Top 10 Reasons to Use a Low-Code Platform For Your Next Enterprise App - Part 2

Part 2/3 in our series on the ten reasons to go low-code.

In our white paper “The Top 10 Reasons to Use a Low-Code Platform For Your Next Enterprise App”, we look at a landscape that’s changed over the last several years. We take a deep dive into what’s changed, and why organizations should now seriously reconsider low-code as their enterprise app strategy solution. This is the second part of the series discussing three more factors. If you haven't checked out the last post, we covered the risks and benefits of early adoption, time to market, extending in a visual environment, the value of iteration speed and true reusability.

If you want to get the full white paper in all its stunning glory, you can download it here.

4. The Rise of BiModal IT

One of the most interesting aspects of visual app development is that it makes high quality app development possible for a larger team in the company, and creates natural way of collaboration between different areas of expertise.

Bi-modal IT is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. This allows the critical software systems of an organization to be managed by the IT group, while enabling the rest of the organization to innovate around it.

Often, the people that are closest to the actual business problem can solve it faster than dedicated software developers in another department.

We are currently in the dawn of bi-modal IT. Many CIOs and IT managers are thinking about different ways to enable innovation and provide safe ways for the rest of the organization to partake in crafting new software that would benefit the organization. It has proven to be very hard to take advantage of this new kind of thinking with traditional development methods, even though it would greatly benefit the technology adoption and innovation speed in every organization.

Visual app development tools by design are great potential enablers for the execution of a bi-modal IT structure. With reusability of code and company-wide component libraries, core services such as authentication mechanisms, core system integrations and permission rules can be managed by the IT department, while the individual applications and their user interfaces and usage flows can be developed by people in other departments.

Another aspect of how visual development tools enable the bi-modal IT approach is the citizen developer movement. With AppGyver Composer, any technical person can build meaningful, secure and beautiful applications, despite not having any prior mobile app development experience.

This changes the paradigm of how companies should think about the development of smaller business applications. Leveraging larger groups of people in the mobile app development process can have unexpected positive consequences in terms of solving business problems with apps. Often, the people that are closest to the actual business problem can solve it faster than dedicated software developers in another department.

5. Managed Platform Service

Visual app development platforms such as AppGyver Composer are managed platform services, which means less work for the IT department, no matter how many applications the organization needs to build.

There are resource-intensive areas of mobile application development that only organizations with history of developing large amounts of apps realize, such the as arrival of new mobile operating system versions. When a new operating system version of iOS or Android ships, companies utilizing hybrid app frameworks such as PhoneGap are always at risk. If the operating system version introduces breaking changes to the way WebViews and underlying native APIs are utilized, this may cause months of development time for each app the company has built. At the same time, the inability to support a new operating system version for an application that’s in business-critical use can have serious consequences, as employees update their phones and are suddenly locked out of their apps.

AppGyver Composer modular stack

AppGyver Composer secure, modular stack.

The same is true for other infrastructure-level components such as built-in database integrations, push notification services, utilization of native device capabilities with JavaScript and more. These types of fundamental aspects of app management are automatically handled by platforms such as AppGyver Composer. Modern platforms have multiple levels of abstractions between the end apps and the native code, meaning any surprise changes can be managed and tackled in a controlled fashion, while also maintaining backwards compatibility.

Platforms enjoying large developer adoption – like AppGyver Composer with 200,000 developers – have the advantage of being able to test new versions of operating systems together with thousands of developers before the update is rolled out to the general public. For the platform service provider, compatibility with the latest OS updates is a major focus of development and service, whereas for an individual app developer, they are hinderance that slows down actual development work and innovation.

AppGyver Composer with 200,000 developers – have the advantage of being able to test new versions of operating systems together with thousands of developers before the update is rolled out to the general public.

Another benefit of the managed platform is that all the different aspects of applications, from client user interface to backend logic and integrations, have been designed to work together on a platform level. Traditionally, developers create an application’s core stack by combining technologies from different providers. It’s certainly exciting to utilize all the latest cool things, and sometimes being on the cutting edge can bring very real benefits.

However, when the glue between the different parts of your app is completely proprietary code, it causes huge risks as the amount of live applications increases. The risks include libraries being deprecated, API updates breaking apps, developers having a tendency to try different (and potentially unstable) frameworks for new projects, and so on.

The standardization of the core tech stack is crucial, and visual app development platforms achieve this in two ways. The built-in backbone – the core technologies utilized – is the same for all apps and expertly managed and kept up-to-date by the vendor. Furthermore, the component library thinking allows organizations to provide standardized service integrations to all their systems, managing them in a centralized fashion.

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Besides OS and backend integration updates potentially breaking existing apps, new capabilities come up with every new OS version and device model. Leveraging these capabilities in meaningful ways with traditional non-platform apps requires a lot of grunt work, whereas managed platforms can make a new, well-designed feature available for every developer by just deploying a single update to the core app builder.

Customers of managed platforms thus enjoy the benefit of a constant flow of instantly available new features, produced by the platform provider and assured to work together with their existing applications. AppGyver provides two kinds of updates for Composer: new platform-level features and capabilities, and new component libraries. Platform level updates, such as new analytics capabilities, provide value to every single application built with the platform, while component releases such as new integrations and backend component libraries provide faster ways for developers to build and iterate their applications.

6. In-house Development

The majority of custom enterprise mobile projects remain outsourced. A growing number of companies have been looking into bringing some of the development muscle in-house, in order to move faster, decrease dependencies, reduce costs and leverage the organizational know-how in innovation. This has proven to be very hard to execute successfully. It’s simply not straightforward to recruit and set up a well-functioning internal mobile development team, much less scale it when demand increases.

Visual app platforms offer a potential solution to this problem. They allow apps to be built asynchronously between teams, with component libraries and IPR shared throughout the organization. Development times can be reduced by 10x or more. For the first time, it becomes viable that companies without prior expertise in large-scale mobile development can start developing apps in-house.

It’s simply not straightforward to recruit and set up a well-functioning internal mobile development team

As mentioned in the chapter on code reusability, the speed of app development with low-code tools gets faster after each app is completed thanks to pieces of code from completed apps being utilized in the next ones.

The way AppGyver Composer does componentization of code brings about another interesting aspect. The libraries themselves – be it user interface, backend or integrations – can be outsourced, while the actual application development stays in-house. This provides great scalability benefits, while at the same time making it possible for the organization to build and manage all the applications on their own, growing their expertise and further increasing their competitive edge.

Marko Lehtimaki, CEO AppGyver

As CEO & Co-Founder of AppGyver, Marko possesses a deep understanding of emerging technologies and their implications to enterprise businesses.

San Francisco, CA