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What can you do with Low Code?

From the idea to the finished application in the shortest time: How low code significantly accelerates your development processes and saves costs in the process.

What is Low Code?

Low code is a way to create applications such as online tools and apps with little programming knowledge. As a rule, the results are developed via so-called low-code platforms in a drag-and-drop process. You only have to write a few lines of code.

How do the low-code platforms work?

The "software construction kits" are often quite simply designed and function according to the LEGO principle: individual elements and functions can be conveniently clicked together.

For fine-tuning the logic or implementing special functions, it is necessary to do a little programming. However, programming is usually quite simple, which is why it is called "low-threshold coding".

Important: The programming code you write may seem "low", but in the background the platform generates elaborate and functional code from all the elements. This means that the results "under the bonnet" can turn out to be very complicated and powerful!

From Low Code to Citizen Developer

The low-code tools are an aid to enable non-professionals and less experienced programmers to quickly produce software results. Such users are called Citizen Developers.

The "civilian developers", which is the German translation for "Citizen Developer", regularly implement IT concepts and projects with low-code platforms. They usually do not officially belong to a development department, but sit in marketing or in a creative team, for example.

Where does the concept of low coding come from?

Low-code platforms are currently being pushed by numerous companies and advertised with large marketing budgets. But the topic is anything but new.

The idea of being able to develop software with little programming knowledge has been around for a few decades. Rapid Application Development (RAD) emerged in the 1980s, which then led to Model-Driven Software Development (MDSD).

Forrester Research coined the term "low code" in a publication that appeared in 2014. This established the term for a way in which applications can be implemented with special tools and few lines of code.

Even more streamlined: No Code instead of Low Code

A more radical form of low-code development are the no-code platforms. With these "construction kits" you really don't need to know any programming or scripting language. The tools only work for the users via graphical user interfaces with which you model your desired results.

Examples of low-code platforms

In the meantime, numerous providers are active in the low-code sector. In addition to well-known companies such as Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and Salesforce, many small software companies also offer their own solutions.

One well-known provider from Germany is Intrexx. As a certified Intrexx partner, we at CITRO rely on this low-code platform, among others, to quickly and cost-effectively realise customer portals, intrants, personnel planning software and other digital solutions for our customers.

How and why do you apply low-code tools?

There are several reasons why companies rely on low-code platforms. On the one hand, the tools are very suitable for implementing software ideas and digital concepts with little effort. If you want to develop an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), a prototype or a POC (Proof of Concept), low code is an appropriate tool.

Accordingly, low-code platforms are very popular in departments that take an agile approach. Based on the result, initial customer feedback can be obtained and further developed according to the lean start-up method.

Another reason in favour of low code is the so-called "war for talents" in the IT sector: in Germany alone, there was a shortage of around 137,000 skilled workers in 2022. Due to increasing digitalisation, the situation will get worse; developers are and will remain a "rare commodity".

Citizen developers and low-code agencies are stepping into this gap. They realise the urgently needed digital projects without requiring an army of programmers.

These are the advantages of low code development

  •  Companies do not need to set up large development departments
  •  Applications can be realised without extensive programming knowledge
  •  Citizen developers do not need a long training period
  •  Concepts can be tested quickly via MVPs and prototypes
  •  Low-code projects can usually be implemented quickly and cheaply
  •  Quick adaptations to market dynamics and customer expectations possible
  •  More independence from the worsening shortage of skilled workers

The result is increased efficiency and output. In this way, projects such as process digitisation can be made possible to advance the digital transformation of your company.

The disadvantages of "low-threshold coding"

  • Familiarisation with low-code tools takes time
  • Citizen developers need training and space to experiment
  • Some results may not turn out as planned
  • Customisation and special adjustments may not be possible
  • The IT department has to develop new guidelines and specifications

The last point is very important: if applications are created by citizen developers, a so-called shadow IT is formed. This must also be maintained and secured, otherwise dangerous security gaps may arise.

Our tip: pick the cherry!

Low-code platforms offer some plus points from which digitally active companies definitely benefit. But one should also consider the downsides: Despite low code, a certain expertise in software development is still needed. Otherwise, projects develop haphazardly, they get out of hand and/or the results are disappointing.

A good way to get a handle on this is to outsource the activities to low-code service providers like CITRO. We are happy to assist you with the conception, realisation and implementation of low-code projects. Contact us without any obligation.

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