Low-code means to develop applications with minimal use of coding. Low-Code Development platforms often include the use of visual modeling tools to build functionality traditionally built by developers. This enables business people and other professionals to build and test applications fast without coding. Teams that use low-code technology can significantly improve delivery capacity in digitization projects.
Government and business are facing a challenging task, to innovate and adopt new technologies to improve efficiency and quality. The demand for application services in government and private organizations was mainly met with hard-coded solutions. Consequently, all internal and external applications were built from scratch by IT specialists. Even when re-using code, we witnessed a thriller series of time-consuming and expensive IT projects. This fragmented approach to application development further created digital barriers between systems preventing effective exchange of information. With little or no flexibility for adaptions and improvement, legacy systems worth billions had to be thrown out.
Many organizations are still building solutions this way. Others want to wait for trend technologies to settle before they make investments. Both fail to realize that change is the new normal. Businesses and government must realize that digitization is not a project with a start and an ending, but a constant process that needs to be adopted in the organization to meet fast-changing user expectations and technology trends. Change is inevitable in digitization projects and makes it crucial to use flexible technology.
More and more organizations are turning to low-code platforms to regain control in their digitization projects. A low-code platform is a type of software that allows users to work with visual modeling functionality that automatically generates coded applications. This enables teams to develop and test applications and within days.
Increased productivity is the most important strength of low-code software compared to traditional coding, which is why Gartner first named it «High Productivity Application Platform-as-A-Service». «Low-code» is a simplified term and is pointed out by Forrester as a key strategy to accelerate digital transformation. Forrester estimated that the low-code market will reach $10 billion in 2020.
Compose is a low-code platform developed by the Norwegian software company ComposeToGo, a TIQRI product company. The platform has been under continuous development for 15 years to meet needs for productivity and flexibility in application development in the public and private sector.
The difference between low-code and no-code
The difference between low-code and no-code can often be related to what degree of technical skills is needed to use the platform. Low-code often includes possibilities for additional customization by script or code. This makes the technology more flexible for complex configurations.
Compose is used by both developers and business professionals. It is fully possible to build electronic forms, workflows and automate business processes without technical skills. Yet, most of our customers have both technical and non-technical people in their teams working with Compose. This is mainly because many customers require integrations with existing systems (through API). From our experience in bigger application development projects, most of the requirements (80-90%) can be covered by standard functionality, while the remaining (20-30%), is custom made with code. For IT departments, this means a significant reduction in the use of senior developers and related costs. Low-code does not replace programming but makes sure that standard functionality is met with standard tools so that technical resources are used where they are most needed.
Compose is used by The Norwegian Armed Forces, Norwegian Immigration Authority, and Norwegian Olympic Committee among others. Our customers have very different functional purposes, but their overall goals are the same: Improve efficiency and quality in internal and external operations through electronic data gathering, digital workflows, and process automation. No company would build Microsoft Word every time they would write a letter, and the same should apply to application development.
When is it beneficial to use a low-code platform?
Business processes change all the time, and the value of digital investments lies in long-term and flexible IT solutions. Compose is a powerful tool for digitization of forms, work processes, and case management. In this case, the platform is most beneficial for companies that aim to develop several employee and customer-facing applications.
Low-code is a fast and cost-efficient way to kickstart development and test business ideas. New application development, improvements and process automation become a natural step of the digitization process as the users become acquaintance with functions and low-code possibilities. Other key aspects of low-code platforms are simplified maintenance and scaling without additional costs.
Low-code technology enables collaboration between business and technical resources. When organizations go through digital transformation employees’ responsibilities will also change accordingly. By using low-code platforms companies can take advantage of knowledge already existing within the organization for application development, rather than excessive use of consultants. ComposeToGo always provides solid training of our customers, to enable employees to digitize processes on their own. In this way, organizations can take back control of their digitization strategies.
Benefits of low-code summarized:
- Rapid application development for web and smartphones
- Increased delivery capacity (time to market)
- Minimizes the use of senior developers and reduces costs
- Increased flexibility for future adaptations and new application development