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Europe's Low Code No Code Revolution: Unlocking Innovation, Agility, and Digital Transformation
Mon, 26th Feb 2024

The future belongs to those who harness the power of technology to their benefit. Organisations are increasingly adopting Low-code/No-Code (LCNC) technology as they appreciate its capability to optimise software development by enabling faster release of applications, often exponentially faster than traditional methods. 

Lately, the talent shortage across digital skills, and the Great Resignation, which witnessed nearly 3.5 million Europeans leaving their jobs in the third quarter of 2022, accelerated the adoption of LCNC. It offers a visual approach to software development and, hence, has a shorter learning curve when compared to training somebody on traditional software programming languages. This lowers the entry barrier for non-technical folks, making LCNC a favoured choice for rapid app development. The Forrester Wave report mentions that organisations use low-code as a transformational technology to empower their decentralised developers.

Low-Code/No-Code Reshapes Software Development 

LCNC found its place in businesses when different teams used it to create applications they adopted without the patronage of the IT department. Soon enough, businesses discovered the convenience of LCNC and extended its use to support their enterprise IT applications and develop complex applications. 

Today, LCNC platforms offer comprehensive solutions, including robust business logic, effective data management, multi-channel, web services, and microservices-based architectures. For example, a European automobile manufacturer developed a modern contract management system using a low-code/ no-code platform. This helped the manufacturer to automate the end-to-contract management process for their fleet customers, which resulted in a reduction in operational overhead. 

LCNC Fine-tunes Technology to Meet Business Objectives
LCNC platforms are versatile and adaptable to any industry segment. Some can even provide domain-specific or specialised solutions, such as CRM or field services operations, and more. Based on specific needs, whether it's automating in-house operations, serving end customers with B2C applications, or underwriting, LCNC offers several options. Today, several complex applications in different industry segments are developed using LCNC platforms. It empowers both IT professionals and citizen developers to create enterprise-ready apps with automated workflows and rich UI, regardless of their coding expertise, enabling customers to build enterprise apps rapidly.

Adopting LCNC Platforms

The initial step for clients is to evaluate and select suitable platforms based on overall organisational needs and use cases. If needed, execute a proof of concept for all the features, including license needs and integration requirements. Performing a five-year total cost of ownership comparison between different platforms is ideal for better visibility of the license model and determining the actual return on investment. Taking a long-term perspective when selecting platforms ensures alignment with evolving business objectives and technological advancements, leading to long-lasting engagement and maximising the benefits of the investment.

However, failing to do so may impede LCNC adoption, as it may not align with organisational interests or needs. Since most LCNC platforms, particularly the leading ones, are not free, a well-informed selection is crucial.

Secondly, organisations shouldn't limit themselves to creating just one or two applications with these platforms but leverage them to scale them effectively across all relevant use cases. It is recommended to start with a few applications before adopting it at an enterprise level. Taking such an approach allows the organisation to learn and implement changes as required. 

Additionally, LCNC empowers users of all skill levels to create a wide range of applications. Business users interested in writing applications should be nurtured into skilled citizen developers by providing training and fostering creativity and risk-taking.  While there is a learning curve involved, it does not necessarily require a team of highly skilled individuals. Instead, having a clear vision of objectives, desired outcomes, and the adoption process is essential.

Lastly, practising effective governance is crucial in the adoption of these platforms. Enterprises should install guardrails to ensure the security of these platforms. Implementing proper policies and best practices is also essential to prevent the uncontrolled proliferation of applications created through such platforms. Standardised tooling for app design, development, testing, deployment, and management is necessary for successful governance. Organisations should plan for robust governance and guardrails to maintain control and security. Establishing a LCNC Center of Excellence team that can play a crucial role in standardising LCNC development practices is ideal. 

As LCNC adoption gains pace, it's not just about technology; it's a strategic leap into a future of innovation, agility, and digital transformation. The advantages of LCNC solutions are multifaceted. They foster enhanced collaboration between IT and business units, encouraging synergy. Additionally, they unburden IT departments from routine tasks, freeing up their bandwidth for tackling more intricate and high-value business objectives.