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 metaphor, 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, dropping the mic is like saying the coolness of whatever you just did was so definitive, there’s nothing more to say about it.

From an app development standpoint, 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 more responsive than conventional enterprise app development. In the past, enterprise mobile app development could take weeks, months or longer.  But Quick Apps prompts you for the key points of your app. Then, it automatically generates data, forms and business processes to create a fully functional business app in minutes.

This kind of rapid application development is cool. But at the top of the cool hierarchy is the extraordinary responsiveness offered by low-code features like Quick Apps. Which makes it easier for you to respond to fast-changing customer expectations. Outmaneuver your competitors.  Reach new markets.  And offer your customers more control over how they interact with your brand.

The magic of low-code mobile app development goes beyond platform features. It’s also about the business value that low-code delivers. How it helps you get more out of your back office investment. But ultimately, low-code is about creating customer value. Which drives customer retention and loyalty, and ultimately boosts the lifetime value of your customer base.

There are many low-code platform vendors out there, hyping low-code as the hottest new thing, the latest shiny object. But where’s the business value in that? Here’s another way to look at low code. In the hyper-connected digital economy, the name of the game is SPEED. Yes, speedy, iterative delivery of customer-facing apps matters. A lot. In the digital economy, it is how you compete and win. This speaks to the business value of  low code. Case in point: This outtake from a cloaked 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 now allows airport staffers to access back office operations anytime, anywhere, on mobile devices.

Here’s another low-code scenario worth talking about. It involves 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 successfully reduced 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. Which calls for an expert, unbiased point of view. If this notion appeals to you, then 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…”

Boom shakalaka!


Roland Alston