The world we live in today is very much an on-demand one. Across the spheres of work, life and technology, we take it for granted that things will come to us rather than vice versa. We expect convenience, immediacy and flexibility and we become upset if they are not forthcoming.
This puts great pressure on enterprises, whose customers are primed to leave should service fall short of their expectations. Business leaders have long talked about the need to be “agile”, but the word now has a more literal meaning.
To meet customer expectations and their own internal demands, organisations are constantly looking for ways to make information more readily available, technology deployments faster and IT upgrades more efficient.
Easier data integration becoming critical
The cloud, and in particular hybrid multi-cloud architecture, is playing a key role in enabling businesses to become more flexible and fast-moving. But it is not the ultimate solution. Applications and systems all run on data, and data integration remains a barrier to speed, especially in a legacy IT infrastructure environment.
With more enterprises moving into cloud-centric infrastructure and applications, the quick shift to meet a fast and dynamically changing business environment means organisations need to figure out how to manage the fragmented data from different formats and sources and move the workloads to the cloud seamlessly.
Developers who typically spend considerable time on hand-coding will be met with uphill tasks. Apart from time, other drawbacks of hand-coding include high cost, human errors and lack of scalability and adaptability.
Unlike hand-coding, an intelligent cloud platform offers an easy-to-use graphical user interface, drag and drop functions, low code/no code features, allowing developers to easily plug their codes for any transformation or cloud modernisation project.
This frees up people from routine tasks to focus on higher-value work and keeps organisations focus on innovation and market agility.
Speed is everything
In the context of business operations, replacing hand-code integration with a low-code platform can reduce both IT workloads and time to market for new products or services. It allows app developers to focus on adding value by speeding up development and lowers the barrier to entry for people who want to connect data endpoints.
In one example, Cyxtera, a data centre provider in retail colocation and interconnection services with a presence across Asia, North America and Europe, empowered its IT teams and developers to integrate a growing number of cloud and on-premises systems.
It did this without writing and maintaining code, as they decided to deploy a simplified integration solution with point-and-click capability for integrating multiple enterprise systems.
By liberating developers and IT teams from hand-coding and maintaining integrations save significant time, speed up time to market for new projects and integrations while reducing operational costs for Cyxtera.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Cyxtera was able to respond quickly to the increased demand for data centre resources as its service providers customers quickly scaled out to absorb more traffic.
With a simplified yet intelligent solution with built-in point and click features, enterprises can bring their ideas to implementation quickly and respond to business demands without incurring the overhead of developing and maintaining code. This can significantly reduce time to market.
IT modernisation made easier
Low code also has a central role in IT infrastructure upgrades by helping standardise APIs and reducing the effort needed for system maintenance.
Generating APIs is typically labour-intensive. With a low-code generator, it becomes possible to build them using existing application code.
The benefits of a low code/no code approach are clear, but as with any technology, it is important to understand how to implement it. There is a clear distinction between ‘low code’ and ‘no code’, the former usually still calls for programming skills, and the latter is accessible to a broad pool of business users.
Both solutions do call for some level of oversight, but when managed well, they can help remove the division between IT and other departments. In an ideal scenario, non-IT professionals absorb the bulk of development while specialist IT developers provide oversight and guidance.
To return to the parallel of the cloud, business users rarely have a desire to understand the ins and outs of the technology upon which their applications and data are stored. They simply want it to work, to be easy to use and to make things available when they need them.
We are nearing the point where coding blends similarly into the background, acting as an intuitive enabler of business with the same characteristics as the on-demand world it serves.