#56 Will low-code replace my existing Developers? The Low Code Audience Q&A Episode

Intelligent Automation

What is low-code? Low-code is a development approach and it’s a visual development approach, to application development that enables professional and non-professional developers to collaborate and rapidly built and deliver applications.

So can non-developers really use low code, and is that easy to do? What can you build with low-code platforms? Will low code replace existing developers? All questions on the topic of low code are answered in this episode! The Automation Guys, will go through a list of questions, they often get asked by The Process & Automation podcast audience, on the topic of low code. Listen now!

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Sascha: Welcome back to another episode of The Process & Automation podcast, with The Automation Guys. In today’s episode, we will go through a list of questions, questions we often get asked by our audience, on the topic of low code. And hopefully with our answers on these questions, we can break down some of the technical blur which is associated with our industry and automation. So let’s kick it off with the first question we have received, um, yeah. Arno, do you like to take the first one?

Arno: Yes. Thank you, Sascha. And thanks to all our listeners for joining, uh, we are actually recording this episode in, the sunny city of Milton Keynes, which is of course a city now and we are in location again. And what better thing to talk about than automation and low code FAQs? So a lot of people come to us and they ask what is low code, and we feel with the current market of, technology adoption it’s probably one of the, the sort of most used, but, but less or least understood terms, for anybody that doesn’t work with low code and in a nutshell, low-code is a development approach and it’s a visual development approach, to application development that enables professional and non-professional developers to collaborate and rapidly built and deliver applications. So it’s technical people working with non-technical people, usually people in a business that requires a technology solution, they work to together with these, these graphical tools and they create business applications or productivity applications that solve problems, real problems. Um, but in a way that is very accelerated to compare to traditional high code development, where you have to write C sharp code or HTML, CC++, and so on and so on.

Sascha: And that really leads nicely into the next question we have received, especially talking about non-professional developers. So can non-developers really use low code, and is that easy to, to do? And, um, yes, of course the low code platforms are really designed specifically for business users and make things as simple and easy to use as possible. And as a non-developer, you don’t need to worry about sort of endless training because it’s so intuitive to use. Um, but at the same time, season developers can apply all their expertise, all their skills and experience in building these low code, um, applications, because low code not necessarily means they’re not writing any code.

So on that level of code, they still have to do, that experience is really, really, um, useful. Combining these two things together, the season developers, the business users, you can really build very complicated and powerful, um, application scenarios.

Arno: And a lot of people ask us, you know, what, what can you build with low-code platforms?

And of course low-code platforms doesn’t necessarily just mean online forms and workflows. We are talking about very sophisticated, AI driven chatbots, sophisticated robotic process automation sequences, where you can train software bots. Um, so you know, there there’s a whole range of technology products that you could deploy, which is fundamentally classified as low code where these sort of non technical and technical people can work together to create these solutions very fast. And, you know, the answer is very simple on this FAQ, you know, what can you build? Um, because you could pretty much build any kind of, sort of a web facing application, internal internet facing application, a mobile phone application, a backend process that take data from one system to another system, uh, perhaps a software bot that does specific things, mundane, repetitive things which churn through data. And, um, I’ve actually come prepared with a list of the sort of most common use cases for these low code apps. Um, so it includes customer facing or consumer facing apps, um, operational improvement apps, employee engagement apps, that’s of course, um, any apps where employee can, um, engage with the business, whether or not, it’s asking for a leave request, submit an expense claim, asking how much leave they’ve got left. So that could be an example where you can use a low code driven AI chatbot.

Modernization of legacy systems, to modern systems where you perhaps have your legacy system, you want to modernize it, you can put a low-code wrapper around it very quick, very cost effective, low risk replacement apps. And then of course, you know, field and remote reporting and data collection apps. So for instance, where you’ve got maybe location services where you, you, you harvest telemetry and that needs to be recorded, uh, using an, an application, for example, these are the things that you could string to together very quickly.

And of course, you know, we can break this down, um, by department as well. So, you know, of course those examples were just sort of broad brush ones. Um, but you know, with insight each department in a business, you know, there’s application for low code as well. Mm-hmm. Okay.

Sascha: Let’s, let’s take the first, uh, department, which is a very prominent, um, uh, department to, to apply sort of efficiencies and improvements.

