When we look at the fast evolving future when it comes to technology, and the explosion of digital native companies, we see that the need to tech-enable and digitize businesses has never been more urgent. With humans at the center, innovation at speed and technology change at scale, digital transformation is the road of titans.
While some companies attempt to power innovation by leveraging their data and opting in ambitious strategies, others still rely on legacy technologies and ageing applications to support their internal processes on a continuous basis.
Much of these processes fall under the umbrella of overburdened in-house IT teams that bit by bit crack under the strain of the growing and complexifying tasks. In those companies, the “run” budget has completely eaten up the “change” budget, because of the increasing costs of maintenance.
This is precisely why low-code/no-code platforms are one of the most disruptive trends of the 2021 Tech landscape. These platforms empower enterprises by narrowing down the gap between “developers” and “non-developers” or as I like to call them “assemblers”, and focuses the manpower effort on the pure added value creation.
What are low-code/no-code platforms?
The concept of low-code/no-code development is definitely not something new. It is a modern moniker for a four-decade long practice called “Rapid Application Development”. As a form of agile and adaptive software development methodology, RAD prioritizes rapid prototyping and user experience over long-drawn-out building and testing cycles.
Today, low-code/no-code platforms enable users to build software and applications without the need for extensive coding skills and minimal IT support. Such approach empowers users to self-service, rapidly build and deploy solutions in an agile environment. These platforms are developed by the wave of new technology players willing to lower the barrier of technology adoption and democratize the business software developments.
The promise of low-code/no-code platforms enables the “citizen programmer” to implement creative software products and innovate in an unprecedented way. This evolution of software development is not only beneficial for non-engineers, but it also helps engineers speed-up a timely and heavy process allowing for higher flexibility and agile product development. It opens the door to business stakeholders to directly take part in the design of their new business applications.
What are the advantages?
The benefits of choosing low-code/no-code are particularly pronounced for enterprises who aim to streamline business-wide processes like customer relationship management, logistics scheduling or even procurement, yet do not rely on bare-bones solutions similar to SaaS ERP systems.
- Speed of development: Low-code/no-code platforms accelerate the development process up to ten times as compared to the traditional coding methodology. Faster development means that prototypes can be engineered more rapidly, tested, refined and ultimately released to the market to more accurately fit the end user desired functionalities. Software updates and upgrades are made more frequently as citizen developers can be the editors of these changes regardless of their coding skills.
- Business agility: Low-code/no-code brings in an automation layer in rapid application development that enables businesses to be more agile and future-proof. Now, business users are partial to full actors in the prototyping and design phase whereby software products are assembled and iterated in real-time, ensuring that the end-result perfectly meets market demands.
- Democratisation of software coding: In essence, Low-code/no-code platforms empower non-technical users to actively contribute or at least have a direct input into an IT-intensive process that has long been monopolised by the so-called “developers”. This new approach democratises how software is built by streamlining the complex mechanisms behind it. No need to code in Python, Java or Ruby to develop new added-value applications. Highly intuitive and user-friendly, low-code/no-code platforms provide visual tools for user development in the form of drag-and-drop interfaces, which makes it possible to graphically construct even the most sophisticated applications.
- Total cost of ownership (TCO): The most high-in-demand and difficult to find skill set is software development. Skilled developers are not only rare but they are also excessively costly for businesses that choose to capitalise on them. Low-code/no-code platforms come with a wealth of features built-in and ready-to-use within your applications. With a streamlined low to no code approach, these platforms drastically shorten the time and efforts needed to create new applications, but also eliminate the need to invest in super expensive developers for the building, but also for the maintenance.
This highly-cost effective substitute lowers the total cost of ownership for such projects, enabling businesses to optimise the use of their resources, cut down operating costs and to ultimately bring in more revenue and be more profitable.
What are the intakes when you apply low-code/no-code platforms to data?
By definition, low-code/no-code platforms allow for the automation of business processes but what about data processes?
Data and data processes are often synonymous with difficulties. Let’s start with data. Flowing from the cloud or locked in data centers, hot, cold or frozen, data is dispersed and comes with accessibility and usability constraints. In its shape, data can be structured or unstructured, big or small, all of which taken together, adds up to more and more complexity.
Now looking at data processes or the different machinery that makes up the data journey. From data ingestion, storage, processing to distribution to target applications, data is pushed around, moved from a system to another, processed and transformed. While following its transformation cycle, data needs to remain traceable, unique and compliant to security and privacy protocols. Yet due to its unpredictable and highly volatile behaviour, volume and variety, grasping the value of data becomes as challenging as climbing Mount Everest.
With data process automation, the data journey machinery is unified through a seamless integration of the overall process. All data stations are orchestrated and glued to work in synergy and ensure better performance and scalability of the data environment. No one does it better than low-code/no-code platforms.
Thanks to their built-in flexibility, these platforms automate all data engineering tasks from data ingestion to data consumption while managing all data flows in a governed and robust way. That way we ensure that data is flowing in a data-centric environment that not only optimises your time-to-market or time-to-insight but also creates operational and cost-related value.
Thankfully, we thought about it and we came up with Digazu.
In its architecture, Digazu is the low-code/no-code platform that will help you address all your data and data processes challenges in a sustainable and future-proof way.
Easy-to-use and highly intuitive, Digazu combines the power of automated data engineering, a data lake and a smart data-science platform. You can think of it as a one-stop shop for all your data needs that delivers on a promise of automation and business efficiency.
In 2021, every business will need to be hyper-digital and evidence calls out that low-code/no-code platforms will pave the way for these businesses to successfully walk the road of digital transformation. True or not, only time will tell.