Two people building a tower out of wooden blocks

The desire for individual software solutions or apps often creates challenges in companies. Resources are lacking, too many different applications create silos, or software is used as „shadow IT“ without IT approval.

For this reason, low code platforms are increasingly being provided as part of CRM and marketing automation systems in order to meet individual requirements without the need for programming knowledge.

What is a low code platform?

„Low code“, i.e. something like „low-threshold code“ (sometimes also „no code“) describes a simplification of the processes that are actually needed in app development. During development, the user interface is designed to skip the programming language and instead provide visual options, workflows and drag & drop possibilities.

The goal is to enable users to create apps without having to write them in code. Programming building blocks are offered to make it easier to combine them to create a variety of apps. This includes internal apps to optimize workflows, but also apps for customers or to „slim down“ outdated applications and processes.

Users of low code platforms are often referred to as „power users“. In the classic Wikipedia definition, power users are users in IT who have special knowledge compared to „average“ users and/or use systems very heavily and frequently.

Within the low code context, however, power users can also be described as system or platform users who are very familiar with the system functionalities in their field and have a high demand for individual solutions. For internal IT, by the way, a low code platform is less of a replacement or competition for IT work, but rather relieves the burden on teams and increases compliance. Integrated low code platforms allow for a healthy development of apps without large decision chains and additional expenses due to individual requirements. They also reduce the probability that unauthorized apps pose risks to data protection or compliance (keyword: shadow IT).

Shadow IT: when employees seek their own solutions

„Shadow IT“ refers to the use of apps by employees outside the control of corporate IT. This is often done out of a need to optimize processes or to fulfill them in the first place. Since the decision chain from the need to an approved application is often long and has several obstacles for various reasons (such as data protection requirements or compatibility with other systems to avoid data silos). Therefore, employees often secretly implement their own software applications that they pick up from the net.

However, this increases the risk of handling sensitive data, for example. Company standards are not adhered to and data silos are created that are beyond the control of the company’s IT. Since these applications are often used in isolation from other systems, the number of decentralized data records and processes increases.

Examples of low code platforms

Well-known low code platforms are for example Appian, Zoho Creator or mendix. However, environments such as Microsoft Power Apps or Salesforce App Cloud should be particularly exciting for companies. Their apps can be seamlessly integrated into the existing systems of these providers and thus extend functionalities, whether for the entire team, the company or individual users.

Advantages of low code platforms:

  • Users have more influence on apps
  • Processes can be automated faster
  • High individualization of applications and processes
  • More diversity in app development/diversity (users think differently than developers)
  • Flexible reaction to new developments/requirements
  • More room for experiments
  • Stronger know-how of processes
  • Agile app development (basic building block through low code, further development potential through internal IT)
  • Reduced development costs through less effort in the first step
  • Potential to develop and test multi-value apps for customers before going into „professional“ production
  • Development of new product/service groups

Flexibility through low code

One could argue that any new system comes with a requirements catalog that should take into account all necessary needs of the users. But our work is developing faster and in shorter cycles. Customers change communication channels, measurement figures are exchanged, information gains or loses relevance in the customer cycle.

What was important for the implementation of a software does not necessarily lose its necessity. But new requirements and ideas are constantly being added which is a positive development. After all, we want processes, methods and strategies to evolve. But this development also means that new needs arise.

It is therefore only natural, that many companies want to implement a standardized system that is adaptable in order to be able to respond to the many individual requirements of their own industry, customers and employees. And Low Code makes exactly that possible.

Find out how you can make use of Power Apps with a smart platform that gives you the right sales, marketing and service tools. 

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