Five Reasons to use Low-Code Apps for Information Management
When your business is changing frequently to meet market demand, and your data requirements are evolving daily, you need information management systems that will keep up.
Welcome to the world of low-code applications.
Gartner believes that by 2025, organizations will develop 70% of new applications using low-code technology, up from less than 25% in 2020. Are they really influencing business so significantly?
Yes, they are. Companies that are implementing low-code applications are already setting the pace for their competition because low-code applications help you meet the information needs of your business, exactly when and where your team wants them. Let me explain why you should be looking at this new way to manage your project and operational information.
What is a low-code application platform?
Gartner defines low-code as platforms that provide “rapid application development (RAD) features for development, deployment and execution – in the cloud.”*
A low-code application platform is a development environment that enables users to quickly build business applications by abstracting and minimising the need to code by hand. It’s an intuitive way to build dashboards, workflows, business processes, reports and much more without relying on professional developers.
Many companies rely on expensive consultancy or scarce internal IT resources. Low-code application development removes those headaches by empowering “citizen developers” to take ownership, streamline common tasks, increase productivity, and ultimately, free up development resources. Low-code applications can be configured to meet the precise needs of your organisation.
Once the initial set up is complete, the low-code application can then be adapted and extended as your needs evolve, and you’ll be able to manage any changes and new requirements yourself going forward – yes, even without the involvement of the IT team!
Low-code applications are as robust as tools developed by the IT department and can deliver global, high availability, scalable and secure applications that model complex business logic and automate processes. Plus, they make it easy to interface with your existing applications.
What can you build with low-code?
Anything! Are you using Microsoft Access databases, SharePoint sites or legacy spreadsheets? They can all be quickly replaced by a low-code solution in just a few days or weeks.
Here are some examples from our community.
Assess skills and capability: Get team members to assess their skills online and follow up with manager or expert reviews to build a clear picture of your organisation’s strengths.
Streamline customer bids: Create a bid management hub to easily find similar bids. Boost your chances of success by including publicly available competitor information and including those results in your searches for comparison.
Keep track of changes: Maintain a central log of process, system and organisational changes, and track these through approval and delivery.
Manage projects effectively: Use a flexible online toolset to plan and track delivery of your project portfolio.
Report on KPIs: Create online dashboards to show progress against your organisation’s key performance indicators, and highlight trends over time.
Manage quality: Automate your quality management system and keep track of process requirements, audits and non-conformances, and corrective actions.
And this is just the start of what’s possible. We’ve seen use cases around enterprise content management, human capital management practices, product management and more. Building on a single platform allows you to make use of common data items across multiple applications. The only limit is the imagination of your business users (and having the data to display!). Now you’ve seen the power of low-code development platforms, let’s look at the benefits to your organisation.
Five reasons to use low-code applications for information management.
There are lots of reasons to use low-code applications for managing information across your business. These are the top 5 reasons we hear most often from our clients.
1. Create rich and tailored applications to suit your needs
The most common reason why people turn to low-code development is that they can build exactly what they want. Want to integrate timesheet data? No problem! Need to link up the expense management system or track room booking utilisation? Why not?
Low-code applications are a window into the data you want, exactly as you want it. There’s no need for workarounds or having to use multiple tools because all your information is in one place, perfectly tailored to how it needs to be used to help your teams make decisions and keep the business moving forward.
2. Solve the skills shortage
Research by The Open University says that 91% of businesses have struggled to find workers with the right skills. If you’ve tried to recruit into tech roles recently, you might have faced the same challenge.
Once your low-code platform is set up, business users can create their own workflows and applications. You don’t need special IT skills or lots of training, just a willingness to learn how to configure the tool and an openness to being called a citizen developer.
The user interface is intuitive which means there is a very shallow learning curve. Most organisations we know choose to work with consultants for support until they’re comfortable with making changes themselves. Expert consultants can teach you how to make best use of the available features and advise you on which ones you can safely ignore!
Reduce the overhead on your IT team so they can focus on the specialist work they are trained to do, and leave information processing to the business departments that know exactly what they want.
3. Adapt to changing needs
We’ve all had to stay flexible over the past few years due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the pace of change shows no sign of slowing down. Businesses that don’t adapt to customer expectations don’t survive – it’s that simple.
Businesses using low-code builders have access to a powerful tool that will help them pivot and tap into new data insights to spot and act on trends as they happen.
4. Cut the time to get results
Forrester found that low-code development projects were up to 20 times faster than building code the traditional way. In one of their case studies, a project went from having little hope of ever being started to having a minimum viable product in just 10 days.
Your staff can’t wait months for a new report to be designed, tested and implemented. They need that information later today. With low-code software, they can take an agile approach and build what they need when they need it. Stay on top of what’s important to your customers and staff, and manage your information in real time.
5. Reduce manual work
No one has time for dual entry these days (did we ever?). Automations and integrations reduce the manual overhead of number crunching. Another benefit we hear time and time again is that removing the admin work from talented team members has freed them up to do more of the tasks that make a difference to company results.
Whether it’s a workflow, an escalation, business rules or reporting, low-code builders can reduce busy work and the risk of human error. Plus, employees routinely say that admin tasks drag them down, so you’ll be improving employee satisfaction at the same time!
Every organisation needs software that meets its evolving needs. With your organisation producing more and more data, it’s critical to be able to tap into and use the business insights you already have.
SmartCore from Ninth Wave is leading the workplace revolution by providing rich functionality in a secure and fully supported low-code application that interfaces with your other corporate systems. Fast track an initial implementation using Ninth Wave’s expert implementation consultants and then take the reins to configure your own applications as and when you need them.
Collaborate, innovate and accelerate to future-proof your innovation cycle with SmartCore. * Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service, Paul Vincent, Van L. Baker, Yefim V. Natis, Kimihiko Iijima, Mark Driver, Rob Dunie, 27 April 2017.