When Low-Code Makes Sense

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Low-code development platforms are gradually growing in popularity. Analysts such as Forrester are putting the spotlight on low-code, saying that it has the potential to overcome long-standing challenges in the Business Technology industry. In the BPM landscape this is particularly true, as organizations strive to achieve more with less development resources and investment.

But when does a low-code approach make sense? Here are four factors which should make you consider low-code for your next project:

  • Time and cost: When time-to-solution matters, low-code projects can save you time and unneeded complexity.
  • Existing resources: Are your teams better equipped for advanced coding? Do you have enough ‘dev stars’ to drive a heavy code project?
  • Project complexity: Some projects are so customized and complex, they require extensive coding. Going with a low-code approach will force you to evaluate the complexity level in the project and drive you to insert complex coding where it brings value.
  • Maintainability and Change: Need to change the solution over time and make rapid modifications? Consider low-code, as it may prove to be the more flexible option.

The takeaway here is that low-code doesn’t always make sense – it really depends on the type of project, your resources and you future plans. In our recent survey on BPM Trends among UK enterprises, we actually discovered that low-code still has relatively low penetration in the consciousness of technology decision makers as of Q4 2015.

But why should that be the case, when low-code seems to hold so much potential to overcome such common IT challenges – challenges that face almost every business?

The first reason is that large enterprises take time to change their work practices. The larger you are, the harder it is to adapt to new developments. The second reason is that companies may feel that have already been burned by early stage low-code solutions, which have not delivered on their promises of ease of development and quick results. Inevitably, project requirements have spiraled out of control, and low-code platforms did not yet include the required capabilities to handle these requirements out-of-the-box. The ‘Dev stars’ had to be called in to code away and save the day!

How to avoid this?

As a low-code provider, here are our tips for making low-code work:

  1. Keep your project requirements to a realistic minimum. Balance adding advanced requirements with the benefits of quick development and deployment.
  2. Make sure you do have a Development star or two available on hand to implement code where necessary. Some advanced coding is usually required to some extent in most projects. Just keep it isolated where possible to areas where it is a must.
  3. Choose a low-code platform that provides excellent low-code capabilities, but also the ability for IT teams to jump in and customize where needed. The best low-code platforms keep both Business Users and IT developers in mind – giving both roles the tools that are appropriate for them. Remember – low-code doesn’t mean that the platform is for Business Users only. Good low-code platforms also save IT teams much time as well, by encapsulating advanced coding in shortcuts and wizards to save advanced developers time and headache.
  4. Choose the right project – not every project is a good fit for low-code. Find projects that require less customization, where the functionality is simple enough to achieve through low-code.

Low-code as a concept is still in its infancy, and it has already been misunderstood by many. With so much potential, it’s worth taking a closer look at it, and understanding how it can transform your business.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F031434-0006 / Gathmann, Jens / CC-BY-SA 3.0