Low-Code, the accelerator of digital transformation

Josep Lorente

Expert Engineer in VR at NTT DATA

In a world where agility and innovation are key to success, traditional software development has been challenged by the need to create applications faster and more efficiently. It is in this context that low-code platforms emerge, a type of tool that accelerates the creation of applications.

Traditional methods of software development, based on manual coding, tend to be slow, costly, and complex, requiring teams of expert and specialized developers.
This can limit access to technology for many companies, especially small and medium-sized ones. In contrast, low-code platforms offer a new paradigm, allowing users with basic technical knowledge to develop functional and robust applications more accessible and efficiently.

In this article, we will explore exactly what these types of platforms are, their main characteristics, different use cases, and finally, the opportunities they present today.

From scratch: Basic concepts of low-code platforms


Low-code development platforms are tools that employ a highly visual interface, with simple and intuitive interactions that allow non-expert users in programming to gather logical components to build complex experiences.

Using an analogy with Lego pieces, a low-code platform provides the user with small blocks, each with very specific functionality and designed to interact and fit together with other blocks. In this way, from these basic pieces, it is possible to create complex and completely different constructions.

These blocks already contain pre-programmed logic using classic programming languages and with an interface that allows creating sequences by emulating the way you would describe that sequence in natural language. For example, play video "X", when finished, show survey "Y", when the survey is completed, if the result is correct, show the message "Correct!", if not, show the message "Incorrect!".

Therefore, low-code platforms simplify the application development process by providing a user-friendly and accessible experience while allowing the creation of complex solutions through the combination of predefined blocks.

Let's now take a look at their main characteristics as well as their benefits. 

Characteristics that define the future of development


Next, we delve into the distinctive qualities that make low-code platforms one of the preferred options for driving digital transformation in companies of all sizes.

Intuitive visual interfaces

These platforms typically provide intuitive visual interfaces that allow users to drag and drop predefined components from a library, making it easier to create applications without having to write code from scratch. For example, when defining workflows, users can set specific actions that will be triggered in response to certain events. That is, by tapping an object in an application, an animation can be activated, or relevant information can be displayed to the final user. Similarly, when configuring rules, users can set conditions such as "if the final user taps 'x', then show 'y'".

Reusable and predefined components

These platforms offer a library of predefined components (elements) that developers can use to quickly build applications.

Deployment tools

Low-code development platforms often facilitate the deployment of applications to different markets by integrating with hosting and cloud deployment services. This allows reaching a broader audience more quickly and consistently.

Advanced and customized development

They enable expert developers to create new components to extend their applications as needed. This may include the ability to add custom code when necessary to meet specific requirements or integrate with existing systems.

Security

These platforms must be designed with the best security practices integrated into their architecture and predefined components. This may include session management, data input validation, prevention of injection attacks, access control, and other security measures that are applied by default in applications created on the platform.
Thus, allowing users to create secure experiences without being experts in this field. To delve further into security in enterprise solutions, click here.

Maintainability

When building an application on a low-code platform, you entrust it with the responsibility of staying updated, including applying security patches and implementing new functionalities required by the market. This frees your development team from the burden of keeping up with updates, allowing them to focus on business development and delivering value to final users.

Collaboration and lifecycle

These platforms can include tools to facilitate collaboration among development teams as well as functions to manage the complete lifecycle of the application, from initial development to maintenance and continuous updates.

There are many beneficial features that these types of platforms offer. Let's now explore their potential use cases.

Real-world use cases of low-code platforms in action


There are different use cases for these types of platforms, below we mention the most common ones:

Development of mobile and web applications

Companies often use these platforms to create applications quickly and efficiently. These applications can address a variety of business needs, such as task management, inventory tracking, data collection in the field, among others.

Development of IoT (Internet of Things) applications

With the growing advancement of home automation, specialized platforms have emerged to interact with IoT devices such as sensors, tracking devices, and lighting systems. These platforms provide users with an intuitive and simple interface that allows them to easily program and control their home devices. With these tools, users can customize home automation according to their needs and preferences, thereby improving comfort and efficiency in the use of technology in their daily lives.

Proof of Concepts (POCs)

Low-code platforms offer exceptional flexibility and the ability to adapt quickly to changes. This facilitates agile and rapid development, promoting continuous iteration and collaboration among multidisciplinary teams. This agility reduces risks when experimenting with new ideas and approaches, all without requiring significant investment of time and resources.
This approach is crucial in the early stages of a project.

Immersive experiences

Using a low-code platform to develop immersive experiences offers a crucial advantage in an environment where standards and devices change rapidly. Since XR (extended reality) technologies are still emerging and lack a universal standard among devices, low-code platforms take on the responsibility of maintaining compatibility with a variety of devices and formats. This frees users from worrying about compatibility and ensures a smooth and consistent experience without requiring deep technical knowledge.

In summary, the use cases of these platforms span a wide range of business and technological applications.
Despite this, they also face challenges and opportunities. In the next section, we will explore some of these aspects.

The future of low-code platforms


Low-code platforms have the potential to democratize software development, allowing a wider range of people to contribute to technological innovation. Additionally, they offer the possibility of accelerating the time-to-market of applications and fostering greater collaboration among multidisciplinary teams, which can drive agility and competitiveness for companies in an ever-changing business environment.

Furthermore, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into low-code platforms represents an opportunity to further enhance their functionality and accessibility. These platforms are designed to simplify interaction with logical components by describing events and actions in natural language.
This means that users can create applications by expressing what they want the application to do in terms similar to human speech, rather than having to write traditional code.

AI can understand the components of the platform and their interaction, allowing the user to create complex experiences without needing to understand the technical details of individual components or how they interact with each other. This means that users can verbally dictate what they want the application to do, and AI can translate those instructions into concrete actions in the low-code platform, forming a new layer of accessibility between the user and the final application. This synergy between AI and low-code platforms opens up a world of possibilities in creating advanced applications more accessible and efficiently.

In summary, low-code platforms represent a key accelerator on the path to digital transformation. By simplifying and accelerating application development, these tools are democratizing access to technology and enabling organizations to quickly adapt to market demands.

The opportunities they offer are significant and promise a more agile, innovative, and collaborative future, allowing organizations to drive success in the digital era.

Subscribe to our newsletter


    iPhone