From Bottleneck to Competitive Enabler: The Value of Low-Code, No-Code DevelopmentĀ 

By Tamas Balogi

Digitally mature companies can gain a solid advantage by applying a software factory approach to innovation—taking app development into their own hands in an effort to drive greater organizational velocity and faster time-to-market. Growth-minded leaders have long realized that by providing their employees with the means to fly, the entire company will take off faster – continuously delivering the products and experiences that customers and end users are seeking. Needless complexity, swivel chairing and cumbersome manual processes belong to the 20th century.    
Why bother? By relying on a strong digital core to adapt and innovate, leading companies are growing revenues five times faster than their counterparts today, compared to only twice as fast between 2015 to 2018, according to Accenture research.  
The Low-Code No-code Revolution
Low-code/no-code development is changing the landscape of design for organizations across the globe. Platforms now offer what many call citizen developers (users with minimal coding experience) the ability to easily design, build, and launch applications faster and for lower cost. By having the right criteria and safeguards in place, low-coders with a desire to learn, can be a powerful source of problem-solving talent to streamline mission-critical business processes. Pivot your digital transformation to focus on what needs solving and harness the yields of innovation. Leave the never-ending pursuit of ROI on technology to the laggards of your industry.
In order to innovate faster and with confidence, it is crucial to maintain governance, security, and cost control. With that in mind, it is not surprising that the adoption of low-code has surged: with this new business model, skilled citizen developers can be trained quickly to automate a great deal of repetitive and non-value-add manual tasks that cause friction, which might otherwise sit on the IT backburner. While these folks may have limited or non-existent programming skills, they possess business acumen and an understanding of what is needed for their teams to function efficiently, empowering them to streamline the process of going from a desire to a deliverable in weeks or in some cases, just a few days. That is what digital business transformation is all about.  
Low-code platforms enable the enterprise to create meaningful applications without a steep technical learning curve, so that they can build an app to digitize manual processes to meet the users, where they want to work, and not where IT mandates. It is a fast and affordable way to connect everyone in the organization who is part of the customer value chain, enabling them to reuse concepts and recycle code, ultimately reducing development time by up to 90%. Integrations to third-party services can further decrease development time and facilitate better user experiences without creating careless network connections to keep the CISO awake at night.    
Doing it Right
Successful companies combine cloud-native software architectures with team-based execution. Start by laying the foundation for governance, while you maintain cybersecurity standards and establish a working knowledge of mapping business processes. Roles and responsibilities are equally vital, so create a task force that includes experienced coders, security specialists, and business partners to ensure alignment on how good data is structured and organized.    
Whether you prefer to leverage all the required tooling for modern development processes out of the box, or integrate to your existing DevOps toolchains (maybe go hybrid) you need a holistic approach to address both data- and process-centric development patterns that range from basic spreadsheet replacement (ease) to tactical process orchestration (efficiency).
Accelerate your transformation by leveraging a low-code platform with one architecture and one data model, to make work less complicated and more efficient (Lean: Muri), progress iteratively with feedback from users, eliminate bottlenecks (Muda) and broken processes (Mura), as you optimize them or design new ones to allow for making it intuitive to work with the enterprise.    
As you gear up to orchestrate your very own digital workflow assembly line, aim to holistically connect your people, processes, and technology that deliver applications without needing complicated programs behind it. Capture how work is actually flowing to understand where the bottlenecks might be, allowing you to gain insights on how to make it better using continual improvement to ensure your teams can innovate quickly and confidently. 

Tamas Balogi leads the Enterprise Service Management Consulting practice at Fully Managed. As a digital transformation specialist, he routinely helps organizations transform the way they get work done by improving processes and aligning outcomes-focused business goals to corporate strategy with achievable technology-driven roadmaps.