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How many applications are used in your enterprise? Be it a messaging application, project management tool, virtual meeting software, or HR application, critical enterprise applications have become the lifeline of business operations.

As enterprises become more hyper-connected, the virtual workplace and marketplace has transformed into a complex ecosystem. It has become an environment that demands seamless interaction, collaboration, and communication between people, applications, and devices.

While traditional organizations are accustomed to working in silos, the age of agility is driving them to bridge these gaps. The foundation of an agile organization is about enterprise-wide collaboration, bridging silos, the autonomy of cross-functional teams, alignment with business and application strategy, and self-driven teams that focus on innovation. The agile model in theory is a great concept. Implementing the concept, however, is a challenge many enterprises find difficult to address.

To achieve enterprise agility, it helps to have a low-code platform as a part of your technology toolbox. What low-code offers is an environment that empowers teams with specialized skillsets to innovate, encourages collaboration to ensure quick turnaround time of ideas to apps, automates processes to ensure optimum resource utilization and allows for deployment at scale.

Accelerate the idea-to-app turnaround time. Accelerated application development and delivery is a primary factor in agile development. Low-code platforms provide a visual development environment, auto-generates code, enables code-customization and extensibility using prefabs, provides the flexibility for 2-way workplace sync with IDEs, and allows for complete integration with CI/CD pipelines.

Empower development teams to innovate. There is a lot of time spent by development teams in manual coding under traditional application development. With low-code application development, code is auto-generated, it is extensible and can be customized to build applications at scale. By using visual drag-and-drop features, low-code helps to build core applications, giving development teams the time to work on complex components of applications.

Create leaner and agile teams. Typically, traditional development teams are made of different types of profiles, from professional front-end developers, back-end developers, UI designers, UX experts, database developers, DevOps, to quality analysts.

By providing access to full-stack technology, low-code helps to create leaner and agile teams. You can reduce the dependency on specialists, encourage upskilling, focus on business logic and drive innovation because the low-code platform can take care of end-to-end application development and deployment.

By providing auto-code generation, integration with existing applications using smart API integration tools, auto-generation of DB schema, and auto-containerization for seamless deployment, low-code streamlines development teams, making them leaner and agile to address the hyper demands of application development.

21st century IT leaders recognize the importance of agility. At a time when the market and workplaces have moved to virtual realms, there is a greater emphasis on seamless communication, collaboration, and coordination. The premise of enterprise-grade low-code platforms is the ability to provide an environment for innovation by automating manual processes and to create leaner and agile teams by empowering them with a modern technology stack. This is why low-code has become mainstream and why it is considered to be a technology that is future-proof.

Originally published in Inspirationfeed

Enterprise needs today have become more demanding. The new sense of urgency, to evolve, to modernize and drive mobility, scalability, and flexibility has led to enterprises embracing a ‘digital first’ approach and adopting new technology extensively. While this translates to reinvention in the way of working and the use of technologies, it does not mean that every aspect of the business needs to be reinvented.

Old systems and skills, that have stood the test of time, need not be discarded altogether. Instead, upgrading systems and updating skills can help to meet new enterprise demands with old tools and can result in easier implementation and better ROI on IT investment.

A relevant example of how emerging technology is combined with conventional tools is the use of low-code platforms with traditional Java programming in application development. Twenty years on and many enterprise servers are still using the Java programming language and successfully running Java-based, mission-critical applications. The fact that Java is still being used speaks of its evolution and effectiveness in addressing enterprise demands even in the age of cloud computing and container technology.

When creating application development strategies, there is often a debate about whether low-code should be preferred over traditional Java programming. However, this is not an “either / or” decision. While low-code platforms are designed to provide core functionalities, with the help of experienced developers customization and specialized functions can be added to applications. After all, a low-code platform is ultimately built on a programming language like Java.

With low-code platforms gaining momentum, the role that traditional Java programming plays cannot be ignored. By combining old with new technologies, here’s how the micro and macro levels of application development can be covered to meet new enterprise demands.

