Low-code is helping enterprises bridge siloed data, systems and workers for faster digital transformation
Enterprises today are racing to digitally transform their business-technology systems. Those enterprises that create the most satisfying digital customer experiences and successfully streamline internal processes in their back offices will be rewarded with not only increased sales but a more agile technology architecture that will adapt more readily to changing business demands.
An increasingly important aspect of successful digital transformation is making it possible for non-programmers to develop some of the digital functionality they need on their own with low-code and so-called “no-code” development capabilities.
Low-code vendors are increasingly improving their wares, such as OutSystems’ recent announcement to use artificial intelligence to help accelerate low-code development. As Mike Vizard reported, OutSystems released its “AI Assist,” enabling IT teams to better visualize complex application architectures. Earlier this month, Airtable announced it raised an additional $185 million to invest in its low-code platform. In contrast, Microsoft announced new Microsoft Power Platform capabilities, such as the ability to build custom apps, automate Microsoft Teams workflows and AI bots.
The low-code push is driven by the demands for professional developers to be able to do more, as well as creating an ability for non-programmers to build apps and software functionality they need. The typical enterprise has weeks, if not months, of application development backlog.
Earlier this year, a survey commissioned by intelligent automation vendor Kofax, “The Kofax 2020 Intelligent Automation Benchmark Study,” found that low-code platforms should improve efficiency across an organization. The survey of 450 automation and AI decision-makers worldwide found respondents believe that a low-ode platform must result in reduced workloads (67%) and improve efficiency (70%). Respondents said such benefits are made possible when low-code platforms provide strong integrations with current technology (74%) and are easy to learn (73%) and use (71%).
The Kofax survey respondents believe an intuitive automation platform that is capable of accommodating IT and business line managers and citizen developers provides for increased employee productivity (52%), improved customer experience (49%) and improved operational efficiency (45%).
In the effort to digitally transform themselves, such low-code outcomes would be welcome. According to the Kofax report, while firms often automate the digitization of information (58%) and front desk interaction (52%), these efforts don’t provide the amount of value that they should because they are siloed. The survey found that this results in technical debt (46%) and delays (35%), and limits scale (34%).
Ideally, the right low-code platform can help professional and non-professional developers knock down such siloes and more readily succeed at their digital transformation efforts. That is critical, since the dramatic rush to digitize since the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Chris Huff, chief strategy officer at Kofax, said while the novel coronavirus pandemic has accelerated enterprises’ move to digitize their business, the pandemic’s business impact has also increased the complexity of workforce collaboration. Organizations, he said, must effectively federate their operations to effectively manage that complexity and automate at scale.
That means CIOs and line-of-business executives must work together to connect currently siloed data, systems and workers throughout the enterprise. And the enterprise can maximize value, Huff said, when citizen developers focus on increasing automation and building solutions to business problems and effectively managing and maintaining digital workflows. In this way, he noted, low-code intelligent automation is the “connective tissue” that enables geographically dispersed teams to work successfully.