Um, and probably the first one, I have an example here is the, uh, accounts receivable automation, and the accounts payable automation. This, this seems to be. One of the, um, sort of the biggest processes, to look at in, in these areas. But there are also, processes about reconciliation, invoicing, purchase orders, the whole purchase to pay kind of process you can automate. Of course, um, in, in companies, travel and expenses, that is one area to look at. Um, and then in, when it comes to finance, um, there’s lots of data we capture and, um, automating that data extraction and, and the regular reporting in these departments. Yeah. Automation can definitely support there.

Uh, a very important one these days is fraud detection. Uh, there’s so many, so many examples and of course, um, sort of intercompany sort of recharging processes, uh, and there could be like 50 000, uh, areas more just, just in the finance department alone.

Arno: That’s in incredible. And I think, you know, people think the majority of the applications is just in finance, but you know, if you look with inside IT for example, I feel like if you have a digital transformation journey, it is probably a very, very good place to start, especially for strategic thinking, where you deploy these types of platforms that will then enable the business to digitally transform.

So, you know, examples of apps you can build in IT on this platform where, you know, diagnosis of technical problems, help desk, issue resolution, things like password resets. Um, I mentioned support tickets, the whole life cycle of, of managing support tickets, the workflows behind all of that. Um, application to, to manage and front data backups, um, data cleansing.

So, low code in itself provides a, a really, really valuable technical asset for IT to the business. And we talked about the, the sort of non-technical people that can use it collaborative or technical people to create these apps. But of course it can also leverage the, the low-code platform for some of their internal processes. Those will just be apps that slot on, on the platform itself.

Sascha: Password reset. Isn’t it? That kind of self-service in some companies there’s so much compliance around password resets and this is huge volume for, for IT departments to deal with mm-hmm so if that is automated, um, I think everyone will be happy.

Um, so in the next, um, area, um, brings us sort of customer facing apps, uh, a mentioned earlier. Um, so let’s look at sort of customer service, um, uh, just, um, contract renewals are an area, within that, um, customer service app, section SLA management underwriting, the whole onboarding account creation, when customers are, um, sort of coming into the company, uh, processing an order, um, dealing with complaints and, and really updating all the records which are related to a customer and there’s, uh, uh, lots of information, uh, which can be automated.

Arno: Yeah. And, um, you know, of course from a human resources perspective. Um, you know, we, we can find numerous use cases with inside HR, where we can deploy low code automation. Um, and this is for example, a big one application and CV processing, interview and feedback notifications, employee onboarding is a, a huge one, we have joiners movers and levers, for example. File and data management, retention, management of records, for example, employee induction, training automated training scheduling. We talking about personal development planning, those are big use cases as well that people generally manage with inside an Excel spreadsheet and send a lot of emails across if they remember, um, to do so.

Of course, automation will have automated alerts that could help employee remember what type of personal development they need to do for a particular year, that’s that’s especially applicable in regulated, uh, industries, finance, insurance, um, even medical. That in itself is a, is a subject on its own.

Monthly payroll automation, company surveys, employee surveys, attendance and record, time keeping recording of time keeping, um, you know, criminal background checks, uh, all of the sort of due diligence you need to do and, and referencing. So again, within HR, these are just a handful of popular ones, but, you know, there’s obviously lots more that, that you can identify.

Sascha: Yeah, we, we had, several use case episodes here on the podcast. So, um, yeah, uh, we recommend to, to listen to a few other episodes, on low code and, and in other areas, chatbots, RPA, so plenty of use cases, uh, which will help you to, to sort of get started with these areas. so the next, big question, we receive, was mainly so how does using low code, compare to traditional development methods? And yeah, very simply put, low code is sort of the, the process of dragging and dropping visual blocks of existing code into a workflow, um, or into, into sort of UIs to, to create the application you need. It fits a little bit, to a certain extent, a bit like Lego, because they have pre-made components and building blocks you have available, uh, that can of course be enriched. Um, so since it can so completely replace the traditional methods of so, um, so high code, um, And an entire app. Um, so scooter can, can work smarter much faster.

