The world is going digital, and digital transformation has become the reality for many businesses today.
Constantly evolving technology has forced companies to reevaluate and rebuild their business processes in order to survive in an increasingly competitive market. Low-code development platforms are leading this revolution, and helping every type of business grow more easily. These platforms have gained popularity due to their rapid development advantage. They enable organizations to develop customized solutions, and help them to adapt to a business world in flux.
What is a low-code development platform?
A low-code development platform makes it possible to create business applications using prebuilt code snippets or blocks, and drag-and-drop interfaces, cutting back on the intense coding required for developing applications. This dramatically shortens the development time for creating an application, allowing IT teams to get more done with less effort and time. It's well-suited for helping businesses who are looking for a fast development turnaround and crafting a product that's truly fit for its purpose. With their help, companies can build apps with almost no coding at all.
Low-code platforms also offer prebuilt app templates, making it easier for users to get started, and giving them the freedom to customize the app further based on their business needs. Once the app is launched, everything else, like maintenance and regular automatic feature updates, is taken care of. You can now create an entire application in days, with almost no involvement from IT necessary.
What makes low-code platforms great?
Low-code platforms come with various unique features which make the process of development enjoyable for users. Here are a few of the essential features that one should consider before adopting a low-code platform:
A visual modeling interface lets users see how their application looks as they build it, making the overall development process easier. It reduces the need for traditional coding text, which in turn lets non-developers embrace application development faster. The interface makes it effortless to build complex user interfaces and provide a seamless experience to the end user.
Many low-code platforms support artificial intelligence that lets you create and launch smart business applications. You don't have to write formula or code algorithms, all you need to do is use the available AI fields.
Using the power of AI, business can predict outcomes, detect irregularities in user behavior, predict product demands, and automatically analyze feedback to make accurate, proactive decisions. And the best part? These AI functions are designed to evolve as they analyze more and more data.
The best low-code platforms feature a built-in multilayer security framework that allows secure data flow. This enables users to build secure business applications that comply with global standards and industry regulations. This feature makes low-code a safe and reliable solution for businesses that deal with sensitive data assets.
Native mobile apps
Most low-code platforms on the market let users build mobile-first applications. The best part is that, with these platforms, you don't have to spend time or resources to build a separate mobile application. Your applications are automatically available as native mobile apps on various operating systems, like iOS, Windows, and Android. Businesses also have the freedom to brand their apps and publish them for internal and external stakeholders.
Integration with existing systems
One of the most integral features that any low-code platform must have is the capability to integrate with existing and new systems easily. This allows users to integrate across multiple platforms, and ensures seamless data flow between core business systems. Also, it lets businesses extract the full power of their systems into one unified platform, and allows them to make better-informed decisions with real-time data and analysis.
Benefits of using a low-code platform
Implementing low-code for your business can deliver measurable returns fast. Below are a few of the major benefits of using a low-code development platform:
Faster time to market
Developing a custom-built application or a mobile application is a lengthy and iterative process. However, low-code platforms decrease the development cycle drastically. For a technical user, building apps on low-code platforms will be a breeze, since it'll cut down their coding by more than 80%. This means there are more hours to focus on other growing IT/business app workloads.
Low-code platforms help in bridging the gap between business teams and IT. This gives professional developers more time to focus on coding, where human skill is crucial. It also allows business users to create their own applications, which saves a considerable chunk of time for developers, which in turn impacts the company. This leads to businesses running more efficiently and at a higher level.
Deploy from anywhere
Low-code development platforms offer cross-platform deployment across mobile, web, desktop, and cloud. They're fully integrated with backend systems, and also facilitate the integration of data between user devices and backend databases. Low-code platforms can even be configured in the cloud or on-premise – and with cloud deployments users have the ability to access their applications anywhere, at any time.
With a low-code platform, business users can provide access to their application easily. Users can control who can access the application at both broad and micro levels. Application owners can designate whether a particular user is an administrator, a co-owner, or an end user. These platforms allow users to assign roles and permissions based on the employees’ positions in the organization. And users can access business applications efficiently, iteratively, and seamlessly across web and mobile.
Building applications the traditional way, i.e. building every component of the application through manual coding – is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. However, with low-code platforms, more apps can be built in less time, making the process less expensive. Low-code requires less programming expertise, and hence you don't necessarily need to hire professional developers. These platforms help companies to bridge the skills gap by allowing existing IT teams and non-developers to collaborate and deliver applications faster.
