March 29, 2017 12:37 pm | Updated 10 months ago.
With rapid advances in digital technologies, the expectations of the business users from IT is fast increasing and the nature of technology planning by the CIOs/CTOs is changing from a ‘list of technologies’ to a model of “service capabilities”. In this scenario, one of the top priorities of the CIOs/CTOs is to bring the IT community and the business community together. Even after the industry has seen the explosive growth in cloud-enabled technologies and deployment of enterprise software in either private clouds of the companies or the public clouds, the business users are not happy with the way the enterprise software is performing. The users believe the current deployment of enterprise software is not only posing business challenges but even holding their business back. The feeling among many business users is that the way the enterprise software is implemented now, It is hindering business growth by forcing the business users to change their business processes and operations to align with the way the enterprise software is implemented. While there is merit in the point made by the CIOs/CTOs that by aligning to the business processes defined in the enterprise software, the business users are getting access to industry best practices, it starts becoming a zone of conflict if the existing business processes of the company must be substantially changed to use the enterprise software. A ground up custom development of business applications, on the other hand, is too slow and error prone, with the primary challenge being IT capturing the rapidly changing business requirements correctly, as the business requirements continue to evolve in changing market scenario.
This, in D2E’ opinion, has led to the current surge in adoption of the Low Code Development Platforms. These Low Code Development Platforms enable the business users to create fully customized applications with very little hand-coding. By enabling iterative and collaborative application development with relative ease directly by the business user community without low-level coding, the Low Code Development Platforms help in bringing the IT and Business together. What’s even more important is that these platforms ensure a better quality of software and more successful business outcomes by aligning the business to IT through its underlying mechanism for structured communications, thereby eliminating the errors in capturing the changing business requirements. It is, however, important to evaluate these low-code development platforms carefully and choose the one that is most appropriate to an organization.
While the industry has seen several 4GLs (e.g. from Visual Basic to Visual Studio from Microsoft and similar tools from IBM and many other suppliers), and also automated application builder platforms (RAD) in the past, the current set of Low Code Development Platforms are different in that they make extensive use of AI, including image recognition, machine learning/deep learning, natural language interface and cognitive computing to interact with business users, understand their requirements for automating both the low end “Clerical Tasks” and more complex “Business Tasks”, and then translate the business requirements to computer applications.
The three essential components of any Low Code Development Platforms are:
- Visual Development Tools: These tools enable the business users to specify business requirements using an intuitive visual interface.
- App Store: These App Stores come pre-populated with templates, plug-ins, widgets and some readymade business components.
- Full App Lifecycle support: This is where we see significant use of AI in providing capabilities like end user feedback loops, social collaboration, application monitoring etc.
D2E’ Partner Network has partners with Low-Cost Development Platform solutions and expertise.