Low-Code and Digital Transformation Angus Kennedy 14 October 2021

Low-Code and Digital Transformation

Low-Code Development has emerged as the solution to businesses increasing demand for digital transformation. The global pandemic showed just how significant software solutions are in our daily lives, especially in the workplace. Companies with sophisticated digital solutions found it far easier to adapt to remote working than those that did not. The benefits provided by these digital solutions shone throughout the pandemic. Many have begun using low-code to fast-track their digital transformation in order to leverage these benefits post-pandemic.


Simply put, low-code is a visual approach to app development. A low-code platform, such as OutSystems, is a family of tools that enable the development and delivery of applications visually. Rather than writing thousands of lines of complex code and syntax, developers use low-code to build complete applications quickly and visually. Low-code makes the delivery of applications faster than ever while requiring less hand-coding than traditional methods. It is because of this that Gartner predicts, “By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for over 65% of application development.”


The benefits of low-code include, but are not limited to:


The ability to operate at digital speed means creating app capabilities that enable user functionality throughout multiple devices. For example, the access of data and apps should be equally viable on a smartphone as it would be on a desktop PC.


Costs are decreased as apps can be built in less time with less manpower, resulting in savings on resources and time.


Low-code requires less hand-coding than traditional methods, increasing the speed of development. Components are standardised and pre-tested, reducing the risk of bugs and integration issues. So what used to take months to develop, can be reduced to days; mitigating time as a barrier to innovation.


The downstream impact will improve customer experience, as organisations can quickly adapt to market changes and customer needs.


Regulations are ever-changing and remaining compliant is a must for all organisations. Low-code development allows for fast change that keeps an organisation ahead of deadlines and compliant with industry requirements.


As technology continues to dominate the way we gain and consume data, the need for businesses to become digitally orientated has risen. Digital Transformation is, however, easier said than done. Organisations are being held back by factors such as technical debt, outdated legacy systems, a lack of technical skills and the scarcity, and cost, of high-quality full-stack developers.

So how does low-code deal with these barriers to digital transformation? take a look below at just some of the ways:


Development teams can build proof of value prototypes in low-code platforms and spend less time developing wireframes and complex designs. End users who see these prototypes are more likely to provide feedback on what they really require, leading to a shorter feedback loop and more detailed requirements.


According to a global study by Stripe, nearly 75% of the average developer’s week is spent on maintenance and dealing with technical debt. Since low-code development simplifies the work required to scale and maintain software, the burden of updating legacy systems is reduced, while also reducing the accrual of technical debt.
As a result, developers will have more time to focus on higher-value projects, like innovating for employees (shadow IT) or customers.


As digital transformation accelerates and companies seek to solve new challenges, they face the question of build vs buy, both of which have drawbacks. Buying off the shelf can be quicker, but it will also be expensive and likely will not be tailored to solve specific problems and the risk of vendor lock-in is ever-present. While building will most likely be tailored to your business needs, it will unquestionably take more time and IT resources.

Low-code applications offer a new alternative that maximises returns on investment (ROI) in the existing technology stack, as it can draw more value from existing solutions. With low-code applications, companies can create powerful data relationships from both internal and external sources, centralise that information and provide users with the ability to act on it. It also allows companies to leverage existing technology to bring data together and implement new applications that put the correct information in front of the right people at the right time.


Low-code allows for contributors from outside IT departments to not only guide the development of applications but also help design them. A level of control and visibility will always be needed to be retained by IT, but with compliance and controls maintained, development can be placed in the hands of business users, known as citizen developers. There is immense benefit in this as who knows how to improve processes better than the people who use them daily.


As more development is passed to existing business users, the problem of bridging the skills gap or employing additional development resources are mitigated. These citizen developers will know the processes in their departments, far better than anyone from the IT department, and can get the application built to where only minimal involvement from existing in-house experts is required.


Lastly, with the ability to connect legacy systems, off-the-shelf solutions, and web applications, low-code platforms offer the ability to improve and standardise data throughout an organisation, ensuring consistency and fewer errors.

Organisations need to prioritise digital transformation before they fall behind their competition. Low-code development has the ability to address the demand for secure, scalable and high-quality applications quicker than ever. Proving itself as the future of application development and invaluable in facilitating digital transformation.

Systems iO is an expert in the OutSystems Platform and ready to assist your organisation in reaching your digital transformation goals and can produce a Proof of Value engagement within a week.

Contact us to accelerate your digital transformation and future-proof your organisation.