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Low Code is a way to build applications that rely on pictures and drag-and-drop functionality instead of traditional hand-coding. 

 

Building applications in one enterprise means developers end up coding connections to the same data systems (for example SAP, Office 365, Salesforce), the same employees, and the same actions (copy a document to a document management storage system, send a task to more than one person for approval at the same time, etc.) over and over again. That's a lot of repetitive coding! With Low-Code tools, developers and even non-developers can skip all this and get straight to building the part of the application that is unique to the process at hand. 

What is Low Code's role in Business Process Automation? 

 

Organizations that need to automate and streamline business processes often ending up investing in either a Low Code platform or Low Code BPM tools. Low code offers some distinct benefits over in-house custom coding or traditional Business Process Management (BPM) software. For example, it can:

  • Accelerate app delivery by dramatically reducing the amount of hand-coding required

  • Lower labor costs through the use of junior-level developers and business users (often called citizen developers) in lieu of senior-level developers

  • Increase ROI from existing IT investments by creating simpler, unified portfolios 

  • Require less upfront financial commitments than typical enterprise BPM or Business Process Automation (BPA) software

  • Can be deployed in the cloud

  • Expands the sphere of people who can actually contribute to applications outside of IT

  • Allows developers, architects, citizen developers and their business partners the ability to quickly test an idea in a working application, gain feedback and iterate toward a finished product

  • Empowers the business to take ownership of applications

 

Because rapid application development tools, such as a Low Code, address so many critical concerns, the industry is growing at a frantic pace. According to Fortune magazine, revenues are reaching USD 15 billion by 2020. 

 

But, a word of caution.

 

Companies need to look beyond the hype and select a vendor that offers low-code business application development tools that are powerful enough to deliver on their promise now and in the future. They cannot afford to accept compromises to control, security and ease of integration.

 

After all, as Forrester warns in Vendor Landscape: The Fractured, Fertile Terrain of Low-Code Application Platforms, "the best low-code platforms are more than just tools to solve an immediate pain point; they are platforms that can produce business value over a period of many years."

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What is low code without BPM functionality?

                                                                ...a missed opportunity.

 

The speed at which teams can develop and deliver apps isn't the only criteria technology management and enterprise architecture professionals should use to evaluate low-code platforms.

A comprehensive low-code process automation platform needs to support the full range of BPM needs, including the ability to:

  • Build rich solutions that inter-operate with external sources and systems

  • Provide unified data access

  • Offer centralized control and management 

  • Test new applications at a low risk and cost

  • Scale across the enterprise 

  • Measure new processes, end-to-end, against the originals 

  • Choose the design and process-modeling method that best matches organizational goals and capabilities

 

And perhaps even more importantly, as emerging technologies like AI, machine learning and robotic process automation play an increasingly important role in BPM, low-code tools need to be able to aggregate all technologies under one platform. That way, businesses can build applications that link their data, line of business systems and applications, and AI services together. 

Only then can businesses reap the rewards of the future's most powerful process automation and optimization capabilities. 

© 2018 by vNEXT Systems, Inc.

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