What is Low Code and how does it benefit my business?
Although the term low code has been around for a few years, it is currently booming on many social media platforms and blogs. Then there is talk of low code tools or platforms, what different providers there are, or tutorials on how low code can be used. But what is low code anyway? What does the term mean, or rather the concept behind it? And what use is it to me and my company? Isn't it rather something for nerds? On the contrary, we'll explain what low code is and why you'll probably hardly get around it in the next few months, or maybe you've already been using low code for a long time without knowing it.
As the name suggests, low code refers to a form of (app) development that aims to use as little code as possible. Instead, users are provided with visual and model-based applications or platforms with the help of which they can quickly and easily develop apps themselves without the need for programming skills. The aim of this technology is to open up development to a wide range of people, but also to speed up and simplify it for experienced programmers.
When we talk about apps in the context of low code, however, we usually mean a very comprehensive field of tasks, automations and logics, all the way to designs or algorithms.
Your advantages through Low Code:
Significantly shorter time span for development and deployment of new software
Cost reduction through this acceleration
Cross-team cooperation between technical and IT departments
App development becomes accessible to more people
However, Low Code is not primarily aimed at non-programmers, as the first impression might suggest. Rather, Low Code is intended to relieve experienced programmers of work by making new developments faster and easier. Long installation, training or maintenance periods can also be circumvented by low-code developments. Since IT in particular is an area that is in high demand and therefore particularly affected by the shortage of skilled workers, relieving the workload of employees is a valuable option.
Nevertheless, employees who are technically gifted or enthusiastic also benefit from low code: Those who proudly show off their own Excel spreadsheets with countless conditions and formatting can certainly cope with low-code platforms. Any software usually allows processes and apps to be plugged and clicked together on a simple interface.
Low code can work great for customer journeys. Customised developments in your company can optimise and perfect the experience of your customers. How exactly? Low code developments can be used in almost every phase of the customer journey, for example to support onboarding. In addition, low-code platforms usually pay attention to an optimal user experience (UX) without the developers having to pay explicit attention to it. In addition, such developments can usually be adapted to your corporate identity, so that strong branding can be implemented.
Promoting efficiency and digitalisation
If low code lowers the barriers to digital development, this can also contribute to faster internal digitisation within the company. Since one hurdle for digitalisation is the acceptance of new tools or digital processes in the workforce, this can be promoted through low code. Those who experience for themselves how intuitively and easily new developments are possible and how they simplify their own work experience the potential of digitalisation. Not to mention that low code platforms facilitate the creation of applications for the digital capture of data.
What is Low Code and what makes it tick?
There are now more and more low-code tools that are dedicated to the concept, with very different focuses. For example, apps, workflows or designs can be created by hand. But all these tools have a few things in common:
Reusability of the developments
Low code developments are usually very individual depending on the company, but often build on recurring building blocks. This makes it possible to solve different challenges with the same, standardised development by making only small modifications. This not only saves time, but also enables a comprehensive understanding of the problem and its solution.
Most low-code platforms (and we can only recommend this) are cloud-based. This means not only that it does not need its own hosting, but also that developments are available quickly and from anywhere, do not involve installation costs and can be updated quickly. This saves time and costs.
Openness and expandability
Due to the previous point, cloud-based, low-code platforms are usually also optimally expandable. Via programming interfaces, so-called APIs(what is an API?), which are provided by the tools themselves, they can be integrated into existing processes and connected with other apps and applications. And that leads us to the next point:
Low code is now widespread in the cloud automation scene and has really taken off with Zapier in particular. Cloud automation has made it its goal to easily and quickly link the most diverse cloud applications with each other and thus enable data exchange. The most common tools have long been based on a low-code approach. Zapier, Make and Power Automate want to make automation accessible not only to programmers, but also to everyone else.
That's why they offer a clear interface that links tools together and guides you through the process step by step, without the need for code. With Make, for example, the interface looks like this:
Each tool used, in this case Facebook, Airtable and Outlook, are represented by an icon and embedded in the automated process. The low-code tool Make thus enables comprehensive integrations to exchange data automatically. Why all this? A lot of time a day is spent on data maintenance, often even entering or updating the same data in different applications. This is not only a time robber, but also highly inefficient. Low code automation tools aim to change this by creating data flows that take away many small tasks, leaving more time for other tasks.
Although low code has been around for a few years, the approach is currently experiencing an upswing. There are countless low-code platforms and tools that want to make (digital) life easier. They are not primarily aimed at laypeople, but also want to support experienced IT staff in creating new developments more quickly and collaboratively. There is often even talk of the democratisation of IT.
In times when the phrase "everyone should have at least some programming skills these days" is repeated again and again, low code is in our eyes a great way to make technical developments accessible and even to take away the fear of them. Those who experience for themselves how easy development can be and even how much fun it can be, are more likely to integrate it into their own everyday work. And that is worth a lot in our eyes.
Curious about what Low Code can do for your company? We would be happy to clarify exactly that in a free discussion about Low Code. Together we will find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.
Cloud Integration, iPaaS, SaaS, BPA… Ough, hard to keep track of all these terms. They are currently used frequently (and increasingly) in the context of automation, and it is sometimes difficult to make a clear distinction and distinction. We have already written blog posts on the terms iPaaS, SaaS and BPA, but we’ll take them up again here to make the difference.
But let’s start with cloud integration, because that’s the central umbrella term in which we embed all the other technologies in this blog post.
To illustrate these advantages, an example is suitable that we know well from our everyday work as an automation agency:
The central data to be used here is the data of a major customer. This can be the simplest information, such as the address. This address is required in numerous but completely different processes in the company: on the one hand, for correct invoicing in accounting. On the other hand, in the CRM system, where all the data of the large customer is also stored. But the address is also important in sales, for example, when employees go to the sales meeting on site.
Now the customer announces that the address of the company has changed after a move. This information will reach you by e-mail. There are now two options:
01. The e-mail is forwarded to all affected departments, accounting, sales, customer service, marketing… All persons open their corresponding program, CRM, accounting software, marketing tools (such as newsletter marketing) and change the data already stored there of the customer. This means that in multiple applications, different people do exactly the same thing: change one address. 02. But there is also an alternative: By connecting your applications, thus by integrizing them, the customer’s e-mail, or rather the information it contains about the address change, is automatically passed on to all affected applications: CRM, accounting, marketing, ERP. This does not require any clicks, because the cloud integration detects a trigger, i.e. address change, and thus automatically starts the process.
What sounds unimpressive in a single process becomes more effective when such a process occurs several times a day or weekly. Because there is a lot of data that is available in different applications and should always be correct. If these applications are cloud applications they are suitable for cloud integration.
But cloud integration doesn’t just happen. There are now a variety of applications that enable and implement this. Such tools usually allow us to link the relevant cloud applications on a central platform and define clear rules on when, how, where, how much data should be passed on and what happens to them.
IPaaS, SaaS, BPA, ABC – who can still see through it?
To realize cloud integration, there are various applications and technologies that are sometimes used interchangeably.
Cloud integration cannot be done without SaaS, iPaaS and BPA
Cloud integration is rather an umbrella term that includes numerous technologies, such as SaaS, iPaaS and BPA, and this is also absolutely necessary. Cloud integration is a concept that is made possible by appropriate technologies.
However, all terms share the commonality that they are cloud-based and thus offer enormous potential for growth and scaling. In addition, they are often cheaper to implement and maintain because changed requirements are easy to implement.
As an independent automation agency, we implement cloud integration according to your requirements. We use a variety of SaaS tools and iPaas (strictly speaking BPA) software. Together we find individual solutions that are flexible and scalable.