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The Guide to Low-Code Development

What is low-code development? 

Low-code is a software development approach that requires minimal or no coding to build applications. 

Low-code development platforms eliminate the need for traditional programming and allow professional developers and ‘citizen developers’ (business users with little development experience) to develop applications using ready built components in a drag-and-drop interface rather than writing lines of code.  

An increase in demand for software solutions and a lack of skilled developers has accelerated the adoption of low-code over traditional software development. Gartner predicts that ‘By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity.’  

 

What are the benefits of low-code development? 

Increased productivity  

Empowering business users to develop applications withsupport from IT boosts productivity and allows IT departments to reduce backlog and focus on the most important projects.  

Increased agility 

The visual interface of a low-code platform allows organizations to develop applications quickly and respond to changes in the market and better meet customer needs. 

Faster development 

Low-code application development allows professional developers to build applications faster, plus the visual interface of a low-code platform often enables business users to create applications that meet business needs without having to wait for help from a developer.  

Reduction in development costs 

Faster development means lower costs and as low-code platforms allow users without coding experience to build applications, business users can create applications that meet business needs without having to need to hire developers with specialist coding skills. 

 

Reservations around low-code development 

Limited customization – some low-code development platforms restrict developers’ ability to build the custom applications required to meet more sophisticated business’ needs. 

Lack of governance – governing citizen developers and keeping tabs on what applications are being built and used across the organization is vital for IT (link new governing citizen developers blog) to ensure each is supported and updated to remain fit for purpose. 

Security risk – non-technical employees are not always aware of necessary security and compliance measures required for new applications. 

 

What’s the difference between low-code and no-code? 

Low-code uses some script in the development process. This ability to customize makes low-code suitable for more complex applications. No-code, however, requires no coding, and uses pre-built templates making it more suitable for simple applications. Which approach you take is completely dependent on your resource and specific business needs. 

 

What are the features of a low-code development platform?  

Visual modeling 

The drag-and-drop interface of a low-code development platform removes the need to write lines of code allowing professional and citizen developers to build applications faster. Low-code platforms are often ‘model driven’ meaning that they use a process model as the core element driving the functionality of the application. This enables business users to define the requirements of an application by the business process it needs to enable. 

Automation 

With low-code platforms often using process models as a foundational element, they are commonly used to create applications that automate end-to-end processes such as a loan application, an insurance claim or onboarding a new supplier. These applications orchestrate the whole operation by providing interfaces for employees and customers to interact with, whilst also integrating data across the systems in the background and applying automated business rules. 

Reusability  

Reusable components and business rules enable developers to build and maintain applications more efficiently and accelerate implementations. 

Cross-functional collaboration 

Low-code development platforms promote collaboration and enable your employees to work in fusion teams. Platforms with the ability to switch from no-code, low-code, and expert modes according to level of customization needed and user expertise makes continuous collaboration throughout the development cycle easy. 

Easy integration 

Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is key to business performance, a low-code platform enables you to orchestrate people, systems, bots and data to provide easy access to business information. 

Cross-device functionality  

For applications to deliver real business value, you need them to be accessible to your employees and customers wherever they are. A low-code platform will allow you to build applications that are available on any device by default.  

 

Empowering citizen developers with low-code 

Low-code development platforms make it possible for business users that have deep knowledge of business processes to build applications that meet the requirements of those that will be using them.  

Typically, business users would have to communicate their needs to IT and would often end up going back and forth developing a suitable solution. Low-code technology doesn’t mitigate the need for IT involvement as they are required to provide guidance on security and more complex aspects of the build such as integrations. But it does gives business users the power to move the process along at a faster pace than if they were waiting for an overstretched IT team to clear their backlog and take on full responsibility for the project. IT teams are increasingly adopting low-code platforms and enabling citizen developers so that business units can take the lead in transforming their operations. 

 

Discover the value delivered by Bizagi’s low-code platform in Forrester’s report ‘The Total Economic Impact™ Of Bizagi’s Low-Code Intelligent Process Automation Platform’.  

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