Low-Code Solution Areas: Power Your Business Processes
In IT, there is a myth that new technology can suddenly improve an organization. In reality, digital transformation requires strategic planning and implementation in order to be successful. If approached correctly, organizations can leverage the full potential of next-gen technology to transform business processes and increase productivity and cost-savings. No other technology currently does the work of digital transformation better than low-code, which excels at powering business processes ranging from simple and structured to complex, unstructured, and ad hoc.
It’s no secret that low-code supports innovation. In a survey by Harvard Business Review, hundreds of global executives saw the primary benefit of low-code as “encouraging business professionals and business process managers to be more involved in innovation and idea generation.” Leadership involvement is key to successful transformation, as without a clear vision and execution, organizations can become stagnant focusing their most valuable IT resources on the maintenance of legacy systems while new technology falls to the wayside. With the right low-code tools and organizational focus, businesses can build the readiness to tackle any obstacle.
Why low-code? For one, low-code is instrumental to digitizing just about any business process. In Forrester’s Q1 2020 Global Digital Process Automation Survey, more than half of business development leaders and IT professionals reported using or planning to use low-code for automating their digital processes. This includes verticals like customer relationship management (CRM), as evidenced by the popularity of low-code CRM platforms Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, and even complex mission-critical (core) business processes. As Forrester analysts John Bratincevic and John Rymer note, “[l]ow-code core projects target key services and processes more than record keeping, and already meet core app requirements” in areas such as scalability and cost.
While low-code is not yet suited for every area of software development, there’s not an area in business that low-code can’t improve, granted you are employing the right tools. Case management, operations, and digital process automation may have the most to benefit from low-code technology as new applications often share the same core functions such as workflow, automation and rules, a responsive UI, content management, and more. That’s why low-code platforms now dominate the case management market, powering just about every industry, from finance and insurance to healthcare and even justice and law enforcement. A well-built platform with the right tools in place can enable rapid development and delivery of business applications, accomplishing the IT goals of the organization and realizing fast and measurable digital transformation.
Let’s take a look at eCase, the low-code digital process automation platform. Through visual drag-and-drop tools and block-based coding, eCase excels in automating business processes with unique rules and regulations, such as governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), open government, contract lifecycle management, Freedom of Information (FOIA) request processing, and more. Through our visual and block-based app designers, we have been able to simplify the app development process, rapidly deploying prototypes for a wide number of areas, including a full suite of human resources (HR) applications. The success of our platform can be seen in the wide range of processes we have been able to automate, from simple to complex and structured to ad-hoc. Figure 1 demonstrates the range of commercial-of-the-shelf applications we have already built, although we are constantly building custom apps for a number of other processes.
Through our low-code approach, applications built on eCase can easily adapt to changes in an organization. In the U.S. federal government for example, this means that the traditional five-year period of performance can be retired, as our apps are configured to leverage the iterative improvements, features, and functions of newer technologies. We have already demonstrated this in building electronic discovery and AI functionalities into our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) processing solution. Unlike traditional apps bound by coding languages, eCase apps never run the risk of becoming legacy software. Digital transformation is a seamless and continuous process, rather than the looming nightmare it has become for some organizations.
Of course, government agencies don’t often carry the same priorities of commercial organizations, as their purchasing and functionality requirements are vastly different. But despite the “legacy mindsets” of many government agencies, they are catching on to the necessity of implementing next-gen technology like low-code. Government leadership has begun to realize that in order to mitigate the “risk of failures” that comes from reliance on legacy systems, it is sometimes necessary to temporarily increase budgets and cost to migrate to new technology. In doing so, they will experience great cost-savings and output in the long-term.
Consider, for example, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on organizations across the world. The pandemic “triggered a massive shift” in the adoption of low-code platforms for their ease-of-use by business experts, as well as their compatibility with cloud and web-based environments. Organizations, and especially government agencies, which already deployed low-code technology saw a seamless transition to remote work despite the abrupt change. Organizations that focused on maintenance of legacy systems saw upheaval—while organizations with digital and low-code tools in place were able to maintain continuity of operations, even improving on existing systems remotely.
What this means for the future is that if organizations wish to truly transform their processes and stay ahead of IT trends, leadership must get on board with focusing resources on the tools that work. The low-code market is only growing, supporting innovation and digital transformation. With low-code as the future of technology, the retirement of legacy apps may someday no longer be necessary, as systems could simply evolve and grow.