Author: Michelle Gardner, Appian
The benefits of using a low-code application development platform for designing and building enterprise applications are well documented. But what about after the application has been built, tested, and deployed?
Far from being the end of the story, once applications are in users’ hands, some of the most difficult work is still ahead. Upgrading, enhancing, and applying fixes are all part of the software development lifecycle. And depending on your development environment, these changes can either be time-consuming projects that keep you from more exciting and innovative work, or they can be carried out quickly and easily so as to keep processes humming and business users happy. This kind of streamlined maintenance is what you get with a low-code development platform.
Application lifecycle management is a necessary discipline for keeping business applications functioning properly. It includes a combination of regular updates consisting of enhancements, improvements, and bug fixes, and emergency deployments typically resulting from significant issues, risks, threats within the production system, and other ad hoc interventions. Whereas the updates and enhancements are scheduled and executed at set intervals—often in quarterly cadences—the ad hoc fixes are harder to plan for. This unforeseen work can strain your development team and lead to an increase in technical debt. It's therefore vital that you take advantage of every means available to streamline application lifecycle management. A low-code platform can provide just such an advantage over traditional methods of developing and maintaining your business applications.
Just as we need regular medical checkups to keep our bodies healthy and strong, enterprise software requires frequent enhancements, adaptations, and fixes to run properly and deliver the kind of functionality the business needs to operate smoothly. Without these updates, your software applications can become outdated, leading to users bypassing approved processes with workarounds and tools that are not sanctioned by your organization. This can prove detrimental if those workarounds open the organization up to security or compliance risks. Keeping the applications that support your business processes as healthy as possible is crucial—and it’s easier to do that with a low-code platform.
Keeping our physical bodies in good working order can be as easy as adding some exercise to our daily routines, improving our diet, or taking medications for chronic conditions. But quick fixes are not always possible when addressing issues within your software landscape. If your applications were built using traditional software development methods, the turnaround time and effort necessary to make enhancements and fixes could be placing an undue burden on your developers. But low-code application development, with its inherent speed and flexibility during the design and build phases of your development projects, can also bring considerable benefit to your development team when it comes to application lifecycle management.
Low-code has proven its value in helping organizations design and build enterprise applications quickly and with better alignment between the business and IT. But rapid application development is only part of the equation. A low-code tool is only truly beneficial when it can also help you maintain, update, and augment your business software just as quickly and easily as it delivered that software in the first place.
Luckily, low-code development tools excel here in much the same way they excel during the initial phases of the development cycle. Though the maintenance steps for applications within your low-code environment are much the same as the steps needed in a high-code environment, the amount of work required is significantly less. This reduction in work impacts several different areas:
Nothing lasts forever—not even the most future-proof technology. But you can maximize the lifetime of your business applications when you build and maintain them on a low-code application development platform. You'll not only enjoy faster development cycles, but the time and effort involved in keeping your applications running smoothly and delivering the capabilities required by the business will be negligible when compared to managing the application lifecycle for hard-coded software solutions.
Low-code makes application lifecycle management easier. Learn how your projects can be faster, easier, and more successful when DevOps is combined with low-code.
Date: October 17, 2022