If you were technically minded as a kid, you might have gotten one of those electronics kits for your birthday that had wires, transistors, resistors, and other electronic components embedded in blocks. To make a functioning doorbell or lie detector or AM radio, you didn’t have to be trained in advanced circuit design or spend hours or days mapping out and testing your circuits and components. You connected the blocks as in putting together a simple jigsaw puzzle, and you were ready to go.
A variation of that concept has been applied to software development, including Robotic Process Automation (RPA), with low-code/no-code technology. RPA platforms that offer that technology can help businesses in diverse industries simplify and accelerate development, increase agility, decrease related costs, and allow more people within an organization to develop their own bots with minimal or no IT assistance.
What is low code/no code?
As the name implies, “no code” means you don’t need to use code to develop software. No-code technology is well-suited for users without a technical background and who have a specific business task to be addressed. “Low code” means minimal code may be required in certain circumstances. A user can still employ low-code technology without a technical background, but some parts of the development may call for a trained developer to step in, depending on the task—the more sophisticated and personalized the task, the greater likelihood of a low-code approach will be needed.
As with the electronics kits or Legos, low code and no code incorporate the building block concept. The final product is created by combining smaller components, or visual modules, that include built-in capabilities such as existing code. A simple, user-friendly interface and easy-to-use tools with drag-and-drop functionality are often employed for low-code and no-code development. An enterprise solution may offer low code and no code to help businesses deal with the development of bots to automate simple and complex processes in a group and across the organization.
A need for low code/no code
According to Forrester, the adoption of low-code platforms alone is growing at approximately 50% annually, with the market exceeding $15 billion this year. What makes the technology so popular?
Consider what it takes to develop software with a traditional process that utilizes lines of code. First, because of the complexity involved, a trained developer is usually required for the development. And that skill level is in short supply, which can make it challenging for a business to have the resources on staff to keep up with the demand for software within an organization. Even if a business is able to hire developers, chances are the developers will be kept busy with crucial and time-sensitive projects, providing little time to develop software for individuals or groups across the enterprise. For a business attempting to scale up and achieve full digital transformation, the lack of available resources could slow down or even stall the effort.
With developers on the job, software development can still be a challenge. Traditional development can be a lengthy process involving multiple steps—sometimes taking weeks or months to complete. In addition to manual coding, those steps can include modeling the architecture and designing a wireframe before coding and, afterward, testing multiple prototypes, deploying the software, and making ongoing enhancements.
The lengthy process can affect a business’s ability to deliver software for its employees when needed to maintain or enhance productivity. If the software plays a direct role in product delivery, it could even slow down delivery, affecting customer satisfaction and a business’s market position.
The advantages of low code/no code over traditional development
As mentioned earlier, three of the most significant advantages of low code/no code are increased speed and agility and the opportunity to engage more resources, for example, citizen developers.
A low-code/no-code platform can greatly accelerate software development with capabilities including pre-built user interfaces and modules, processes, logic, and data models, and easy-to-use tools with drag-and-drop. Several steps in traditional development can be eliminated, and many manual tasks, including testing, can be automated, which can not only save time but also reduce the chance of human error.
In terms of speed, “they [low-code platforms] have the potential to make software development as much as 10 times faster than traditional methods,” states John Rymer of Forrester. In fact, it’s possible to create a software bot for a simple process in just minutes by following a few easy steps, as demonstrated in the video embedded into this article.
Able to adapt
Traditional development tends to be inflexible. Once you move beyond planning, any changes are difficult to implement and may require going back to the drawing board. With the low-code/no-code building block concept, components can be replaced without starting over if a change is required.
Opening the door for citizen development
A platform that doesn’t require users to handle lines of codes and provides simple, easy-to-use tools make software development organization. Non-technical staff, or business users, can become citizen developers, creating their own software bots with little or no training. And that means more people can help accelerate development and scale. Busy IT departments, particularly experienced developers, can be freed from some of their development tasks to focus on more complex programming issues and governance.
For every user
With its speed, agility, accessibility, and other capabilities, low-code/no-code platform. It can eliminate obstacles of traditional development to help move digital transformation. Putting low-code/no-code technology to work, users can connect the blocks to handle a range of simple to complex tasks—perhaps even to create an automated doorbell.
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About Atul Ashok
Atul Ashok is a technical marketing manager responsible for bringing out and evangelizing the practical power of the Automation Anywhere Digital Workforce platform through demos, presentations, meetups, and compelling content. His expertise and interest span cloud technologies, IoT implementation, and all things innovative.Subscribe via EmailView All Posts LinkedIn