Low-code development platforms allow transformations that are fast, which allows users to meet their requirements better and be at an advantage in meeting deadlines and project goals. They allow this by enabling control of all risk management and governance processes within a unified platform. Businesses can also better navigate ever-changing government regulations through low-code. These platforms make it effortless to comply and meet conditions to stay up to date with market changes.
What can you build with low-code platforms?
With a low-code platform, businesses can build any web and mobile applications. Here are a few of the most common types of applications that are built on low-code:
Operations improvement applications
Line of business applications
Legacy modernization applications
Customer engagement applications
Process automation applications
Employee engagement applications
Understanding the concept of a digital workplace
A digital workplace provides new and effective ways of working that improve the employee experience, productivity, and engagement. This helps in achieving business goals better. It's a connected environment that provides access to everything employees need with the help of digital tools.
It's a workplace that enables employees to access information they need, automate business processes relevant to their jobs, and exchange information with anyone effortlessly. In this way, organizations can create a sustainable work environment and ensure employees can work efficiently even while working remotely.
How low-code platforms can help shape your digital workplace
With constantly evolving consumer demands, companies are under more pressure than ever before to automate processes and increase operational efficiency across the organization. Low-code platforms enable organizations to automate repetitive tasks, schedule notifications or reminders, and configure multi-level approval processes, allowing employees to focus on what matters most to the business.
Digitally-transformed businesses have an advantage over their competitors. A digitally transformed workplace can greatly impact the business in positive ways, as it brings about an overall change, not only technologically but also culturally. If your business is looking for a solution that will provide better communication, collaboration, and automation of business processes, low-code platforms can be the solution to enable a well-connected digital workplace.
With low-code platforms comes agility, which enables businesses to build applications faster to meet their business needs. It lets business users and programming experts build applications with modern user interfaces, integrations, data, and workflows that are easy to use.
Every company has unique processes and business needs. Although there is typically an underlying method that organizations can follow when planning, building, and deploying a digital workplace, it's important to keep in mind that the key success factor is to bring employees together towards a common goal.
With low-code, you can build custom digital workplace solutions that'll help you with:
Businesses can automate tasks, while significantly reducing their workload and saving time. An application that's built on low-code is filled with unique features that can help stakeholders digitalize and manage the different operations at their organization. There is really no limit on the number or types of work tasks and processes you can optimize through digitization.
Building a digital workplace using low-code platforms allows businesses to implement processes and strategies according to their needs, and also provides employees with the best tools to perform their core job responsibilities.
Successfully deploying a digital workplace with low-code platforms provides employees with:
Holistic and full integration with existing work applications
Improved user experience and increased ROI
Coherent and easier remote work
Mobility and accessibility irrespective of the location
Harmonized user experiences in the work environment
Easy information sharing and collaboration
Higher availability and app backlog reduction
More importantly, a low-code platform provides businesses with the potential to customize and improve applications without revamping the entire application from scratch. The agility and speed to develop enterprise-grade applications makes low-code platforms the preferred choice.
Bring your digital workplace to life with low-code
Selecting the right low-code platform for your digital workplace plays a critical role in your organization’s ability to evolve and adapt to change. You need a platform that can scale with your digital transformation strategy, is easy to change, and primed to deploy. These platforms ensure transformative projects keep moving, stay on track, and stay within the budget, to get you to where you need to be, with a perspective that helps to drive consistency.
Low-code can make a dramatic difference at any organization. Instead of huge investments to maintain large applications, low-code development platforms provide a flexible, drag-and-drop approach to develop smaller fragments of big business applications that are updated, managed, and deployed to meet a specific business need. It’s easier than ever before for people with limited or no coding knowledge to build functional applications.
Low-code development is an interesting technology to delve into. The way in which IT communicates with other departments is witnessing a significant change, as these platforms are taking a central role in the business world. Now is the ideal time to invest in low-code development platforms and leverage them to create a digital workplace for the future of work.
Merlin Velankani is a product marketer and writer at Zoho Corporation. She has been building and launching successful marketing strategies around digital workplace. She authors in-depth content pieces that teach business owners how to manage, grow, and scale their business using low-code platforms.