By Jeff Koyen
When low-coders partner with pro-coders you supercharge your problem-solving capabilities.
Low-code development platforms are more popular than ever. And for good reason. Enthusiastic, properly trained “citizen developers” can increase workflow efficiencies, reduce engineering costs and eliminate time-consuming tasks.
“When you think about all of the business processes that are still handled through spreadsheets, email and other manual processes, you quickly realize that low-code is a huge opportunity,” says Josh Kahn, ServiceNow’s senior vice president of creator workflow products.
Radar Media and ServiceNow’s global survey of 300 IT and business executives revealed that 79% believe this is the optimal time to invest in low-code solutions. Nearly all of the executives surveyed (96%) have already adopted low-code or are considering low-code for their organizations.
For those still on the fence, we offer five reasons why low-code should be part of everyone’s IT toolkit.
Low-Code Frees Up Pro-Coders’ Time
It’s clear that most industries are marching toward a highly digital future. But who’s going to build all the software, workflows and other digital products that this future so badly needs? Increasingly, citizen developers.
“There just aren’t enough professional coders,” says Kahn. “The only way you’re going to get that done is by relying on people who aren’t developers.”
Already, three-quarters of executives surveyed value low-code’s ability to free up their pro-coders for specialized projects. Many rely on low-code to reduce job load traditionally placed on IT.
Kahn expects this trend to continue to grow.
“As the pace of transformation grows, employees who don’t know how to write software must be able to create their own ways of working,” he says. “That’s being driven by low-code platforms.”
Low-Code Speeds Up Innovation
Giving non-technical employees the power to create their own apps does more than just conserve IT resources. It often accelerates the development process itself.
“Because the developer is the end user, the app is more likely to be exactly what they need,” Kahn says. “This speeds up the innovation cycle.”
Low-code cuts development time by at least half, according to the survey. Well-built, properly governed applications can pay dividends as they’re copied across an organization. This is thanks to one very important feature of the best low-code platforms: reusability.
“Good low-code platforms help businesses build templates that make it possible to very quickly create a specific way of working,” says Kahn.
Low-Code Plays Nice With Others
Though many low-code applications are initially built to solve specific needs—an employee onboarding process, for example—they’re often more powerful once they’re integrated into a broader workflow.
“We find that the applications that digitize workloads really well cut across departments, and even the entire enterprise,” Kahn says.
At ServiceNow, an integration hub sits at the center of these processes. Not only does this help low-code applications communicate more effectively, this centralized system provides additional governance.
Kahn explains: “Applications are governed to prevent them from accessing data or running functions they shouldn’t. You can also publish applications into a space where it can’t encroach on other business-critical or high-priority resources.”
Low-Code Clears Tech Debt
Even the most well-intentioned tech executive can accrue tech debt by choosing quick solutions over the best solution. This debt often manifests as inefficient, manual processes that are repeatedly back-burnered by IT. Low-code can solve this.
“Let your pro-coders build the important, business-critical applications,” Kahn says. “It’s your low-code citizen developers [who] can just start cranking through that backlog.”
Most executives agree. Three-quarters of survey respondents say low-code apps can automate cross-enterprise workflows that were previously time consuming and error-prone.
“Companies trying to digitize face too much process,” Kahn says. “There’s a very long tail of unmet need in terms of digitization or digital transformation.”
Low-Code Is Flexible And Scalable
A great low-code platform must be both user-friendly and sophisticated. It must welcome all users, yet offer enough tools to tackle any task. This is especially true for organizations working through a digital transformation.
“The spectrum of digitization is very broad, and manual processes have different business values,” Kahn says. For example, “there are very complicated, very high-value processes that are still manual today.”
This flexibility is fundamental to low-code’s reputation for scaling well. More than three-quarters (76%) of surveyed executives are confident their applications will keep pace as their users grow in size.
“We provide pro-code capabilities for IT developers to build big, complex apps,” Kahn says. “But we also provide simple tools for non-coders to build their own apps.”
Low-code is a powerful tech solution with a proven track record. And with nearly half of executives (45%) already working on their own low-code projects, and even more (52%) in the evaluation phase, the time for waiting is over. Beginning with manual processes that can benefit from digitization, companies can reap the benefits—including more innovation and efficiency—right away.