There’s a common misunderstanding that low-code platforms are suitable for simple, stand-alone, bespoke apps. Nothing could be further from the truth. Such applications might be the sweet spot of certain no-code platforms, however in the enterprise low-code space, it’s a different story altogether. What, then, will be the principal uses of such platforms in real-world businesses like banks, insurance companies, and other financial services firms?
Here are the top three. As financial services companies proceed using their digital change initiatives, software becomes more and more pervasive and proper – this means they want more of it. The demand for new and updated software and applications infrastructure, as well as individual capabilities and features, is exploding. Yet, every such company is resource constrained, as professionals who are able to build and run such software are in short supply. For the time being, however, such businesses have little choice but to add to their comprehensive software to-do lists.
These backlogs, as the industry calls them, can get long and unmanageable – and the stresses of digital transformation combined with the perennial shortage of skills only makes this issue worse. Furthermore, traditional hand-coding backlogs tend to focus on individual tasks and features, as the lines of business who drive the creation of the backlog focus more on applications. As a result, there is often a disconnect between what the business wants and what the application form development teams can deliver. With improved productivity comes faster completion of applications in the backlog, and therefore many firms are finding that low-code is vital to reducing how big is the backlog, or eliminating it altogether.
In truth, low-code users were 12% more likely to state that their backlog acquired improved in the last year, as compared to people who weren’t using low-code, based on the continuing state of Software Development survey from OutSystems. Most large and many midsize financial services firms have formal processes for establishing the requirements for new applications and calling upon IT to deliver on those requirements.
However, in many cases, these procedures date from the last century – and are agonizingly slow and bureaucracy-laden thus. In the perspective of line of business executives, lots of the applications they might need don’t lend themselves to such an onerous, time-consuming process. Perhaps the need is too immediate, or in other cases, the underlying security or integration difficulty doesn’t warrant pursuing traditional program development procedures. Before, such business/IT misalignment has resulted in shadow IT: lines of business taking it upon themselves to create applications from the radar from it. However, shadow IT leads to a number of systemic problems, including redundant applications, poor quality, and security and compliance breaches.
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Business low-code systems like OutSystems can resolve this dilemma, giving lines of business an increased ability to demand new applications without requiring IT to check out every step of now-obsolete software lifecycle processes. This approach, however, is not the shadow IT of old. The ‘business’ area of the enterprise low-code tale focuses on security, conformity, and integration – those areas where IT must still step up to the dish to ensure that such primary non-functional requirements remain being met. The bigger the financial services organization, the much more likely it’s burdened with a diverse profile of monolithic legacy applications.
Furthermore, modernizing such legacy systems while changing massive application portfolios with new, versatile applications is a priority for such organizations – but a goal that has mainly been out of reach. Low-code systems like OutSystems can get this to goal a reality. Moving from legacy, monolithic applications to a modern app portfolio requires a rethink of its architecture.
“If you’d like agility, you will need to break your structures into smaller, more agile parts,” said Paulo Rosado, CEO of OutSystems. How, then, will a low-code development team modernize a monolithic legacy software? By focusing on specific functionality changes that end-customers require and replacing that features with modular software. Modularity is a software best practice for decades, and the modern implementation of software modularity is microservices in containerized deployment environments.