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Tips To Choosing Low Code Platform For Your Business

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A remarkable scene from the 1936 Charlie Chaplin film ‘Modern Times’, the workers at a factory were introduced to an automated lunch device. The situation does not end well for poor Charlie, but we’ve come a long way since the era of the Luddites.

Today, advancements in the world of technology have made it possible for businesses across sectors to modernize their approach to operations and even decision-making processes. Such an automation revolution has, in fact, brought about the term ‘Industry 4.0’.

It implements cyber-physical systems that are capable of creating virtual copies of the physical world. This allows them to make decentralized decisions. The road to automation is gradually making its way into areas like Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) by breaking the structure of disparate data silos.

But how do these machines get the necessary information needed to execute operations of such acumen?

The answer lies in enterprise applications. To ensure that your systems are performing to the best of their capacities, you need to harness the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data. However, processing such large amounts of data often leads to great complexities. Depending on outdated Enterprise Resource Planning solutions can lead to miscommunication of data.

So, when PTI QCS, a Detroit-based automotive solutions company, faced the same problem, they created a solution that could simplify the process. Through the low-code Rapid Application Development platform provided by HokuApps, they were not only able to integrate their systems and streamline data flow but managed to drive up productivity and curtail communication gaps.

Low-Code Platform: A Smart Investment
The benefits of deploying an enterprise application are seemingly endless. However, not every company has the skill set or resources to develop a mobile enterprise application from scratch. With a return on investment of such projects presenting a financial grey area, many businesses miss out on the opportunity. Along with the lack of in-house development knowledge, setting up the infrastructure can also pose an uphill task.

This is where a low code development platform comes in handy. By offering Platform as a Service (PaaS), RAD platform solutions reduce the financial and risk factors of the project. This is because you can avail these services over the cloud. With cloud services, you are saved the trouble of gathering the tools and licenses required for the project.

The most advantageous aspect of a Rapid Application Development platform is, however, in its low code non-linear approach to the development. The low code model allows an easy, visualized way to develop an application rather than long hours of handwritten code. That being said, a low code RAD platform is more than just an easy way to develop an enterprise app. The non-linear model allows the app development process to be extremely iterative and often involves user feedback to optimize the product. This also leaves room to reuse resources, thereby, reducing costs and effort wastage.

Now, the benefits of using a RAD platform is quite clear. But with so many varieties of service providers, how do you choose the RAD platform best suited to your unique business needs?

Choosing a Low-Code Rad Platform: What You Should Consider
The Needs of Your Application
Application development is a very wide domain that covers more and more with every passing day. While it is exciting to think of your app as an all-encompassing product of various domains, the truth is it is just not financially feasible.

An enterprise application can serve purposes ranging from process management to database maintenance. And with the varying purpose of the application, the approach to the development changes as well. RAD platforms can be broadly classified into the following five categories based on the type of the apps:

General: These offer basic low code features such as visual interface and lifecycle without venturing too much into market needs.

Process: These types of apps aim mainly at business process management (BPM) allowing streamlining of business process with automation.

Mobile: These platforms focus on developing and deploying mobile applications, both customer- and business-centric.

Request-Handling: These apps are used to develop applications that manage tickets predominantly within the IT sphere.

Database: As the name suggests, these platforms focus on developing an application that assists in creating mappable databases.

Importance of Data
The primary objective any enterprise application is the accurate transfer of data. This makes it one of the most important criteria while choosing a RAD platform. The right RAD platform should be able to take care of all your data integration needs by creating a data-centric application. In doing so, the application is capable of relaying real-time contextual data to users.

This instant access to data increases visibility throughout the pipeline and helps users take more informed decisions. Leveraging a Rapid Application Development platform that can quickly integrate data silos, therefore, presents a decisive business advantage.

Pick the Right People for the Job
While using a low code application development platform greatly reduces the need to develop handwritten code, it does not completely eliminate the need for human intervention. This is why you must be careful in choosing the right people for the job.

When looking for someone to employ to your project, you must be aware of the person’s commitment to the project. Soft skills such as project management and attention to detail are some of the characteristics to look for. The right RAD platform will allow you to streamline your process but at the same time, you will need someone who understands the processes to fully utilize the advantages of the situation.

Nature of the Platform
Of the various things to look out for while choosing a RAD platform to develop your enterprise application, this is perhaps the most fundamental criteria. When talking about the nature of the platform, the vastness of the topic becomes visible. However, certain attributes take precedence over others. Some of these are:

Systems Architecture: From data and logic flow to security authentications and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), a large variety of functions are taken care of through the use of declarative tools. The advantage of these tools is that they do not require handwritten code and hence form the essence of a low code development platform. The extent of the use of these tools is, however, left optional to the development team.

Flexibility and Scalability: A majority of RAD platforms claim to be operating on open standards, most of them are dependent on proprietary tech and processes. Choosing a RAD platform that employs open source technology leaves the application room for future expansion. This extends the app’s lifecycle even as your business grows.

Security: Security is one of the most important factors governing the fate of an application. This is of even more significance in case of enterprise applications. By leveraging a RAD platform that supports flexible authentication process you can secure all your confidential information. Besides, having a secure application also helps your app to be compliant with international data standards, improving your business’ reputation.

Building an enterprise application has moved from being just an option to be the need of the hour, with nearly every business sector investing heavily in improving and streamlining their data and process. However, jumping into a low-code RAD platform without proper understanding of the domain could prove hazardous.

It is, therefore, best to consider all of the above points before beginning the development of the product. Having said that, the RAD platform will not only help your business streamline itself but also prepare you for the next step— growth!
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