A brief history
Pick up any Project Management textbook for a business course, and you will likely come across the Triple Constraint - Cost, Scope, Time. The balancing act for any manager is to find the optimum balance of delivering solutions that address the relevant business needs (scope), within budget (cost), and to deliver a solution within a reasonable time.
In the modern organization, the rate of change has grown significantly, proportional to that of technological advancements. The current rate of technology change is explosive and accelerating each year. To thrive, an organization must be able to adapt to change, and adapt fast to both to the competitive landscape, as well as the relevance of its product or service offering. Technology has always been an enabler to more efficient businesses, but what happens when the rate of technological change surpasses the time to build and deploy new solutions? In simple terms they might be outdated before they go to market.
Organizations cannot avoid this dilemma and have started shifting their culture and processes to be more responsive. Traditional projects spanning years are becoming more agile with monthly or even weekly incremental deliveries, in an attempt to realize benefits sooner, and the ability to change course while in flight with as little sunk cost as possible.
Software applications have become one of the most critical tools used to run and manage organizations, and it needs to adapt as fast as the organization. Low code development platforms, which trace their history to fourth generation programming, provide us with the ability to adapt faster.
What is low code?
A low code development platform is essentially a coding language with minimal coding required. It consists mostly of a logical drag and drop configuration that can create software applications just as powerful as a conventional coding platform.
Will they replace conventional platforms?
Yes and No. Conventional languages offer greater flexibility when it comes to coding closer to the machine, where every efficiency gain from the platform is required, however most customized business applications don’t require this degree of flexibility. Low code platforms have been optimized for performance and security in mind, and any subsequent solution built on the platform inherits from this solid foundation. Only a few business solutions actually require the full feature set or flexibility of conventional platforms, so there is room for both platforms to co-exist and complement each other in a way that yields the best overall balance for the organization.
How can low code benefit your organization?
Put simply, there are many tools you can use to get the job done. But when it comes to managing the Triple Constraint of Cost, Scope and Time; low code platforms offer significant reductions to the cost and time to develop a solution than a conventional platform would. Why spend more to build and maintain solutions developed on conventional platforms, when you won’t use most of the differentiating features anyway?
In many organizations, the IT department services multiple business units, and can often be the bottleneck to projects due to capacity constraints. Low code development can free up capacity through efficiency, allowing the organization to take more solutions from conception to completion, with a significantly higher return on investment. But why stop there? With a relatively low learning curve compared to traditional platforms, low code platforms can empower business users to create their own applications, fostering a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.
Don’t let the name fool you, low code, offers high scalability too. Whether it’s that throwaway prototype you need to demonstrate a proof of concept, or that business critical trade management system, low code, has high potential to transform your business. Low code is trusted by some of the largest organizations in the financial industry including the major banks and asset managers. Here are a few real-world applications for low code:
- System Integration Solutions
- Process Automation
- Data Migrations
- Workflow Management Systems
- Onboarding Systems
- Document Management
- Point solutions and once off activities
- Prototyping and Proof of Concepts