

Automating anything

The second way low-code improves UX is that it addresses the inevitable long-tail processes that often become the Achille’s heels for businesses. Long-tail processes are the unique or newly discovered processes that fall outside the core of the business, and therefore aren’t managed with components of the current tech stack. Low-code provides a new solution to the process standardization necessary for both automation and orchestration. 

Consider the supporting workflows and subprocesses that teams manage manually with email and spreadsheets. They may be related to core business processes and systems (like ERP or vertical solutions), but they don’t have a designated place or time to occur. Low-code automation gives those users an avenue to quickly create apps, automations, integrations, and forms that reduce their workload, improve accuracy, and integrate these processes back into the system.

Empowering the experts

The third and arguably most important way low-code creates a better UX is also the most straightforward: it empowers business teams and other non-technical users to solve problems they encounter in their own work.

This is important because it means that issues with processes and workflows are addressed by the people who know them best. An IT team may be well-advised on the requirements for a solution, but this doesn’t mean business units will get exactly what they need. Low-code collapses the distance between the problem and the expertise needed to solve it once and for all. 

Low-code improves alignment between IT and business teams

Low-code helps businesses improve UX for a range of stakeholders, but its impact on IT and business team alignment is no less profound. Low-code changes the dynamics of this relationship by putting business teams in a co-creative role in which they can develop and deploy solutions in an IT-approved environment. Think of the emerging citizen developer movement, in which low-code tools play a pivotal role in the creation and modification of new apps, workflows, and automations. 

Bringing shadow IT into the sunlight

This new equation empowers business teams while freeing developers to focus on other priorities, such as safeguarding security or coding solutions for which there is no low-code alternative. This synergistic relationship casts sunlight on shadow IT by creating low-code alternatives that work as well (or better than) their unsanctioned counterparts. Like shadow IT, low-code allows business teams to solve their problems quickly, but with IT guardrails in place. 

Process standardization

Process standardization is an important component of UX optimization, but it also benefits IT teams. Consistency among processes and workflows creates stability and predictability, two characteristics that make life much easier for IT teams. When departments, teams, or locations develop unique or disparate processes, IT has a harder time enforcing security and compliance requirements. Standardized processes reduce errors and eliminate surprises, both of which will make IT teams happy. 

Learn more about process standardization

Shifting from project to product models

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of low-code for IT teams. Not only does low-code provide another tool for managing the growing shortage of developers, it also moves development from a project model to a product model. In other words, low-code shifts some development work to business users who now have the tools to take an agile, iterative approach to building and deploying their solutions. 

Low-code allows business teams to adapt their processes to customer feedback, competitor activity, or internal requirements in real-time, while IT teams are free to apply their skills to priorities that require a conventional project delivery framework. 

The next low-code horizon

If predictions about the low-code market are accurate, and current adoption trends continue, businesses should expect a surge of low-code development in the coming years. This includes many types of low-code use cases that range from application development to UX optimization and process automation. The oncoming wave of low-code also suggests broader participation throughout the enterprise as low-code opens the aperture to personas that go well beyond IT. 

Increases in speed and efficiency are important benefits of low-code development, but it’s equally important to remain focused on low-code’s potential to optimize experiences across the board and generate closer alignment between business units and IT teams. 

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