Not a day goes by without hearing about low-code and no code in the industry. It is not surprising as over the last two years businesses have realized the importance of using a visual, low-code and no code application development approach as a way to scale and meet the needs of customers, partners and end users.
What is even more interesting is the fact that low-code adoption has now moved beyond departmental groups, shadow IT groups to mainstream IT. Enterprise IT application teams and stakeholders across the board are now believers and ready to embrace low-code application development methodologies for their needs.
This is profound as IT Application Teams are considered to be the most stringent, conservative and the most difficult teams to convince on a very important decision like this. As this happens, System Integrators and Channel Partners are always key to make this journey successful.
System Integrators have deeply entrenched within IT shops and understand not the technology challenges but also the business process and operations of enterprises. System Integrators are seeing this opportunity to embrace low-code and fundamentally change dynamics of application innovation within Enterprise IT.
System Integrators therefore need to make sure that they cross all the t’s and dot the i’s before selecting the right platform for their end customers. As system integrators working on customer projects there are interesting dynamics that come into play. In order to be make the shift to low-code successful, here are the most important aspects to consider:
Ensure minimal disruption to you or your end customer
Make sure you embrace a platform that helps you continue to build applications and deliver them to your client with no major disruption in your existing practices across the app development lifecycle. Not only is this important for you, but also for your end customer, as you both adopt the low-code platform.
Most low-code platforms compel you to change your app development methodologies and that becomes a hindrance in adoption. With an ideal platform, your development teams as well as your customer development teams can build enterprise grade applications with the best practices and concepts that your developers are already accustomed to.
Enable enterprise readiness suitable for professional development
Low-code platforms come in many flavors. Many are suited for citizen and business technology users to build shadow IT applications. IT application developers are professional developers looking to build core applications that are critical for business operations and functioning.
Core applications need a robust architecture, high quality code, high performance and seamless integration to enterprise IT systems. A low-code platform that provides this level of technology advancements is best suited for professional developers and architects. The prefered choice would be a platform that uses the best-of-breed frameworks, open standards based development approach and flexible deployment models to suit continuous delivery best practices for application delivery.
Make sure the platform is developer-friendly for higher adoption
One of the key elements of successfully using low-code in Enterprise IT shops is for the platform to be easily adopted by developers. In this modern age of app development,
developers are the primary key for the success for any program. They should feel empowered, relevant and upskilled, reusing existing skills and following modern best practices while using the platform.
A developer-friendly platform typically has a modern app stack, open-standards based code generation that is fully visible and customizable, embracing all CI/CD best practices
Obtain real source code that can be passed onto your end customers
While you may love the productivity of low-code platforms, also make sure that the entire source code of your application is generated and available for your developers. Your end customers will need this when you hand the application to them.
To ensure this, the platform you choose must generate real code for your application, allow independent existence of the application from the platform, allow for source code persistence in your VCS, integrate code to CI/CD mechanisms, and most importantly allow you to give the application source code to your customers and their development teams.
A perfect choice would be a platform that supports generating of real, open standards-based source code for your entire application. It should not have any hidden and proprietary code. The source code must be available at any time for you and your clients to see, export, and build outside of the platform.
Allow for deployment flexibility
Every customer that you work with will have a different infrastructure where they run their apps. In today’s multi cloud hybrid world, applications could be running on a private cloud, public cloud, your data centre, or your customer’s data center. These apps could be deployed as VMs, containers or Kubernetes work loads. With the flexibility to use any of these deployment options, you and your customers can gain a great cost advantage.
Make sure the platform you choose does not host applications on any proprietary runtime and supports a multitude of options for app deployment and delivery as per your specific needs.
Choose a pricing model that is simple and transparent
Most of the low-code platforms have very complex and runtime-specific pricing models. This makes it very cost prohibitive as well as confusing when it comes to sizing, costing and planning for your or your customer’s strategy.
The platform you choose must support a simple and transparent pricing strategy that is partner beneficial. Ideally a low-code platform that supports a predictive pricing model based on developer seats can make it very easy for you to explain to your customers.
As a systems integrator, choosing the perfect low-code platform for your internal business requirements or for building applications for your customers will determine the success of your application development and modernization initiatives. To get you started, we have a detailed Partner Enablement Plan and Strategy, get in touch with us.
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