Why Low-Code is Right for Your Business

Organizations are transforming at a breakneck pace, driven by rapidly evolving consumer behavior and expectations. New, digitally enabled businesses are upending entire industries and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the trends. According to an executive Global Survey done by McKinsey, more than half of respondents said they were “investing in technology for competitive advantage or refocusing their entire business around digital technologies.” Compare that to the same survey done pre-pandemic in 2017, where only around 10% of respondents held the same view of technology.

The problem is most businesses continue to rely on legacy enterprise systems. These systems are often complex and difficult to change. Over time, they often include patched or jerry-rigged measures to address a myriad of issues. With all this change, one thing is clear—you can’t rely on inflexible technologies and business practices. You need adaptable systems that can meet the needs of today and the demands of tomorrow. 

Is traditional software development up to the task?

Organizational success has become increasingly dependent on technology. Even “non-tech” companies now succeed or fail based on the capabilities of their digital infrastructure. However, the typical technology stack is often complex and opaque. It’s hard to use and years worth of ad-hoc changes have made it even harder to revise. This is only made worse by slow and expensive software development practices. 

In today’s technological climate, the ability to quickly develop and implement new processes is essential. Whether you’re a hotel providing touchless check-in or a retailer fostering a more efficient  and personal online shopping experience-—brands that empower customers with technology are being rewarded. This trend has only been accelerated further by the onset of the pandemic, where agility and adaptability have in some cases meant the difference between thriving and just surviving. If you were quick to put in place contactless protocols, you could get back to work faster than those with inflexible systems.

Given this increasing need for agile and flexible software development, traditional methods of hand-coding software can’t keep up. The traditional software development model consists of large, centralized teams of specialized developers. These teams work within highly planned and rigid processes and fail to adequately address the complex automation needs of today's digital enterprise. If you're stuck with outmoded or rigid legacy processes, you won't be able to adapt to your users changing needs and may risk losing them. Compounding the problem are a complex set of circumstances, including:

  • Unprecedented new operating environments. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a world of continuous disruption and adaptation. It forced organizations to create processes for remote work. It also called for new safety, testing and tracking protocols.
  • Changing regulatory requirements. From environmental protections to accounting standards—new rules and regulations result in costly workflow modifications.
  • Evolving expectations. Customers and employees expect high-quality, streamlined and intuitive user experiences. The bar is now set by their favorite brands at home, rather than those at work. Companies must continually enhance the customer journey by leveraging data and digitizing functions.
  • Global growth opportunities. Global markets enable organizations to sell and source materials in new territories. Technology is not only making new products and services possible, but also changing how you market and deliver them. But, without the time and resources to invest, businesses risk missing out.

Navigating all this uncertainty requires more streamlined, automated digital workflows. And this must be done as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible.

Low-Code: Flexible, Resilient and Adaptable

To thrive in this new reality, enterprise software today must be flexible, resilient and adaptable. You need customizable automation that can change according to dynamic needs. You also need automated workflows that are custom mapped to unique goals and real-world challenges, not just the most common scenarios. Most of all, you need to increase speed and lower the cost of development.

Fortunately, low-code development platforms reduce the burden of building enterprise applications. Meaning you can now build apps and streamline workflows faster and cheaper than ever before. Low-code lets you leverage existing technology investments, and extend capabilities. It reduces buildout time and cost, and enables you to effectively automate functions to compete in this new paradigm. An Economic Impact Study conducted by Forrester found that customers using Appian’s low-code platform:

  • Accelerated application creation by 17x
  • Improved time-to-value of applications by 50%
  • Realized a 389% return on investment (ROI)

Those outcomes were made possible by two distinct advantages low-code offers to developers: Speed and Ease of Use. Low-code allows developers to work rapidly by selecting from a library of ready-made tools or empowering them to make their own reusable tools. In addition, low-code removes the barrier to entry to software development. Rather than each developer needing a solid command of Java, HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL (not to mention third party API frameworks ), each team member only needs to know Appian, which creates bandwidth for what’s most important: solving real business problems.

At its core, low-code does away with much of the time and resource intensive high-code development requirements. Appian pioneered and continues to lead the low-code development space by providing best-of-breed integrated development tools, in addition to a full suite of tools designed to help you unify your data, build apps, and automate your business.