So, what’s standing between large enterprises and big-time digital innovation? A Forrester Research survey of 254 IT leaders and business-line decision makers found out that nearly 74 percent blame their inability to act as quickly as their business requires. Whereas, lack of technical skills or knowledge came second at 65 percent.
Low-code development touches both these issues. Bringing IT and business leaders together to draw—rather than code—new apps, low-code development lets you build applications up to 20 times faster—and measure the results, performance, and impact.
We recently interviewed Amit Kumar, Director of Pega Practice with Evoke Technologies in a candid Q&A session and received some interesting insights on how Enterprises can embrace Low-Code Development to accelerate digital innovation. Scroll down to read from his views on this emerging technology.
Q1. What are the 3 key reasons why enterprises must embrace Low-code development?
- Low-code enables teams to Develop Collaboratively by involving non-technical citizen developers. This also helps in keeping IT teams lean and focused on more innovative and complex tasks.
- It also facilitates Rapid development that meets the business’s ever-changing requirements, enables continuous innovation, cuts time and ensures shorter development cycles. Additionally, it makes sure that business need not send every new development request to IT.
- Low-code helps developers keep abreast of new technologies which become available when these get added to the LCDP. These technologies are particularly easy to understand for using visual models and tools–which would otherwise require extensive training. So, basically Low-code development can help bridge the skill gap as well.
Q2. Gartner predicts that market demand for app development will grow at least five times faster than IT’s capacity to deliver through 2021. In what ways opting for Low-code app dev platforms will help companies to overcome this demand and skill supply mismatch?
Well, Low-code Development Platforms (LCDPs) will definitely help overcome this demand and supply mismatch, simply because they enable a much faster time-to-market. The platform will offer model-driven development, visual tools, integration wizards, rich UI, functional libraries and much more that makes development really fast. Moreover, it will allow the citizen developers to take the lead in majority in most of the scenarios, if this development with the core IT is focusing on more complex problems. The LCDPs allow teams to have much faster development cycles or iterations, right from building the MVP till the later development–all with quick demos and feedbacks from the customer keeping everything on track.
Q3. Is it not true that an app developed through Low-code platform may not as appealing as the one built using the traditional software development process?
Well this depends on who is working on or reviewing the app. For an end user it doesn’t matter which platform was used to build the app. In fact, what matters are things like good UX, Application performance, and whether he or she is able to accomplish the task they want to do on the website. I do not see any reason why LCDPs cannot be as appealing.
Let’s take an example of Pega UI: Cool template based responsive UI can be built using OOTB components and if you prefer to use other UI frameworks such as React and Angular, you can leverage open APIs to dynamically use Pega design capabilities.
Likewise, if you are an enterprise architect reviewing your latest application built on a LCDP, what may gain your interest will be the scalability, design, and security aspects of the application and also whether it is built on a platform that is ready to support the latest technology trends. I mean, it would definitely appeal to an enterprise architect that the client-managed instances of Pega Infinity are designed for Kubernetes OOTB. So, the clients who deploy Pega Infinity in public, private, or hybrid clouds can leverage a fully containerized version of the platform.
Finally, for a business director or someone from the business team, it will definitely appeal to see the application being developed six times faster than conventional development. Additionally, business stakeholders will be kept at the centre of everything right from DCO sessions to customer demo’s to becoming citizen developers themselves. I do not see any reason why the application and the development process will seem disagreeable to them.
Q4. Most enterprises fear of lack of customizations and so do not opt Low-code. Does it hold true?
Well, I don’t think that is the case anymore. Sophisticated Low-code platforms such as Pega provide pretty much all the necessary components to ensure customization is not required. OOTB features are available for various Integrations following industry-specific protocols, support for latest security guidelines, UI controls, integration with document repositories, social media, latest customer channels and so on. And in case, if you still need to build something customized, that will also be taken care of.
Now, coming back to the example of UI development in the latest Pega version which is planned to be released in Q1 2020. It allows you to leverage the React JS based Pega UI framework that utilizes OOTB DX API and lets your frontend team build custom UIs which integrate with your Pega application using the API. In simpler words, with Pega, you really don’t need to worry about customizations.
Q5. How to choose the right low-code platform for your enterprise needs?
Well, it depends on what you want to achieve through the platform. Is it just for building an app solving a specific business problem or whether the low code platform will play a much larger role in your enterprise software landscape?
However, in either case, there are some pointers to help you finalize your decision. The best low-code development platforms must offer:
- Great user experience
- Model-driven development, reusability, and futuristic capabilities
- Visual Tools, Drag and Drop support for both citizen developers and IT
- Flexible Cloud support
- Integration Capabilities
- OOT components for details like RPA, Agility, DevOps, etc.
- Product support and training
Q6. How to choose the right Pega Implementation Partner?
Choosing your Pega implementation partner can be a challenging task unless you are very clear in your mind about your expectations from the partner. I can recommend some basic factors that you must consider while finalizing your vendor.
- Don’t hurry. Somethings do take time and that’s how it is. The vendor may be a big service provider, a medium-sized company or a small player–all are okay, as long as you are the getting the work done as per your expectations.
- Keep in mind a few aspects that you can validate. What sort of engagement model does the vendor provide and is it flexible enough for you? Or the type of onshore/offshore team structure the vendor maintains and details about overlap between the teams.
- Make sure the vendor is having a good practice or labs setup and can adapt to the changing product. Or if the partner can provide support, training and maintenance on as and when needed?
- How equipped is the implementation partner on various Pega frameworks and technologies? If they have an RPA team, any experience on customer service, marketing, DevOps, etc.? Check if they have an in-house QA Team as well. Simply put, just ensure that the partner can be trusted for your digital transformation journey for not just the immediate project, but also for your plans for the next 3-5 years.
- Another aspect is communication which requires you to talk in detail about all your requirements. Ensure that the partner is asking the right questions. Remember, that in case of any doubts, you can ask them to do a quick POC before the entire project can be handed over.
- Remember to discuss and finalize the KPIs that they would measure and make sure they are as per your expectations.
- Most importantly, get a market feedback and verify the background and credentials. If still in doubt, checkout their company details/certification stack on Pega.com. Hear it from the people on what they have to say about the company’s culture. Your Pega implementation partner must be able to support you by contributing to your success by working as a software partner and not just as your Pega service provider.
How Evoke Technologies can help your organization take the Low-code plunge?
It’s true that a low-code approach to development can create enterprise software faster. However, merely adopting a new platform doesn’t automatically guarantee results. What you need in addition to a seamless low-code platform is the right BPM implementation partner. A partner who not only deploys your BPM projects but will be your trusted partner to guide you on your broader digital transformation vision.
As a trusted Pega Implementation Partner, Evoke Technologies does all that and more with a suite of strong technical skills, project management experience, availability of needed resources at the right time. The cutting-edge Pega-based BPM solutions that we implement help address key business challenges of the enterprises across the globe to provide omni-channel experiences and create superior next-gen customer engagement.
Want to learn more about our low-code’s potential for top-priority enterprise applications and key recommendations? Get in touch.
Director of Pega Practice in Evoke Technologies, Amit Kumar is experienced in running Customer Centre of Excellence (COE), customer engagement, architecture and design, project deliveries, Pega sales, and marketing campaigns for multiple markets. Being a Certified LSA and having a keen interest in Pega Decisioning, AI and RPA, helps him identify and understand customer bottlenecks and propose innovative solutions that enhance customer ROI.