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The benefits low-code platforms bring to enterprise business software are wide-ranging: faster innovation; greater flexibility to meet the demands of the hybrid workforce; more effective and impactful use of IT and developer resources. Of course, these only represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the opportunities low-code offers an organization.

100% of enterprises that have deployed a LC/NC platform have experienced some measure of ROI, be it by extending the lifespan of legacy software or by improving cross-departmental collaboration. In fact, the benefits are so clear that of the 500 million new applications that will be built in the coming years, 90% of them will be developed with low-code. In fact, by 2025, investments in these platforms (and the category-at-large) will be in excess of $45 billion.

The legacy of the future 

No matter how far along an organization might be in its digital transformation, there are likely to be some legacy solutions either too essential or too entrenched to be replaced. Some enterprises turn to low-code apps as a means of extending the life of these systems by building easier-to-use UIs, new functions, or workflows to automate maintenance processes. Low-code platforms offer a way to quickly and securely innovate around legacy systems without requiring employee upskilling or operational disruption.   

Of course, no legacy system will last forever. This is where LC/NC can drive transformations beyond speed or productivity. In some cases, legacy apps are actually limiting business opportunities and preventing broader DX initiatives from taking hold. This can result in high maintenance costs and accumulation of excess technical debt. For organizations looking to improve their digital UX, LC/NC apps can bring a streamlined, and consistent, way for customers to engage with the brand.  

Bringing down overhead

Operational streamlining is an easy goal to reach for with low-code apps, particularly in business process management (BPM). In virtually every organization, BPM continues to include some manual, and even paper-based, elements. Whether it's by offering comparative analysis or by "rubber-stamping" approvals, BPM is an area where low-code can help speed up and scale digital transformation initiatives.

LC/NC platforms can help employees at all levels of technical savvy to optimize core processes. This might mean apps for transactional functions like capturing or entering data, or for CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) reporting. With workflows that can be built with a drag-and-drop UI, LC tools allow teams to identify and solve inefficiencies in real time, reducing downtime, need for IT support, and maintenance costs.  

But the biggest value LC/NC bring to operational DX is that it facilitates connections between disparate systems and SaaS apps. Once-impossible connections can now be deployed at scale. Beyond improving security compliance, or offering a more standardized customer experience, LC/NC can power the creation of a centralized data pool. And centralized data is better data: it's easier to access, it's more accurate, and it offers a far greater ROI.

Fostering agile innovation

Almost half of all IT projects fail to meet their timelines. This can be due to several contributing factors, but insufficient IT resources account for more than half of project delays. And while a single change in software or processes is unlikely to provide a complete solution, the introduction of an LC/NC platform can offer widespread benefits not just for the IT project, but for the organization's overall agility.

Agile enterprises are characterized by a culture of innovation. Fostering this culture entails offering employees spaces that allow them to ideate, experiment, and collaborate in order to reach faster, better solutions. LC/NC platforms offer ways for teams outside of IT to build apps by drawing from a library of trusted and tested objects and components.

Low-code offers unsurpassed agility and speed for those creating solutions to common IT development and deployment issues. LC/NC platforms can profoundly reduce development time: while traditional app development approaches can require anywhere from six months to two years, the typical low-code app is ready in months, weeks, or even days.

Putting an end to shadow IT

Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to widespread adoption of low-code solutions is the worry that these apps might open an enterprise to new security or compliance risks. It's easy to put these fears to rest; LC/NC platforms are designed to accommodate finely-grained authorization and access permissions, and to provide access to a centralized library of tested and secured components.

LC platforms include customizable guardrails and automated governance that IT teams can monitor from a central console. This allows for quick identification of trouble spots, whether they're the result of backend bugs, integration failures, or user error. Of course, these platforms benefit IT teams in other ways, helping ensure a more consistent, better maintained code-base. This means faster, more secure and less error-prone app-building down the line.

Shadow IT, or ad-hoc tech solutions built by teams without input or approval from an organization's IT department, can quickly short-circuit the chances of successful DX. It's the result of business users who needed to streamline their workflows or fill in gaps between existing apps, so they tried to solve the issue themselves. Unsurprinsgly, this type of stealth development has the potential to create far more harm than help. By deploying LC/NC platforms, organizations can leverage these users' skill and motivation to build compliant apps that will safely expand software capabilities, instead of undermining organizational security.  

Meeting the challenges of tomorrow 

No enterprise can be entirely safeguarded from disruption. But low-code platforms are one way to ensure that manual workflows or decentralized data aren't causing avoidable production delays. Increased process visibility makes for more agile, adaptable organizations that are better at identifying and mitigating risks. And the subsequent savings in time and money can make it possible to bring new products and features to market faster.

The faster innovation and tailored solutions that LC/NC can provide are beneficial to customer and employee experiences alike. Challenges in cross-departmental collaborations are often the result of poor communication practices and misunderstanding about what IT can and can't do. LC helps reduce some of this friction, bringing stakeholders into a workspace that encourages experimentation and innovation.

LC/NC leverages the development skills of non-IT employees, while producing efficiency gains for organizational IT and freeing up developers to work on more complex projects. For organizations looking to drive DX, these platforms offer a safe, secure way to centralize and maximize data, while also empowering enterprises to meet the demands of the evolving technological landscape.    

Zoho offers a suite of intelligent enterprise business software, including an award-winning CRM suite, the industry's only comprehensive analytics and BI platform, and a powerful low-code development ecosystem.