NATARAJAN: How to develop a low-code strategy for your business

To facilitate effective collaboration, Creator gives organisations the power to assign roles to users and grant them access to information that's relevant to their jobs. PHOTO/ ZOHO CORP

By Veerakumar Natarajan

Over the past two years, almost every industry has experienced rapid digitisation. The speed of transformation has been so significant that one-time market leaders were suddenly left scrambling to catch up with trends, or modernise their internal operations and systems, to meet customer demands.

Traditional methods of developing consumer and internal applications take time and usually demand extensive developer resources. In a world where businesses need to be agile to stay competitive while budgets are constrained, that can be difficult to justify. Fortunately, low-code/no-code (LCNC) development platforms provide organisations a way to rapidly build applications that run on any device without having to write endless lines of code.

Understanding low-code/no-code and its benefits

Essentially, LCNC platforms provide a development environment for building applications through a graphical user interface. With snippets of pre-built code, or a simple drag-and-drop system, they allow people with little to no programming experience to build custom web/mobile applications. However, it’s crucial to take the time to identify the most effective LCNC platform for your business, before diving head first into app building.  

The benefits of LCNC platforms are obvious, especially for IT teams, who can now develop applications faster and with fewer errors than they could with traditional coding. Because LCNC platforms provide standard components such as forms, report templates, and ready-to-use code snippets, months of development time can be saved. And since these platforms eliminate some of the more complex aspects of the application development process (such as creating frameworks and linking databases), they empower people across the organisation to get involved in application development and bring their business ideas to fruition, without having to depend on IT assistance.

Zoho Creator, Zoho’s low-code platform, aims to facilitate efficient app development and effective collaboration. It uses pre-built integrations to connect with hundreds of systems and cloud services to make app development quicker and easier. Organisations can seamlessly integrate Creator with other Zoho applications and third-party platforms, like QuickBooks, Zapier, and PayPal. To facilitate effective collaboration, Creator gives organisations the power to assign roles to users and grant them access to information that’s relevant to their jobs. Role-based access controls help ensure that the application development process is both streamlined and secure.

Now that digital transformation has become an ongoing imperative for most businesses, agility and collaboration are critical. Our research shows that 40% of organisations are involving their business teams in their digital transformation processes. This indicates a growing understanding that digital transformation affects the whole business—not just IT teams.

Things to remember when implementing LCNC strategies for your business

First, and potentially most important, your business must know what to look for in LCNC platforms. Besides the visual modelling and drag-and-drop interfaces that make these platforms easier to use, your LCNC platform should be secure. It should have the required security framework certifications in place and espouse data confidentiality measures. You should work hard to avoid using software that potentially opens the door to hackers.

Your LCNC platform should be equipped for multi-device deployment (meaning that you only have to create an app once for it to be accessible on any device), and scalability so you can add more users to your application as your organisation grows.

Once you’ve identified the right platform, it’s time to start cross-organisational planning for the digital experiences your organisation will provide, and the ways low-code can be leveraged to create those experiences. Remember, one of the major strengths of a good low-code platform is that it allows for collaboration. People across the organization need to be exposed to the platform so they understand what it can do for them.

The time is now

With the world in the midst of an unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation, there has never been a better time for your organisation to adopt an LCNC strategy. It’s critical, however, that you combine the right platform with a plan that helps your entire business reap the benefits of a low-code strategy. This is the best way to put your organisation at the head of the pack.

Veerakumar Natarajan is the Country Manager – Kenya, Zoho Corporation

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