Author: Sam Knecht, Associate Community Experience Developer, Appian
To understand what low-code is and is not, you need to understand how to apply low-code to real-world business situations. However, the amount of information out there may feel endless or overwhelming, especially for beginners. So, simply put, low-code can help businesses easily design, automate, and improve business processes to increase efficiency. At the same time, low-code empowers both inexperienced and experienced developers to design and build much faster than they would in a high-code environment.
Still, it can be hard to picture how exactly you’d use low-code in your unique business environment. The use cases and examples below should spark interest and help make the benefits of low-code tools more concrete, as you learn more or articulate the concepts to others.
[ Do you need to explain low-code to others? Read also: What is Low-Code? A Beginner’s Guide. ]
Let’s explore three specific examples of how you can use low-code to address challenges that many IT and business people encounter. Low-code helps to improve process flow, modernize legacy systems, and give problem-solving power to more people, regardless of their coding experience or lack thereof.
One of the biggest impacts that low-code tools can have on an organization’s processes is its ability to automate manual, repetitive, and mundane tasks. By automating these tasks, low-code frees up the employee to focus on work that matters. Here’s a real-world example: a company’s payroll process.
Whether it’s an outdated or ineffective payroll software program or a manual system of tracking hours, many businesses still use inefficient legacy systems for handling the payroll process. These systems require a lot of employee time and effort to track and review.
With low-code, any business can create a state-of-the-art system that is much more efficient and effective. With the click of a button, an employee can clock in and out of their job using a low-code application. The app can do the math and keep track of hours worked for that pay period, then easily calculate each employee’s total paycheck based on their hourly rate.
When a pay period is complete, low-code applications can automatically send all employee pay information for that pay period to the financial department for review, then, once approved, the app can digitally send paychecks to employees.
This solution would not only reduce human error but also give time back to the financial department to focus on more pressing challenges.
[ Want to learn more about business impacts? Read also: What Are the Benefits of Low-Code? ]
You can use low-code to build modern, easy-to-use apps that will replace legacy systems. Low-code tools let you keep track of all your data in one unified view, gather key performance indicators (KPIs), access your data on the go, and improve overall efficiency.
Take automotive companies, for example, and how they track the build progress of a vehicle as it moves down the assembly line. With outdated systems tracking the build progress, a lot of the analysis still happens through spreadsheets. And with large amounts of data, it can be difficult to navigate through the data and understand it.
Low-code tools do all the hard work for you by pulling all your data together into meaningful, centralized reports. Now, teams can more easily understand and interpret data, such as how many vehicles they are building, cycle time for the entire process, cycle times for specific operations, the most common issues or errors faced, and revenue numbers. All of these KPI metrics provide valuable business insight in an easy-to-read format. This lets employees focus their time on understanding data and acting on it to make improvements, versus wading through complex spreadsheets.
Furthermore, if you’re constantly on the go, you can access all of this data in one location from your mobile device.
Low-code gives you the power to build apps that let you do all this with just a few clicks, something that could take weeks or months with high-code development tools.
Low-code empowers all developers—whether experienced or inexperienced. As developers, we love to build. Whether it be a game, a website, or an application, we like to create solutions to problems that provide meaningful impact. Low-code makes it possible for everyone to participate in development. Even people who do not have the high-code knowledge necessary to build traditional applications can tackle problems using low-code tools.
Here’s another way many businesses and individuals use low-code: for building budgeting applications. Whether it’s an app in the app store, a financial service, or a spreadsheet, people love to use budgeting systems that provide meaningful insight into their spending and saving habits. But, there is not one perfect solution out there for everyone, as everyone’s goals are different. Low-code allows a user to create their own unique budgeting application from scratch in no time, and since it’s built to their specifications and wishes, they get exactly what they want, every time.
Low-code gives developers the power to design around their specific needs. They can use intelligent document processing (IDP) to submit a bill and extract its information. They can use robotic process automation (RPA) to scrape their transactions and find exactly what they are spending. They can also create processes to manually add, edit, or delete transactions or processes that cover repetitive tasks, such as accounting for a monthly car or rent payment.
[ Read the related article: RPA vs. AI vs. low-code. ]
From here, the developer can create powerful and interactive reporting dashboards to see how their budgeting is performing. They can see if they are over or under budget, determine the most expensive spending category, and track how spending changes over time.
All of this can be done with simple low-code tools to create a powerful application in little time. This kind of application lets the developer design and tailor around their specific wants and needs, plus practice and improve their development skills.
The power and reach of low-code continues to grow, extending far beyond what we’ve discussed here. Use these examples as a starting point for explaining low-code to others or considering using low-code in new ways.
Low-code is here to stay—so, how can you harness its power to make your day-to-day work more efficient?
[ Learn more about low-code platforms and get a framework to evaluate tools. Read our eBook: The Ultimate Low-Code Buyer’s Guide. ]
Date: December 5, 2022