Top 10 Reasons to Use a Low-Code Platform For Your Next Enterprise App - Part 3

This is part 3/3 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 third part of the series discussing three more factors. If you haven't checked out the last post, we covered the rise of bi-modal IT, managed platform services and in-house development.

7. Built-in security

Security is an essential part of all enterprise software, including mobile applications. When application projects are outsourced, or built from scratch under delivery timeline pressure, risks in terms of application security are great.

With managed visual app platforms, such as AppGyver Composer, many of the necessary security considerations have already been resolved on the platform level. Encrypted data transfers, data-related permissions controls and application infrastructure level security aspects come built-in. It doesn’t matter if the application was built in an hour or a week.

With managed visual app platforms, many of the necessary security considerations have already been resolved on the platform level.

In addition, the integrations to an organization’s core systems can be managed on a group level, in such a manner that every developer is forced to use the same integration component, without possibilities of compromising on security. The separation of concerns between an application developer’s tasks and the responsibilities of the IT department provide great benefits.

Sometimes the company needs to incorporate more serious security precautions, such as end-to-end encryption of data, including the cached data inside the application package. These features can be developed by the IT department and provided as a standard component for everyone to use in their applications.

All these aspects of built-in security and manageability of security concerns in an organized manner make visual app development platforms a more secure alternative for organizations, when compared to the wild west of custom PhoneGap development and outsourcing.

8. Better applications

Application quality is a crucial element to drive the end-user adoption for any app, including B2B and B2E apps. If an application is difficult to use, does not follow standard UI paradigms, doesn’t look good, or performs badly, the end user adoption will suffer. No matter if the app users are an organization’s employees or business customers, this is the worst thing that can happen. When an organization identifies ways to optimize their business or increase customer satisfaction through mobility, it is of crucial importance that the execution of the idea does not block the benefits of the innovation.

Through the fragmentation of mobile operating system versions, cross-platform tools such as Adobe PhoneGap have become a central piece of technology for many organizations building internal apps. But at the same time, everyone knows this is a massive compromise in terms of application quality. Wrapping a HTML5-based Single-Page Application inside an app binary package is very far from crafting a native-quality experience.

AppGyver’s platform solves this issue by combining web technologies with native user interface features, such as UI components, navigation controls and transition animations. This means that while the developers are using HTML5 to extend their applications, the core experience of interacting with the app – switching tabs, navigating to a view, presenting a loading spinner – always happens at native speed, with native UI. This alone brings substantial quality benefits over traditional hybrid app frameworks.

Standard iOS UI control paradigms.

Standard iOS UI control paradigms.

Consumer apps do require the latest eye candy and UI innovations in order to stand out. For business applications, used by large groups of employees or business customers, the most important things are familiarity, predictability and ease of use. An application should be built following the standard iOS/Android user experience guidelines, in order to decrease support requests by the application users, drive adoption and increase usage. The shared component library capabilities of visual app platforms like AppGyver Composer make it easier for every developer to ensure that all apps use similar and familiar user interface concepts.

The 80/20 rule in visual app development platforms further increases the quality of the applications. When developers can get most of the app structure, user interface and app logic built rapidly without spending any time in coding, they can devote 80% of their development efforts in making the application truly great. For some apps it will be the user interface, such as visualizations of data, and for other apps it will be the smart algorithms in the backend. When developers can spend most of their time building features that make the app truly unique and great, instead of re-inventing the wheel every time they build an app, businesses have a much greater chance in executing mobilization strategy successfully.

Enterprise apps build with AppGyver Composer.

Enterprise apps build with AppGyver Composer.

9. Innovation

Speed of development enables innovation like nothing else. When developers can build a custom application in 2 hours and immediately deliver it for field testing, it changes everything. This may of course require changes in the thinking of the organization, and establishment of innovation labs, but majority of companies are already heading to this direction.

hackathons have not been providing great value, at least in terms of actual industrial innovation. The visual app development approach may well change this.

At a time when many companies are moving to the bi-modal IT model, the democratization of the innovation process is becoming a reality. Citizen developers can finally utilize no-code or low-code approach with visual platforms to build the apps they need. According to Gartner*, a majority of B2E apps will be built by business analysts and citizen developers in a couple of years down the road. The only way this will ever happen is through visual tools like AppGyver Composer.
Generally speaking, hackathons have not been providing great value, at least in terms of actual industrial innovation. The visual app development approach may well change this. When everyone in an event, from professional developers to technical office workers can build a working application within a couple of hours, it only requires a good idea to build something truly meaningful. Visual app development tools are the best way to run hackathons, both inside and outside the organization.

10. Saving Resources

Many of the reasons listed in this white paper directly point to resource savings. While application development speed and the ability to develop mobile applications in-house (instead of outsourcing) provide direct resource and monetary savings, there are many aspects that indirectly save organization’s resources.

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The two most costly outcomes of any app development project are failure in project delivery and failure in user adoption. Failure in project delivery is just money wasted. Failure in user adoption leaves the benefits on the table. Both of these risks are addressed and minimized with visual app development platforms like AppGyver Composer. Projects can be delivered more successfully due to increased iteration speed and the re-usability of code. User adoption is also increased by being able to respond to customer feedback and implement necessary changes faster. Finally, built-in features that increase the app quality and assure UI familiarity reduce the risk of low adoption even further.

Traditional methods of coding apps can bring about even more indirect costs, all of which can be avoided by using visual app development platforms:

  • Citizen developers don’t have the capability to identify and implement solutions end-to-end themselves, leading to missed innovations and optimizations in core processes

  • Core applications are more likely to have security failures during the roll-out phase, and reacting to them will substantially hinder the organizational processes

  • The chaos that builds up when a new operating system with breaking changes to core device APIs or WebViews is introduced can freeze a whole development organization for months

The most important resource saving aspect of visual app development comes from actually being able to timely deliver the applications that the organization wants to build. The world is changing at an ever-increasing speed, thanks to new technology advancements enabled by previous ones. The only way for companies to stay competitive is to keep innovating and executing on the digital front. Visual app development tools are in the core of being successful in this effort.

Conclusion

While visual app development tools have been around in one form or another for decades, the complexities of mobile app development makes it obvious that without visual app development tools, companies are not able to move forward in their digitalization and mobilization efforts fast enough.

Older generation visual app development platforms have failed to deliver, and so many organizations and IT managers have good reason to be sceptical about visual low-code platforms. As the technology and technological challenges around us keep moving faster, so does technology maturity in terms of visual development.

We’ve seen thousands of organizations move from outsourcing and traditional development methods to our visual app development platform, and they are not planning to go back. The benefits provided by the combination of fully visual app development and smart code-level extendability are way too numerous for any organization to pass the opportunity.

We believe that 2016 is the year when a large amount of organizations will start to seriously adopt visual development platforms for their enterprise app projects. They will be able to deliver higher quality apps faster, making rapid execution of their business digitalization strategy a reality.

The ones at the forefront of this change will be the winners. Others will see their competitors drive past them with disruptive innovations, streamlined business processes and unprecedented opportunities for employees to solve the problems closest to them.

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