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Accelerating Digital Transformation through Low code

Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog

Understanding low-code Concept

Low-code development is a software development methodology where applications can be built through a graphical user interfaces (GUI) and visual modelling techniques. This technique minimizes the need for hand-coding and hence the name, Low-code. It enables business users to build new capabilities via apps, without requiring that they have code expertise. Users can create, manage and share business apps on iOS, Android and Windows devices. It has drag-and-drop functionality and a familiar look and feel taken from applications like PowerPoint which makes it easy to use. Most of the Low-code platforms are offered as Software-as-Service solutions.

Let’s try to understand how creating new apps in Low code is different from a traditional software development methodology. In a traditional application development methodology like waterfall, there is a long lead time before a working model can be created and tested by the user. As a result, there is considerable risk of the end result not in conformance with the initial requirement. Even in a modern Scaled Agile (SAFe) delivery approach the first minimum viable product (MVP) is delivered to users, after few cycles. Fig 1

Fig 1

In a Low code development, one can create engaging user experiences across any device with visual, drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) IDE’s. The MVP version of the product is a direct next step and new requirements and features can be added to the subsequent versions. Fig 2

Fig 2

Low-code the savior – business benefits

Low code development aims to address the following pain areas or processes that cause delays in a typical software development process (fig 3).

Fig 3

The three main business benefits that Low code brings are:

Faster time to market – Low code enables bringing production versions of the software quickly, by building a prototype and then rapidly iterating with built in user feedback and defect collection mechanisms.

Automated governance that ends Shadow IT – One of the pain areas of an IT organization is users creating and maintaining their own apps outside the knowledge of the IT department, a term known as ‘Shadow IT’. With Low code, business and IT users are encouraged to create their own apps that improve their efficiency, but within the framework defined by their IT organization. These apps are easier to develop, maintain and track.

Lower costs – With quick development, there is less requirement of person months, complex software development lifecycle and costly operational procedures. Lower development and maintenance costs are some of the primary drivers for Low code adoption.

Why is Low code popular among development community?

Although Low-code or no-code implies less coding work, the development community is equally excited at the prospect of using this technology to bring their ideas to life. Some of the advantages that this technology offers to the developers include:

A Low code example

Here’s an example of intelligent document processing that can be solutioned through Microsoft Low-code platform. The use case consists of automating the manual processing of invoices: reading data from PDF files attached in emails and manually typing into Excel sheet for reporting. This can be automated through the PowerApps suite as shown in the below figure (fig 4)

Fig 4

The entire workflow is designed using the graphical user interface by the user without having to write any code.

Consider the edge cases

Notwithstanding the advantages, there are some common pitfalls to watch out for when considering Low-code:

Some examples of typical industry use cases

Low code can be applicable to any industry, any sector and across business domains. Here are some use cases and examples of how Low code has helped various industries in improving their efficiency or narrowing time to market.

Deliver New Products and Services Faster

Enhance Customer Engagement

Increase Operational Efficiency

What are the commonly used Low code platforms?

How are we helping our customers with Low-Code development?

To help you get started on your Low-code journey, Capgemini can work with you to identify the right use cases, potential candidates and prepare a business case for your needs. We can support you to further hasten your app development by bringing in pre-defined templates, libraries and expertise on various Low code platforms. For more information on Low-Code and how Capgemini can help you adopt this to your business, you can reach out to me.

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