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June 9, 2017

Low-code: Transforming how IT and business work together

Low-code is quickly becoming the platform of choice for some of the world’s biggest companies who are empowering their teams and reimagining how IT can drive their business.

By James Nunns

Today’s organisations are in a constant state of flux. New competitors enter the market and customer demands frequently shift, meaning businesses must be agile, and adapt quickly to remain ahead of their competition. In parallel, business leaders need to push their organisations to innovate while increasing service and revenue at the same time as reducing costs and risk.

Paul Maguire, Vice President of Europe, Appian

Paul Maguire, Vice President of Europe, Appian

The digital economy is causing further massive disruption and has allowed businesses to transform their operations and provide highly customised services and solutions. The benefits of digital however, have brought with it potential pitfalls that businesses need to address to safeguard their longevity.

Currently businesses rely heavily on enterprise applications. This software provides the tools businesses need to capture, manage and translate data into insights and tangible actions. The demand for enterprise applications is growing five times faster than the IT industry’s ability to develop them. This foundation that many businesses build their companies on is crumbling and in the coming years will potentially leave businesses exposed as they struggle to maintain their competitiveness. Therefore, businesses need a solution which allows them to rapidly build and quickly change their own applications but without the need for complex coding.

Low-code is quickly becoming the platform of choice for some of the world’s biggest companies who are empowering their teams and reimagining how IT can drive their business. Employees are now developers of custom-built enterprise applications, all of which require little or no coding.

Barclays Bank is one example of a company in the financial sector that is using Appian’s low-code platform to develop and implement its own bespoke business processes. The multinational banking and financial services company, has deployed nine processes in ten months, which has directly resulted in an 84% reduction in processing time associated with admin. In parallel, Barclays experienced an increased in customer satisfaction of 64% within the first month of the processes going live.


What is low-code?

Forrester defines low-code development platforms as: “Platforms that enable rapid delivery of business applications with a minimum of hand-coding and minimal upfront investment in setup, training, and deployment.”

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Unlike traditional applications which are designed using specialised programming languages like Java and C#, low-code requires minimal coding, allowing apps to be tested and fully delivered within weeks rather than months. Low-code provides businesses with a blank canvas and the building blocks for designing and developing their own innovative apps.


Why are businesses adopting low-code?

At Appian, our customers are adopting low-code for three fundamental reasons – ease of use, speed of delivery, and power of functionality.


  1. Ease of use

Two-thirds of digital transformation projects end in failure due to their complexity, with most IT teams spending 80% of their time on maintenance and only 20% on innovation. Low-code is simple and intuitive, with users having the ability to easily drag-and-drop items to help them develop and customise their apps. Being cloud-based, teams can seamlessly switch between any device and continue with their projects on the move.

Low-code is being adopted across different departments to help remove the barriers between business and IT support.


Speed of delivery

The simplicity of low-code means that businesses can quickly respond and adapt to a shift in market conditions. Low-code allows businesses to be agile, with teams spending more time on innovating, transforming their ideas to fully functional applications within hours rather than months.


Power of functionality

The versatility of low-code means that solutions can be built and scaled up to support enterprise level needs across the business. Apps can be easily updated or modified so they continuously evolve to serve the needs of customers and employees.  The flexibility of low-code allows teams outside of the IT department to become digital leaders and provide businesses with a competitive edge.

Ultimately, low-code means getting more done in a shorter space of time. Allowing businesses to spend more time on creating and innovating. The inherent value of low-code is its ability to bring IT and the business together, enabling more rapid, iterative and collaborative development.

Before companies can fully embrace the power of low-code, they need to work with the right partner who understands their business and knows how low-code will improve it. Choosing the right partner isn’t about buying the platform at the lowest possible cost, but rather someone your business can trust to help at every step of the journey from training to deployment of applications. Low-code is transforming the way businesses think about IT, however if companies are slow to adapt they run the risk of being left behind with legacy solutions as their competitors use low-code to lower costs, become more efficient and deliver better services to customers.


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