The low-code movement is as old as the term âcomputer programmingâ. In 1951, Grace Hopper developed the first compiler. This was one of the first movements towards the use of âless codeâ. Before that, however, educating computers was quite a demanding task. It started with changing physical gears to perform calculations in Charles Babbage’s difference engine. Then in 1942, the US government replaced that with ENIAC, which used presets and rewired switches (electrical signals).
Subsequently, in 1945, John Von Neumann, director of the electronic computer project at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, proposed two concepts that would play an important role in the development of modern programming languages. These were the âshared program techniqueâ and the âconditional transfer of controlâ.
Based on these concepts, the first computer language for electronic devices – the shortcode language – was born in 1949. However, developers needed to manually change their declarations to binary, 1s and 0s, which computers could. understand. It was then that Grace Hopper’s compiler opened the door to faster programming.
On the contrary, all of this only proves that developers have sought to disregard their ideas in higher level languages ââsince the beginning of programming. However, it was only with the explosive growth of the Internet that the need for application development at breakneck speed increased. Companies were looking for languages ââeasy enough to facilitate this. What we call âlow-codeâ is the last iteration of this path to a higher abstraction.
The beginnings of “Low-Code”
Forrester coined the term âlow-codeâ in 2014 to describe platforms focused on developing simple, high-quality, and faster applications. Despite this, you would be surprised to find that the beginning of modern low-code dates back to tools created in the 90s and early 2000s.
In his 1982 book, Application development without programmers, James Martin spoke about the shrinking talent pool of programmers. He wrote at the time that “computers in the future must be put to work, at least in part, without programmers.”
Fast forward to the 1990s. Tools such as Visual Basic, Delphi, and Oracle Forms became popular because they allowed users to visually assemble desktop applications. In addition, the rapid development of applications, RAD, began to gain momentum. Other tools have also offered solutions to the growing demand for new applications.
While the first RAD concept focused less on requirements and more on an iterative approach, true modern, low-code platforms, like Visual LANSA, have emerged from this cohort of development tools.
What industries are using low-code today?
The software development industry is the obvious candidate for using weak code. This is especially true given that the low-code concept itself arose out of the need to speed up application development. Most software developers are skeptical about this, however, as they fear that no-code, low-code tools will one day take their job.
Of course, this is far from true!
For many years, software development teams have known only one way to achieve their goals. This path is âtraditionalâ development. This method often involves elaborate and complex processes. What that doesn’t imply is agility. Agility is a critical prerequisite for success in today’s environment, especially when companies are constantly looking for innovations to improve workflow and delivery.
As a result, no software development team has time for elaborate processes. Therefore, low-code development platforms allow developers to accelerate the development of high-quality products and ultimately increase productivity, not replace them.
That said, many software development teams have increased their efficiency and performance by using low-code for internal applications, tools used within an organization to facilitate business operations.
According to research, the average employee uses about eight apps. This value increases more than 10 times in large companies. Development teams continually create in-house applications to enable seamless workflows in today’s rapidly changing technological environments. Since low code offers speed at low cost, many companies in the software development industry use it to ensure efficiency. Teams need to devote valuable development time to profit centers rather than cost centers within the company.
E-commerce is a perfect candidate for low-code. Indeed, a wide range of companies share similar requirements.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in many ways. It introduced a new necessity in the e-commerce industry – that of quickly adapting to constant changes in the market. E-commerce is no longer a means of gaining a competitive advantage, but a prerequisite for survival. The drastic decline in physical activity in stores means that e-commerce brands must deliver quality online customer experiences. They can only do this by quickly adapting to the changing needs of consumers. Therefore, low-code is a handy tool for e-commerce brands who need to quickly create easy-to-manage online solutions that enhance customer-brand interaction.
In addition to selling products, the e-commerce industry is constantly pursuing digital transformation to ensure maximum efficiency. Some of these processes include order fulfillment, mobile tracking, and customer management. To achieve this cost-effectively, companies rely on low-code platforms.
Most new businesses start with low-code first and develop software after they establish their business model. This is great because it avoids wasting time in the market when the founders haven’t actually created the end product. Even software-focused businesses are built that way. A good example is the Lambda School coding bootcamp. This was created without any code and without low code tools. He made millions and had developers on his staff before they even started coding.
Existing businesses increasingly want to be digitally ready, agile, data-driven and market first. This is especially true after the pandemic. The adoption of low-code tools has exploded in many businesses today as CIOs now focus on being pioneers rather than followers. They adapt quickly to changes in the business with solutions that stand out. Since this is what low-code offers, most companies use it for digital transformations.
The education sector is the fourth low-code candidate on this list. Teachers and education administrators have started building their tools as politics within schools and school districts only allow for improvements at a frosty pace.
With most governments urging schools to reopen under strict COVID-19 guidelines, institutions also face tremendous pressure to safely coordinate staff and students. Most are turning to low-code to build quick websites or platforms that help assess a student’s COVID 19 status. The University of South Florida is a good example. It relied on a low-code platform to develop its âCampusPassâ site, where it centrally manages the health and safety of the entire establishment.
Additionally, low-code allows those closest to education to create and modify tools in real time, quickly reducing delivery and development times and costs.
Banking and finance
The banking and financial industries both suffer from terrible user experiences. Large, monolithic and difficult to separate systems are the root cause. Both industries, however, use low-code to eliminate these monoliths by offering smaller applications.
The banking and financial industries also see low-code solutions as a way to deliver a better customer experience and meet customer demand. The need for financial institutions to develop internal solutions continues to increase and low-code solutions are helping in this regard. In a recent SalesForce survey, 96% of IT managers said they couldn’t maintain traditional coding given today’s demand for applications.
A good example of low-code in banking and finance is Academy Bank in Kansas City. IT staff there developed an in-house application that reduced their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) process to five hours using a low-code platform.
Additionally, banks that have struggled to keep up with the changes induced by COVID 19 are turning to low-code platforms to ensure rapid adaptation to future changes.
This post was submitted by the LANSA team. Learn more about transforming your organization using low-code. Check out Virtual LANSA today and find out how we can kickstart your business process development.
Featured Image: Joan Gamell, Unsplash.