Give developers the bandwidth to innovate

In certain application development projects, combining low-code with manual coding helps developers spend more time on complex functions. As the low-code platform can be used to create core applications rapidly, developers can focus on critical specifications to make the application rich.

Build apps that support multiple device ecosystems and operating systems

Enterprises today need to build applications that can run on different operating systems and devices. Such an ecosystem requires application development using neutral languages and coding for specific parts of the application that have distinct functionality.

Java development teams have to make an enormous effort in manual coding to create modern applications that work in dynamic environments. Here’s where low-code platforms help by enabling developers to duplicate core functions of applications that can work across devices and environments.

Ease the application maintenance process

Specifications of IT hardware and software are changing more frequently than before. As the technical requirements constantly change, relevant modifications to the code is necessary to ensure the app functions. When enterprises rely entirely on traditional Java development teams, manual changes in code makes app maintenance a tedious affair.

App maintenance can be made easier by using low-code platforms. Using visual development interfaces and modular components, low-code platforms manage and maintain applications in the backend giving enterprises the time to focus on the design and critical functions of the application.

Streamline the application deployment process

Deployment of applications is a complex process because every line of code needs to be tested in a lab environment, and trials to ensure multiple app instances function in specific configurations needs to be conducted. Testing before deployment requires intensive manual programming and its complexity makes it a time-consuming process.

With pre-built modules, low-code platforms help to test app functionality before their release. With the actual development and production environment accessible in a cloud ecosystem, testing and deployment using low-code is simpler and faster.

To optimally utilise the skills and experience of development resources, enterprises need to combine the technical strength of traditional systems with the speed, agility and scalability that modern technologies offer. By combining the old with new technologies, not only can applications be developed, maintained and deployed faster, rich applications can also be created by allowing traditional development teams to give the required attention to detail.

In a market environment where change is constant and the future is uncertain, future-proofing seems to be the safest way forward. Stay relevant to stay ahead by upgrading your legacy systems with a modern low-code platform. Find out how our low-code platform can help you adopt new technology meaningfully.

Originally published in TECHGYD.COM

Remote working is not as ‘Instagram worthy’ as it may seem. While it may be a dream to work from anywhere and anytime, there are many challenges for those working remotely. A bigger challenge is faced by IT teams who have to provide support for such a sudden transition. At the outset of this pandemic, the overnight shift of employees working remotely has put immense pressure on IT teams to enable business continuity.

From accessibility of internal applications, sign-in assistance to password generation, IT teams are burdened with requests from remote working employees. Added to this there are other considerations IT teams need to address, from cyber threats, unsecure VPNs, authentication issues to reliability of on-premise servers.

Where to begin? To ease the pressure, IT teams are using emerging tech like low-code platforms to support remote dev teams, from providing cloud-powered IT infrastructure, application-level security, collaboration tools to real-time IT support.

Let’s take a look at how low-code platforms help IT teams support high-performance remote teams and ensure business continuity.

  • Providing cloud-powered, IT Infrastructure – If one thing remote working has done is it has pushed enterprises and teams to become cloud-native. As development teams are now required to move from monolithic systems to microservices, the demand for scalable and cloud-ready applications is increasing. Low-code platforms are architected based on Docker containerization model and provide a lightweight IT environment. This cloud-powered, resource-optimized environment not only reduces the pressure on IT teams it helps to develop, test, and deploy applications faster.
  • Ensuring application-level security – Building secure apps is one of the major concerns for remote dev teams. IT teams need to ensure application development best practices are followed and that applications are tested though relevant security hardening suites. With baked-in security features, low-code platforms offer application-level security in two main areas of authentication and authorization. By enabling the authentication feature, IT teams can control access that users have to different components of an application. With granular authorization, comprehensive authentication, and OWASP compliance support, secure applications can be developed.
  • Supporting collaboration for agile operations – Remote dev teams need to be agile and digitally dexterous, and they demand tools that support collaborative project management, workstream collaboration, and smart meetings using video conferencing. IT plays an important role in improving collaboration across the development lifecycle. To streamline the process of collaboration, low-code provides an ideal IT solution to achieve agile operations. By creating an agile feedback loop, that allows sharing of service-delivery infrastructure and monitoring of user experience in a unified manner, collaboration with development and test teams can be ensured.
  • Reducing the stress factor for IT Support – The shift to remote working has also aggressively driven modernization of legacy systems. Implementing modernization initiatives involves a change in roles, processes and tech infrastructure, creating friction points and adding stress on IT.  Finding IT support for legacy systems is difficult and the skillsets of IT teams to maintain and support modern tech has to be up to mark. Here’s where low-code platforms can make a difference. By empowering business users to develop applications based on their needs, low-code platforms reduce the burden on traditional IT teams. Using a drag-and-drop approach there is minimal coding and code maintenance is hassle free. By reducing the time spent on support, IT teams using low-platforms get the bandwidth to deliver more and can focus on core IT functions of optimizing infrastructure and processes.

