More speed in application development – not only agile methods and DevOps are available, but also low code. Developers use low-code platforms to build applications using drag and drop. Figuratively speaking, the procedure is comparable to virtual Lego blocks that can be assembled as desired.
Low code should not be confused with no code. The latter use so-called Citizen Developers, IT-savvy employees without classic programming knowledge. Business analysts are often such citizen developers. Low code does not save the developer from coding, for example to connect older applications. The US market research institute Forrester sees low code development platforms as a market volume of over $ 21 billion in 2022. In 2018, just under one in four developers worldwide (23 percent) said they were working with low-code platforms.
Technology decision-makers achieve good results with the use of low code. Some examples:
1. Low code facilitates merger and acquisitions: In 2016, NTT Data Services acquired Dell Services for $ 3 billion. Using low code enabled buyers to reduce Dell services from around 1,000 applications to 122, said Barry Shurkey, CIO of NTT Data. “We didn’t want to get anything we didn’t need,” he says.
NTT Data held a “Survival of the fittest” competition for a week among various providers of low-code platforms. A total of 21 individual criteria, including security, governance, costs and the license model, were decisive. Each user worked with senior developers and business analysts and had to deal with the typical challenges that arise in projects.
2. Low code on the way from On Prem to the cloud: Craig Walker, CIO at Shell Downstream, is in the middle of digital transformation. Part of this is the path from on prem to the cloud. Low code helped him create the proof of concept, Walker said. “I’m dragging and dropping a few things and my counterpart says, ‘Wow, I’m learning something here that I didn’t know,'” says the CIO. For example, his team creates customer portals with low code.
Shell Downstream leaves the years of coding home-made applications behind. That is the industry’s answer to the disruption, says Walker. Custom code is now only written when it comes to applications that affect competitive intellectual property.
3. Better price and place with low-code products: The conglomerate 7-Eleven supports its franchisees in the correct pricing and placement of articles on site. According to Paul McCollum, a technology officer at 7-Eleven, employees can view relevant data on their laptops or smartphones and discuss them with the franchisees.
McCollum replaced bulky Excel sheets using low code. If an employee finds on site that information cannot be correct, he sends a report at the push of a button and receives an updated version. The company wants to give store managers more technology.
4. Better customer experience thanks to low code: The American insurance group John Hancock improves customer experiences by using low-code. The IT team consolidated customer data from various systems, cleaned up the master data and migrated to Salesforce.com. Since then, IT has been the focus of customer focus, reports Vice President and Technology Officer Len van Greuning.
This is how non-developers work on the workflows of colleagues in the call center. Anyone sitting in the call center should have quick and easy access to customer data in Salesforce. Customers in turn can scan documents.
Outlook: Leyla Seka, Executive Vice President at Salesforce.com, sees low code on the upswing. Given the shortage of skilled workers, low code offers an elegant way to develop applications.