Low Code: A Beginner’s Guide

    • The pace of change in business and technology is increasing at a rapid clip. At the current churn rate, half of the S&P 500 will be replaced in the next ten years. Constant disruption is causing an existential threat to well-established, ‘household name’ businesses, punishing those who refuse to adopt new technology and processes (see the collapse of several well-known high street brands for confirmation), and sending out a stark warning to those who are sitting on the fence:

      Those that fall behind, get left behind. 

      In the modern world, to survive as a business you need one thing above all others: agility. The ability to adapt and take advantage of opportunities as they arise, as well as the power and resources to stay ahead of the expectation curve and deliver what customers want, exactly when they want it. This ‘sixth sense’ is a connecting thread between many of the great startup success stories of the last ten years and, while nothing is ever guaranteed, new intelligent technologies can help you stay ahead of the pack when trying to cater to the changing desires of your customers and your marketplace. 

      Enter low code software. 

      Out of the box agility 

      Traditional coding practices and software development are, for the most part, slow and cumbersome ways to provide business value. Low code platforms, on the other hand, offer rapid app delivery that is – on average – 20 times faster than traditional methods. The visual, easy to use interface of a program such as Appian facilitates collaboration between business and IT and significantly reduces the idea-to-execution process that is the lifeblood of any startup or organisation. Operations that have historically been resource-heavy, such as customer onboarding, providing consistent brand experiences across mobile, tablet and desktop, and giving employees device-agnostic access to important information, can now be achieved quickly, with relatively small expense. This facilitates business-wide innovation and collaboration – as well as the ability to work at ‘digital speed’. 

      Adopting low code 

      We spoke earlier about how quickly the business world is changing. A more accurate observation might be that the global marketplace is changing. Customers are demanding more value and more transparency than ever, in line with widespread cultural and moral issues, but established businesses tethered to legacy systems and old ways of doing things – often with complex, fragile IT architectures – are still a way off from full digitisation. There are a lot of opportunities for forward-thinking businesses who adapt faster ways of working and empower their teams to innovate, rather than react.  

      Do you need low code?

      These are the criteria I use to discover whether a potential client would benefit from low code. If you find yourself agreeing with one or more that is a great indication that you need to closely examine your current processes:

      1. Your business is tethered to legacy systems that require constant maintenance and ‘patching up’. 
      2. You operate in a regulation-heavy industry and your existing systems are making full compliance an almost impossible task. 
      3. You and your team see business opportunities everywhere – but you don’t have the resources or agility to take advantage of them. By the time you do they have passed you by. 
      4. Your existing systems don’t communicate very well with each other and your multi-channel customer experience is inconsistent at best. 
      5. Retaining software developers is becoming a challenge and your IT backlog is growing by the day – with no resolution in sight. 
      Where to go from here

      The rapid digitisation of industry and the world in general flies in the face of how the human brain works. We have a natural resistance to change, and an automatic ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality that doesn’t serve us well when our business is at stake. It’s easy to get trapped in the mentality that what you did to reach the top of your market will keep you there, hence the widespread dependency on legacy systems. The problem arises, however, when we realise that what is easy is often dangerous, and refusing to embrace the new because of fear of discomfort is an insidious mentality with disastrous consequences in the long-term. 

      The window is still open. If you plan for agility now and adopt low code as a foundation of your business processes, the future no longer looks threatening, but more like what it actually is – a huge opportunity.

      Tim Clarke is a Principal Consultant at Procensol UK, a process-centric solutions provider using low code applications and automation technology to aid digital transformation. You can reach him at tim.clarke@procensol.com.

  • About the Author

    Tim Clarke

    Director, Sales & Marketing

    Tim Clarke oversees Procensol’s sales and marketing operations in the UK and Europe and is responsible for driving growth for Procensol’s clients and service partners. Tim has close to 20 years of experience in the IT industry specialising in end-to-end application architecture design, implementation and integration. Prior to joining Procensol, Tim spent seven (7) years delivering BPM based case management solutions from a customer’s point of view. This gives Tim a unique advantage of truly understanding what businesses are looking for, the challenges they face in the current market and how best to maximise your BPM solutions.

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