So, um, there there’s some, some research, there was some research done by Forster and low code can actually, speed it up by 10 times to 20 times, depending on what, what kind of app you’re building. Um, yeah. And you don’t have to really deal with all that, um, repetitive coding and, and the big, big advantage of course is your business users can build these apps, um, was very little or no training. And that’s, um, that’s huge when you think about innovation within the business.

Arno: Yeah. And a lot of people also ask, um, you know, can I use low code for mobile app development? Absolutely you can, you know, application built using low-code platform automatically gets optimized, uh, for all mobile devices. Um, you know, these mobile first applications do not require to develop it, to write and maintain different code bases, for example, for these different devices.

So it, you know, offers up much more time efficiency, um, you know, for, in terms of, uh, developing productivity and it fits all, all of these devices. Um, another thing, um, we talk about speed of execution and how quickly you can create low code apps. Um, you know, usually the rule of thumb is cost and drop a zero, maybe out a bit of contingency.

And that’s, that’s where you land with low code, but it is very, very quick. Um, I think that you get the, the mobile app development sort of almost as a buy product. Um, so there’s a lot of benefits, uh, adopting and using these, these platforms that we talk about on this podcast, uh, so often. Um, so again, you know, just, just, uh, in terms of, uh, sort of collaboration with people costs, um, automatic output into mobile, really, really powerful technology to adopt with inside your organization.

Sascha: Yeah, that’s cool. I think with low code we not just have the mobile development as a side product, isn’t it? So all the, very often the security comes with it as well. We, we don’t really have to take care of in, in many cases, the hosting we can just get, get, start, uh, get started with building these applications and that that’s, um, that’s huge.

Uh, so every project takes very long, if you have to deal with all the other things in detail. So, yeah, the really, really big question which comes, comes a lot is okay, with all that low code, available or these low code, technologies available will low code replace existing developers. And, it’s very clear or very important to say low code isn’t about reducing the skills and any kind of value of the developers. Low code is there to enable teams of developers to produce more value quicker, while drawing on their understanding of how to create and maintain these high quality, business web and mobile applications.

So that’s sort of the key point and with everything what’s going on there at the moment, the need for innovation, the need for more automation, we need to build more apps anyway, so the style of coding will change. Yes, that’s fine. But we need developers. We need experienced developers still, and we need far more of them.

Um, we are probably running into a crisis that we are running out of developers, low code will help because we can make business users part of that. Um, yeah, so definitely will not replace sort of existing developers, it will not get rid of developers. It will just make them faster.

Arno: So I guess the question, out there might be a listener that will ask, how can the automation guys help me embrace low code? And I guess in a nutshell, the message is that you can reach out to us. Um, you know, we will help you to, to analyse your problem, even if it’s just an everyday problem or a very complicated problem, it could be business process across your organization in its department.

And then, you know, we’ll help you to, to sort of formulate a plan to bring low code and automation in general, into your business, um, and help you to, you know, to be a bit more profitable and to start that journey and, you know, reduce operating costs, uh, using, using this, this great technology. Um, and of course, you know, we have got a lot of episodes out there that we talk about a variety of topics.

Um, so between Sascha and myself, you guys can, can reach out to us if you’ve got any, any questions on, particularly the use cases on this particular episode of low code, but in general, um, you know, the, the use cases for AI technologies in general, we would love to share our stories, we would love to, to share our successes with you guys and hopefully that could pick, um, uh, or provide a, a sort of pathway or roadmap if you want to get started, or perhaps if you already started with automation and you want to actually ramp it up and scale. We are here to help, um, you know, reach us out to us and, um, and hopefully we can, we can get you on, on the path to, to where you should be using these really, really exciting technologies.

Yeah.

Sascha: And for everyone, um, out there listening, uh, right now. So if you really, uh, like to get started nearly immediately like to have your own sandbox and, um, get a few automations going, join our, the automation guys community there we have that membership available for you to get your sandbox, go through lots of scenarios and really get hands on and take that to the next level.

So that’s what we have. Yeah. If you have any questions on that community, especially, reach out to us as always, we are here and that’s pretty much it for today. Thanks again for listening and, um, yeah, until the next time. Let’s automate it.

Unfortunately, that’s it again, with this episode of The Process & Automation podcast. If you liked this episode, please give us a five star rating and don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast, so you don’t miss any upcoming episode. We hope you will tune in next time and until then let’s automate it.

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