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What are CIOs expecting from low-code platforms in recent times

CIOs are finding it harder to meet their digital goals with obstacles like,

  • Finding skilled developers and development resources
  • Customers with ever-hungry digital application demands
  • Customers seeking new experiences with their legacy applications
  • The problem of solving infinite customer demands with finite developers
  • Clearing IT backlog   
  • Managing and keeping the harmony of individual IT silos
  • Maintaining pace with the enterprise app explosion

These obstacles manifest into expectations, imperatives, and challenges that organizations need to be aware of and take appropriate actions. Many organizations have responded by using one of a growing breed of “low-code,” rapid development platforms to overcome the obstacles. Low-code application Platform delivery business applications through a Rapid Application Development and Delivery approach, where the apps are created visually involving a minimum of hand-coding and upfront investment in setup, training, and deployment.

Visual development:

The fundamental expectation from a low-code app development platform is to offer a WYSIWYG development environment where developers can drag and drop components to design responsive user interfaces that adapt to a device’s screen resolution. Some Low-code Platforms take an extra step to offer out-of-the-box templates for commonly used layouts and screens such as dashboards. The demand for enterprise mobile apps has meant that Low-code Platforms have also started to offer cross-platform mobile app development with access to native mobile device features while abstracting the underlying operating system complexities.

Simplified Integration

Virtually every business application depends on data to create a meaningful application. But data is available from disparate systems ranging from proprietary enterprise systems to APIs from external entities and everything in between. Hence, data integration consumes an inordinate amount of time and resources during enterprise application development. A Low-code Platform is expected to provide a visual approach for developers to connect to these data sources and embed data elements directly into the application. Some platforms also allow professional developers to design data models and configure business logic directly inside the low-code app.

Instant Deployment

Beyond the need to eliminate or reduce application coding, Low-code Platforms are expected to streamline and speed up the application delivery process itself. One key characteristic is the ability to instantly deploy an application with zero DevOps. Such platforms also offer a single point of control for app maintenance and updates. While other low-code app development platforms extend the capabilities to security, governance, version control, infrastructure auto-scaling, and more.

What CIOs get by investing in a low-code platform

  1. Business IT Alignment:
    Low-code app development platforms enable close collaboration between developers, business analysts, and subject matter experts. This greatly benefits enterprises as rework is greatly reduced and cost overrun is avoided to a large extent.
  2. Clear IT Backlog:
    The linear approach of conventional software development models presents significant opportunities to reduce waste and fast-forward delivery. Low-code platforms streamline and speed up the development and delivery process, achieving a substantial reduction of the IT backlog.
  3. Democratization of App Delivery:
    With the ever-rising demand for applications, enterprises are expanding their internal talent pools, for building noncritical or long-tail apps using nontraditional developer talent like technical business users.
  4. Consumer-grade Business Apps:
    Today, customers and employees expect to access apps from a variety of devices, putting additional pressure on developers. Low-code Platforms with modern frameworks can provide consumer-grade applications using enterprise-grade technology at a fraction of the cost.
  5. Speed Innovation:
    Competitive advantage lies with companies that focus the most on ‘Systems of Innovation’. Low-code platforms are ideal for such systems that require the most experimentation and experience the highest rate of change.
  6. Cost and Effort:
    Do more with less is a philosophy that CIOs have to live with these days. But, with low code application platforms, CIOs come closer to achieving that. Enterprises can have the best of both worlds where they can build enterprise-grade apps of the highest quality in a matter of days to weeks as compared to months in the traditional approach to development.
  7. Repurpose & Reuse Resources:
    Whenever enterprises have a mandate to modernize, CIOs have a big dilemma in handling existing resources with legacy technical skills but with knowledge of the core business process. But with low code application platform, with their unique visual development approach, CIOs get an opportunity to reuse their existing resources and modernizing legacy projects without any issues.

With the WaveMaker low-code platforms, the above expectations and more can be met.

Get started with a free trial of WaveMaker low-code platform today!

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The three Rs of enterprise application development: Why should I pick 2?

Enterprises often struggle to strike the right balance for the investment required for various efforts in delivering applications. As businesses become more competitive, largely global, and heavily end user focused, it pushes the boundary of application requirements in order for the apps to be successful.  These requirements are usability, scalability and faster release cycles.

The landscape of application development and delivery has changed a lot in the past few years. Today’s modern applications need to look great, have a robust architecture so it can scale to millions of users, and should be quickly delivered to customers in order to outsmart competition.

The ability to deal with these three requirements has been a constant struggle for any enterprise. In any complex application project, one way or another, we face the immutable law of finite resources: We’re bound by constraints. Good, fast or cheap, we’re told. Pick any two.

This is the classic triple constraint model that you often have to deal with as project leaders. A similar model applies to enterprise application delivery:

Rich UX, Rapid Development or Robust Architecture: pick any two.