The essence of remote working is digital dexterity and the pressure is on IT teams to materialize this. To meet the demand for flexible IT infrastructure, application-level security, real-time collaboration and support, IT teams need to embrace technology with commitment. Where technology is changing faster than it can be supported, IT teams have to mobilize to keep up with the ‘Speed of Change’. As enterprises embark on the road to digital transformation and modernization, IT needs to shift gears to prevent being a roadblock. With the focus on business continuity, IT teams have become ‘backstage warriors’ and they need to use all available tools to realize their credo of “the show must go on!”

To know how IT teams can support remote dev teams using a low-code platform, take a walkthrough.

Get started with WaveMaker

A no-code tool for developers to build application style templates once and use them everywhere; ensures brand consistency and eliminates repetitive work.

The low-code vision is that every developer can easily build scalable digital apps with great looking UI out of the box. Quickly call in a database, auto-generate APIs, create services, compose a page, drag-n-drop elements into it, and push it to the cloud - voila! WaveMaker goes one step further. It puts the power of low-code in the hands of professional developers. All parts are customizable, giving them maximum control over functionality and user experience.

But customization is a double-edged sword. While there is an explosion of digital apps in the enterprise, keeping all the apps looking consistent and conforming to the corporate brand identity is a challenge.

The WaveMaker Theme Builder solves that challenge. It is a no-code tool for app developers to create common CSS styles - colors, fonts, button styles, icons, spacing, etc. -- that can be applied across all apps developed in the enterprise.

Get started with the WaveMaker Theme Builder

The tool makes it easy to maintain a complete and updated app design, and make sure all apps look refreshed always. It also provides users with industry-standard styles like Material Design that can be applied. Without writing a line of code.

Enforcing a consistent look & feel for applications is not new to WaveMaker, but it was restricted to a widget or UI component, not the entire project. However, that just doesn’t cut it when all apps in the enterprise are expected to have a  “Natural” and “Beautiful”  look and feel that is in line with the brand identity. It takes considerable coding effort to create a customized brand theme. The Theme Builder eliminates that coding effort by providing a no-code way of creating themes.

Here are some advantages of using our Theme Builder:
Reduce manual coding effort and save precious time – Make changes with built-in code editor, and preview custom styles applied to web components instantly. Switch between different theme styles, preview changes, and integrate design elements across the application. Build a custom theme just once with a few clicks without having to write a line of code and apply it across every instance.

Maintain complete control on design elements – The essence of a brand is in its unique design elements such as the colors, font, style, and icons. The burden of meeting those standards falls on developers. WaveMaker’s Theme Builder gives you complete control over design elements to build uniform looking apps as per your brand guidelines.

Select from the latest fonts family – Get access to global font styles that are trending while building modern applications. Theme Builder gives you access to the latest market-trending fonts family and you don’t have to download .ttf or .woff files.  Just click, create, and apply.

Pick the perfect style - Choose from flat, material, or gradient styles to best reflect the mood of your app.  Theme Builder will be refreshed to provide popular industry standards, including Material Design. Pick a Flat style for simple two-dimensional designs or choose gradients to add color and depth to your themes. Use the Preview pane to see components changing real-time when different styles are applied, bringing your customized themes to life much faster.

Here’s to finding the perfect balance between rapid development and impeccable brand consistency.
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