Why low-code platforms could be the new normal
How low-code platforms can enable organizations to reach their customers fasterAdd bookmark
It was during one my three-year old daughter’s virtual classes that I heard the principal talking about “parenting in the new normal” and it occurred to me this term is being highly abused lately.
Covid-19 has taught households how to differentiate between essentials and non-essentials. Very aptly, this is something the business strategists have been and are applying in their respective functions too, much more strictly now.
It is fair to say the business functions driving operational excellence, automation, standardization and Lean Six Sigma, among others, were all intended to cut down on non-essentials or wastes. Ironically, some of the areas mentioned above within businesses are also significantly impacted with the Covid-19 outbreak, so what has changed?
It is evident businesses are fighting for survival and there is no appetite for large-scale transformation programs which would fetch results in a multi-year roadmap. With the impact being across the board, the bullwhip effect is analogous to the factor at which one is seeing the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases every day.
Hence, the lead time to identify an improvement opportunity to realize the value has shortened exponentially. With this, one of the many digital enablers I foresee which can boost an organization’s success is the adoption of low-code automation.
Low-code platforms have evolved over the years from workflow solutions to advanced digital platforms which can orchestrate multiple underlying technologies such as AI, RPA and OCR.
Low-code and no-code platforms, as the names suggest, do not require any niche coding skills to deploy a platform for immediate business need. The ready-made APIs available for standard underlying platforms like SAP and Oracle mean one can easily build platforms on top of the existing IT landscape with minimal disruptions.
Minimal coding effort allows for the real citizen development with low-code platforms. This means organizations will not have to undergo massive head-hunting for the niche skills in the market to be able to develop business solutions.
People familiar with this space would vouch for the fact that low-code can reduce the development to deployment time to one-tenth, a key low-code value proposition, which needs to be considered in these times.
Some of the advanced low-code platforms allow users to easily build customer-facing user interfaces, chatbots and mobility solutions for businesses to reach customers faster.
Low-code platforms do not warrant end–to-end automation of any process flow but they connect the underlying activities very well, as you would expect from any workflow applications. These platforms allow flexibility for businesses to automate their underlying activities with advanced capabilities at a later point, if not right now.
In the case of a low-code platform orchestrating five activities in a process, it would allow these activities to be either manual, script-driven or bot-driven, and the businesses would have the opportunity to switch a manual activity to an automated script/bot if required. This, in the current time is a big boost for businesses to take baby steps and avoid becoming completely disruptive right away, which could be time-consuming and demand higher investment.
Organizations do not have appetite currently for driving large-scale transformation programs with advanced technology enablers which demand high investments. Again, this is where low-code solutions could be a blessing. There are many options to choose from with some available as open-source platforms. While the choice of a vendor is dependent on the business need and appetite, it is fair to say the basic capabilities are available in most of the low-code solutions and making one choice over the other would not significantly alter the results.