The lack of top developers sets limits for companies. But Low-Code supports them in activating internal resources. A webcast of the Computerwoche shows how IT managers do this. Martin Otten, Regional Vice President Central Europe at OutSystems, talks about the advantages and challenges of this concept. Specialist journalist Heinrich Seeger from Computerwoche moderates the webcast.
Otten sees low code as an alternative to traditional software development. “Changes are coming to us faster and more frequently,” he says. And according to analyst estimates, Germany will have a shortage of three million skilled workers by 2030. He thus seems to be running open doors for viewers of the webcast: As an ad hoc survey shows, 42 percent have already had experience with low-code software development. Another 53 percent think about the use. The respondents expect low code to mean above all shorter time to market (88 percent), intuitive options for application development through visual models (64 percent) and a remedy for the shortage of skilled workers (52 percent).
“Isn’t that just something for older developers who used to work with Cobol?” Says Seeger. Otten: “There are people who are quickly retrained!” He also knows economics graduates who start on this topic. His conclusion: “This is actually something for everyone.” But when it comes to integration scenarios, you still need the “geeks”.
US market researcher Gartner expects that by 2024, about 65 percent of all software development will have included low code in some way. OutSystems’ approach is outlined in four key words: customer experience, agility, modern architecture and top talent. Customers can use the provider’s cloud or, for example, MS Azure. OutSystems automates internal processes with regard to customers and employees, Otten continues. The developers often sit down with product owners to quickly create prototypes.
What does the platform look like? “The first release was in 2002,” explains Otten. Today the platform comprises four parts. The first includes as a full stack UI, logic, process and data. It continues with Part Two, “Integrate & Extend” (REST, SOAP, OpenAPI and Cloud Services, Enterprise Systems and Databases), Part Three “Full Lifecycle” (DevOps / Continouos Integration) and Part Four “User Experience” (Web , Mobile, APIs, web services, chat, etc., all scalable).
In addition to business benefits, namely shorter time to value and more agility, Otten mentions the following IT benefits: Faster and cheaper development (the total costs can be halved), cloud infrastructure & operating staff included, IT governance and control, enterprise grade Features and security. OutSystems currently serves around 1,200 companies worldwide, including companies as diverse as Axa, Mercedes-Benz, KPMG and Hermes.
“How do you start after deciding on such a platform?” The moderator wants to know. “Try it first!” Replies Otten. OutSystems provides a free offer on the website for this purpose. In a so-called jump start as training, users can work on a use case together with a solution architect. “Many customers start with a simple application,” says Otten. To add straight away: “I always say: if you start with a more complex one, it will definitely work for the simple ones!”
At the end of the broadcast, the audience has the floor. One question concerns several viewers: How can shadow IT and application sprawl be prevented if low code is used? Otten: “We offer a solid architecture and the set-up of processes. We are not just about technology, but also about who does what. That creates control.” He also advocates single sign-ons and dashboards for architects.
Last but not least, the viewers want to know that the whole thing costs. Otten speaks of a subscription model (payment per year) and a platform license with internal and external users. A basic edition is available from 42,000 euros. Then a viewer wants to know: “Is lowcode an egg-laying wool milk sow?” Otten has to smile a little. Of course, he is convinced of low code, but says openly: “There are certainly situations in which a standard solution makes sense!”
Watch the webcast here