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Low-code platforms: a new hat for developers?

The shift towards low-code solutions is changing the role and position of programmers in the business IT  ecosystem.

Business needs business applications, there is no doubt about that. The same way nobody questions that a company needs financial and accounting systems, it is equally obvious that businesses these days need applications to make their operations more efficient.

Low-code BPM platform

Don’t be a hostage to custom code

When it comes to traditional accounting or warehouse management software, the market already offers a number of ready-made applications dedicated to given industries and company types. What they require to be implemented and work is simple adaptation and day-to-day management. 

That doesn’t paint the full picture, though. Every organization also runs a significant number of business processes that are managed via things like e-mails or Excel spreadsheets. More often than not, these processes determine the competitiveness of the company. They play an important role in building added value, yet they are left unsupported by any tools, or are handled in the shadow of other IT solutions.

With the increasing specificity of business processes and the competitive edge they provide, the probability of finding a ready-made IT solution to support them is growing slimmer. This realization creates a need for developing dedicated business applications, either by an in-house IT department, or an external software house.

However, experienced developers have become a commodity these days. Even top software houses recruit people who are industry newbies or even college freshmen. For many companies operating outside the IT industry, hiring a person with good programming skills is nothing short of a miracle. This highlights a very serious risk to not only the implementation and delivery of a project, but also for further maintenance and adaptation of the application to the changing needs of business.

The great revival of the RAD concept

Have no fear, because today it is possible to build applications without involving software developers. The concept is called no-code or low-code Rapid Application Delivery (RAD), and was originally born in the 1970s, with the goal of creating applications easier and faster. As the demand for business solutions continues to grow, RAD platforms have become a viable alternative to software development. This is not only in the case of simple tools, but also advanced, business-critical solutions. The most innovative and advanced of them allow us to deliver critical, enterprise-grade business solutions without coding.

Unlike other methods, RAD offers a genuinely iterative and agile approach to building software. Enterprise-grade RAD platforms, such as WEBCON BPS, use a wide variety of ready-made, drag-and-drop code “blocks” to create software. Developers are not writing code from scratch, which minimizes development time while maximizing project efficiency. While there is no need for custom code, the components themselves are customizable and able to exactly match project requirements. The focus becomes on delivering the project in iterations, with constant adjustment to the requirements of the client, even if they are changing or uncertain.

This kind of platform provides IT departments with a powerful solution to continuously deliver an endless number of business applications. Business users get a single digital workplace with easy access to their tasks and information,and top management enjoys the freedom to execute urgent decisions immediately.

New approaches open new perspectives

At first glance, it may seem that the constantly growing popularity of low-code solutions as application platforms for business might soon render software developers obsolete. Far from it. In fact, the technological shift opens up more interesting perspectives to developers, as well as unveils new areas of creativity, by automating and eliminating the need for more tedious and time-consuming tasks.

There is little doubt today that everything that can be achieved without coding, should be. Developers shouldn’t waste time working on things that can be automated and which don’t require their skills. As a result, the progress of automation supports them in pursuing other goals and objectives. The less time they can spend on building typical business applications, the more time they have for creating industry-specific, specialised solutions, algorithms, or the management of information and system architecture. In other words, what’s left is pure innovation.

In spite for what it might seem at the first glance, using RAD solutions based on no-code principles does not eliminate developers, but definitely changes their role and position within business IT ecosystems.

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