It seems that the 2020 year will remain in our memories. It will be a tough time for everybody. Today is April 13th, according to statistics 1,9 millions of people have been affected by COVID-19 virus. Four weeks ago I was planning to visit the USA, finalise WROC# conference and work on Global Azure event. None of those plans has been realised.
Instead of that, I am helping to fight with COVID-19 and working fully remotely for three weeks right now. I am not alone. Most of the companies that could move their business to the remote area did the same. We have observed an increase in the usage of cloud environments – e. g. Azure consumption increased by 775%.
In the background, our government started to close different types of services. It began from restaurants and later moved to other areas. It forced some of them to adjust in a very fast way, without doing that it could mean that they could not survive.
Do you think those companies have their IT systems prepared for such a situation? – Definitely not!
Please try to think for a few minutes about the project that you are working on. Can you estimate changes that are needed to be implemented to help your customer to survive a crisis? When will they be ready?
In those tough times, we need to be pragmatic, deliver application very fast and also try to use non- standard approaches.
Have you ever heard about low-code?
This is an approach that we are delivering application buy building them from predefined components. It is like building a castle from Lego blocks. It can bring you a lot of fun when you can see how fast you can deliver your project – instead of months, you can think about days or weeks. Please grab a coffee and try one of those platforms (Mendix, OutSystems, PowerApps, …)
I would prefer to encourage you to learn about them in better times.
Right now, those platforms can save your business. With low code, you can:
- develop application faster with lower costs
- deliver business value in a very short period
- adopt your solution to your business
- reduce the total cost of ownership
- provide proof of concepts more quickly and allow to make decisions quicker.
Those features can be beneficial in the present COVID-19 situation.
A lot of people can be very sceptical about low code, especially developers. During last few weeks I took part in projects that deliver applications that helped in a fight with COVID-19 issues (it has been done in one day), tracking packages in the warehouse (delivered in weeks) and helping careers (delivered in 20 weeks instead of a whole year). Each time we managed to reduce delivery time significantly.
Try to look for more public examples. New York city built and launched a coronavirus crisis-management platform in less than 72 hours. The same platform can be adjusted to any other town and go live in less than in 48 hours.
OutSystems decided to gather ideas that will help with a fight with COVID-19 and select the best 20 projects and help with development (see details).
You can do the same in your organisation and speed up your business process adjustment.
It can be tricky. When you ask me what can be delivered in low-code, I would say – everything. Then when we start a discussion about what should be delivered in low-code, I would answer – it depends and we should start a discussion.
In the scope of the crisis, we can think about different scenarios of usage of those platforms. We can start by using them to adjust your current processes. Just like a very quick fix that will allow to add missing value to your system, adapt to a new reality.
The next case is to build a system from scratch. Think about the situation that your business needs to be transformed into online. You do not have months or weeks. It needs to be done in days. There is no product on the market that is delivering features that you need. Low-code suits perfect for that. If you are not 100% convenience about the platform, you can treat it as a temporary solution. It will allow you to survive a crisis and buy some time for the development of application traditionally.
Also, it can be used for prototyping or for A/B testing. Your application does not have to be 100% finished. Together with low-code development speed, you can create a few version of your solution and check which one works the best. And then continue the development of the best one.
Predictions are high. Microsoft expects 500 million new apps to be built in the next half-decade. The number is higher than the total number of applications that we delivered in the last 40 years. Are we able to deliver that with traditional development? Some of the analytics are already predicting that by 2024, more than 65% of all applications will be developed in low-code platforms (Gartner).
I genuinely believe that low-code approach will not only help to adjust and survive the current crisis but also it will become a new standard in the following years.