As you can see, while all these 3 things are very important for modern applications, they often work against each other. A project that focuses  only on user experience and faster time to market may not have the best robust architecture, while another one that focuses on robust architecture and great user experience may need longer duration to complete. Something has to give, right?

It used to be that businesses depending on the nature of the application could get away by just focusing on two of the above aspects,

  1.  Small and Medium Enterprise: Focus was on Rapid Development and Rich UX
  2.  Non Consumer Business Applications: Focus was on Robust Architecture, Rapid Development
  3.  Businesses that focuses on Robust Architecture and Rich UX always suffered from long lasting development cycles

Should enterprise application delivery always be an exercise in sacrifice. given the demands on IT in today’s Businesses, it has become hard to sacrifice any one of the above. So the question is how do I get to choose all.

Wait.. Hold On, can we get a magical wand that can help us have all the three dimensions of App Delivery. Look no further, modern rapid application development platforms or also referred to as low-code platforms are designed to solve this conundrum.

Take a look at WaveMaker, that specifically addresses the enterprise needs to develop scalable applications, with great user experience out of the box in shorter time frames. Excited, try out a free trial and see how you can now can now cut short development time and still keep intact your enterprise and end user requirements.

 

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Enterprise Application Development

Stack Overflow Survey 2016: Implications for application delivery

Interpreting the Stack Overflow 2016 Developer Survey results from an application delivery perspective

Stack Overflow recently announced the results of their annual developer survey. This year, over 50,000 developers in 170+ countries answered 45 questions ranging from the programming language they use the most to whether they preferred Star Wars or Star Trek, and everything in between. Maybe that is why they call it “the most comprehensive developer survey ever conducted.”

The survey provides insights into popular technologies, diversity, compensation and sci-fi preferences. You can go ahead and get your geek on with the survey results here. But in this post, we will interpret the results from an application delivery perspective, focusing on the technologies and challenges.

Front (end) and center

First things first, JavaScript overtook Java as the most popular tag on Stack Overflow. In fact, all the front-end technologies have gained popular ground. With consumers demanding engaging experiences across different devices, front-end and mobile technologies will only grow more popular. I’ll go out on a limb here and make a prediction that next year Android will overtake Java to become the second most popular tag on Stack Overflow.

The rise and rise of AngularJS

AngularJS now seems to be the go-to web application development framework. In just a few years, its popularity has skyrocketed and it appears to be the dominant JavaScript framework out there. The Stack Overflow survey results corroborate this fact as AngularJS appears multiple times in the top technology combinations preferred by front-end developers.  It also figures prominently in the technology combinations of full-stack and back-end developers. Even among developers who are not developing with the language or technology, AngularJS is one of the top 3 technologies that they would most want to work with.

Looking back, WaveMaker made a prescient choice by rebuilding its RAD Platform a couple of years ago using AngularJS. For those who are new to WaveMaker, versions prior to Studio 7 were based on the Dojo framework.

Challenges to application delivery

Amidst the rapid technological changes, the challenges to application delivery remain and continue to put pressure on IT to deliver applications at the speed of business. As per the Stack Overflow survey, developers cited the following challenges at work:

Sounds familiar isn’t it? One way to broadly categorize these gripes would be under:

  • Processes and communication: It is clear that developers would prefer it if the requirements were clearly defined and documented, expectations were reasonable and processes were more efficient. It is not surprising that one in six projects have a cost overrun of 200% and a schedule overrun of almost 70% according to an HBR study. One of the solutions is to align business and IT by creating an engaging environment at every stage of application delivery so that they can work more closely. Some of the leading companies are now turning to Rapid Application Development to reduce the friction points in delivering successful enterprise applications.
  • Resources and technologies: CIOs are under pressure from the demands of business requirements that cannot be handled by the limited staff strength. Also, IT managers continue to grapple with the lack of resources for the technologies that in demand. A case in point is the demand for front-end and mobile development resources. According to the survey results, salaries in the range of $95,000 to $105,000 are not uncommon for mobile and front-end developers. Similar problems exist with legacy technologies for which resources are difficult to find and retain. Consequently, it puts a lot of pressure on the already thin operating margin and budget. Hence, enterprises are now evaluating modern RAD platforms that are open and extensible. For instance, the WaveMaker RAD Platform requires 80% lesser coding required compared to traditional software development because of intuitive visual development. Also, the generated application and code can be customized by semi-skilled front-end developers with ease. As far as mobile is concerned, more companies are choosing hybrid mobile app development over native to avoid hiring resources with specific skills for iOS, Android, and Windows separately.

Do share what, according to you, are the challenges and solutions in the comments section.

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Insights

7 Monsters that spook your Enterprise Applications

Why is it that 75% of the business and IT executives anticipate their software projects will fail? Why is failure rate often a planned expense that is written off long before development ever begins? Here’s a fun infographic to not only understand the major friction points in delivering successful enterprise applications but also learn how to tackle these monsters and speed custom app creation.

Do tell us about the monsters that scare you the most and any other ghouls we may have missed. Happy Halloween!