The low down on low-code

Want to build your own app? 10 years ago, this might have posed a problem if you had little to no experience with coding. You would have had to learn how to code and spend a few weeks building the app from scratch. Or, you would have had to pay a freelancer or convinced someone in your company to build the app for you.

Today, the process is much simpler. With the increased popularity of low-code platforms and the continued distribution of general technical expertise within other members of your organization, you can now disperse the workload to people outside your IT department and enable them to build apps.

Forrester Research defines low-code platforms as platforms that "enable rapid delivery of business applications with a minimum of hand-coding and minimal upfront investment in setup, training, and deployment". Moreover, low-code tools help users quickly build applications, while allowing them to easily push content out through any channel. Mobile app builder AppMakr is a great example of a low-code platform that enables everyday people to build customized apps without any previous coding background.

While platforms like AppMakr are already popular in the consumer space, we unfortunately haven’t seen nearly as much progress in the enterprise. As we’ve mentioned before, employees are more frustrated than ever with outdated enterprise applications and tools – especially among younger generations like Gen Z and Millennials. Enterprises should learn from low-code platforms in the consumer space and bring in tools that offer the same simplicity to create workforce apps. After all, these tools are available and will help us better leverage our IT resources, cut costs, and save time when implementing new app development and system modernization projects.

Thinking about making the transition to low-code platforms?

Here are three things companies should consider when implementing low-code platforms in enterprise:

  1. Go micro: -“Single-purpose apps” are designed to enable people to perform tasks quickly and are typically triggered by a notification or an event that requires the person to complete a single action. These simple apps break down complex tasks into digestible pieces making it easier for employees to identify critical information in the most efficient way possible. And, since they are faster and easier to build, it opens the door for enterprises to create a wide variety of apps and keep pace with the rapid innovation expected by the current workforce.
  1. Think omnichannel: In addition to simple apps, you should also ensure information is available to employees across multiple channels. We no longer consume information on a single device, so companies need to factor this into their long-term strategy. Micro apps integrate with multiple systems and push updates to mobile and desktop devices, browsers, email clients, as well as messaging clients. Then, no matter what device or other channel an employee is using, they are never more than a click away from the business data they need.
  1. Focus on integration with existing systems: While low-code platforms provide the ability to easily build apps, it’s also pivotal that they’re able to integrate with existing systems, such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, ServiceNow, and more. Look for low-code solutions that integrate directly with these systems using pre-built connectors as it saves an enormous amount of time and expense – Gartner estimates that 70% of the cost of mobile app development projects can be attributed to integrating the app with established enterprise systems.

As the demand for usable, engaging enterprise apps increases, low-code platforms will become even more necessary. In fact, by 2018, Gartner predicts that more than half of all mobile apps will be created without coding. Time is a finite resource for IT teams, even in the most established organizations, and they should focus on ways to expand their IT capacity without devoting extra resources to activities that should be part of the solution. Low-code and micro app development platforms solve this challenge and help organizations deliver apps that get the right information into employees’ hands.

Are you thinking about implementing a low-code platform at work? Find out how Sapho can help. 

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Elle Sidell is a Digital Marketing Manager at Sapho. She joins from AVG Technologies where she worked on web content for business stakeholders. Her previous experience includes content creation, copywriting, and managing the online presence of several SaaS services.

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