To accomplish the digital transformation in your enterprise, you’ll need to digitize as many workloads as possible. That means you’ll need a lot of new software. Low-code development platforms can help facilitate digital transformation by reducing the amount of manual, professional coding needed to create that new software. This blog will explain low-code development platforms and their role in your organization’s digital transformation.
What Are Low-Code Development Platforms?
A low-code development platform reduces the manual coding needed to create an application. It provides a GUI (graphical user interface) with visual tools and drag-and-drop elements to design and develop software features. Low-code platforms still require some programming know-how because they don’t abstract away all of the underlying source code.
This gives users more control over aspects of their application that can’t be easily manipulated with the GUI. It also means there’s a higher bar to entry than with no code platforms. For example, to use a low-code development platform like Mulesoft, you may still need to understand web development best practices for security (e.g., HTTPS, TLS, and encryption) and how to configure the web server that hosts the low-code application.
However, the low-code application is faster and easier to program because many simple and tedious coding tasks can be handled via GUI. Plus, many low-code platforms include a library of extensions or API integrations to allow additional features and functionality to be built into the custom application. For example, a low-code platform’s API library may include extensions for two-factor authentication (2FA), data integration with legacy or third-party systems, and PCI-compliant payment processing.
Low-code development platforms allow tech-savvy users without professional coding experience to create their own software. This characteristic benefits smaller companies that need custom applications but may not have dedicated development resources to build them. Low-code is also invaluable to larger organizations trying to digitize their business operations without overwhelming their professional coders.
The Role of Low-Code Development Platforms in Digital Transformation
Low-code development platforms can help you achieve digital transformation by:
Empowering Non-Developer Stakeholders
Low-code development platforms allow business process experts to become more involved in the digital transformation efforts that directly impact them. These stakeholders are the people whose workloads are being digitized, so they’re the ones who will use this new software every day. Typically, this group is left out of the planning and development process, which can mean that their workloads are digitized in a way that doesn’t effectively address their day-to-day pain points. With low-code development platforms, they can create tools to ensure necessary functionality without introducing any new headaches to their processes.
Accelerating Software Creation
If stakeholders can digitize their workloads with a low-code platform, projects can avoid the developer bottleneck. Individual departments can work simultaneously on their own software and complete projects faster. As a result, more complex applications that do require professional coding are also finished sooner because developers aren’t wasting their time on simple, tedious tasks.
Supplementing Professional Coding
Low-code development platforms provide access to the code editor and typically allow integrations with external software, making them useful to professional coders. Less technical users can use the low-code tools to build basic application frameworks or accomplish simple, tedious tasks that are easier with a GUI. Then the pros can build out additional features or integrate more complex functionality. In this way, low-code speeds up the creation of powerful custom software while reducing the workload of professional developers.
Bridging the DevOps Talent Gap
Digital transformation requires extensive custom development, but with the DevOps talent gap, it can be difficult to hire and maintain a large team of pro coders. For large organizations, low-code development platforms are not a replacement for professional coding, but they can help relieve some of the pressure on overworked development teams without hiring additional staff. Also, once non-devs have learned some programming skills through their low-code platform, they may become valuable resources for future development projects.
Using Low-Code Development Platforms to Supercharge Your Digital Transformation
When looking for a low-code platform, you should ensure that it works with your existing ecosystem of DevOps tools and resources. The code created by these platforms should be treated like any other source code, with version control, quality and security testing, and continuous monitoring. This will prevent shadow IT or the use of software and resources unknown to and unmanaged by the IT department. It will also ensure that your low-code software meets the same quality and security standards as your pro code, facilitating a smoother digital transformation.