Dropping the Mic on Low-Code Skeptics

Two years ago, POTUS “Slow Jammed the News” on the Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon. Then, he dropped the mic and walked off the stage. (Oh no he didn’t!)

(Oh yes he did!) The YouTube video went viral. And the mic-drop meme reached new levels of coolness previously unknown to pop culture. If you’re not familiar with the mic-drop meme, think spiking the football after scoring a touchdown. Or striking a pose after crushing a drive down the middle of the fairway. In other words, it’s like saying the coolness of whatever you just did was so definitive, there’s nothing more to say about it.

With that in mind, you could say that Appian dropped the mic on low code skeptics with the debut of Quick Apps, a zero-code feature that accelerates the speed of codeless application development to a whole ‘nother level. (See Quick Apps in action in this YouTube video from PC Magazine.)

Quick Apps makes app design and development a snap. In the past, enterprise mobile app development could take weeks, months or longer.  But with its user-friendly interface, Quick Apps prompts you for the key points of your app. Then, it automatically generates the data, forms and business processes you need to create a fully functional business app in minutes.

The notion of rapid application development is cool. But at the top of the cool hierarchy is the tremendous business value offered by low-code features like Quick Apps that make it easier for you to outmaneuver your competitors, reach new markets,  provide faster customer interactions, offer your customers more personalized service, and more control of the customer experience as well.

The magic of low-code mobile app development is not just about platform features. Nope, it’s also about the business value that low-code delivers. At a high level, low-code solutions help you get more out of your back office investment. But ultimately, low-code is about improving customer interactions with your brand. Which drives customer retention and loyalty, which ultimately boosts the lifetime value of your customer base.

There are many low-code platform vendors out there, all talking about the hotness of their platforms, and how much faster their offering is than the rest of the pack. But where’s the business value in that? Here’s another way to look at low code. In the hyper-connected digital economy, speedy, iterative delivery of customer-facing apps matters. A lot. It can be the difference between failure and success. Which speaks to the business value of the low code trend. Consider this outtake from a cloaked real-life business scenario.

“We went into the cloud with Appian because it allowed us to do things faster,” said the CIO at a major international airport. “We needed to ensure a quick return on investment…Appian allowed us to achieve process efficiencies and make faster, quicker decisions.”

With the help of the Appian low-code platform, this CIO and his IT crew rolled out over 30 business applications in just 18 months. They cut paper use in half. They centralized operations, and added mobility functionality, which allows airport staffers to access back office operations anytime, anywhere, on mobile devices.

Another low-code scenario worth talking about involved the VP for Business Process Improvement at a global retail brand. This BPM pro selected the Appian low-code platform to automate his business processes, optimize operational efficiency, and drive business growth.  The result:  He reduced the remodeling time for his company’s retail outlets by more than 60 percent. 

Back to the low-code vendor hype. If you scan the web, you’ll see a lot of chest-thumping about “best-in-class” mobile development platforms, and “market leadership” in Business Process Management (BPM). The challenge is cutting through all the hype.  So, I hope you’ll take a moment to get an expert, unbiased point of view. If this notion appeals to you, then be sure to check out what Gartner had to say about the Appian low-code platform in their latest 2016 “Magic Quadrant for Intelligent Business Process Management Suites:

“Appian customer references indicated a higher degree of satisfaction with the Appian platform, compared with other vendors surveyed….Appian customer references reported a median-time-to-production implementation of less than three months, the lowest of any vendor surveyed…”

‘Nuff said. Boom shakalaka!


Roland Alston