There is a strong tendency among businesses to move their systems to the cloud or develop applications with high cloud compatibility. The reason is simple - cloud applications and systems are more resilient and performant, and they are easy to maintain, scale, and integrate with other powerful services. Moreover, they are more convenient for developers to work with, considering their deployment and hosting. According to Gartner, businesses favor public and private cloud over traditional on-premise deployment. The tendency is reflected in the rising amount of revenue cloud providers are getting and are expected to get.
But how does the low-code development approach is connected with the cloud industry? Why have Fortune 500 companies started using low-code platforms? Along with the answer, you’ll find several real-life use cases of how the companies successfully employed the low-code platforms in this article.
What are cloud-computing and cloud-native applications?
Before we start diving into the low-code cloud applications and how businesses use low-code for their cloud migration, let’s get the terminology straight.
Cloud computing is a modern way of delivering various digital services like analytics, databases, servers, business intelligence, software, etc. through the Internet. There are three types of cloud computing: public, private, and hybrid.
Public cloud services are owned and managed by a third-party provider. These providers offer their cloud-based services and storage over the Internet. Users access such cloud services via web browsers and have no influence over the infrastructure itself. The most renowned examples of public cloud services are Microsoft Azure and AWS CloudFormation.
Private cloud environments are used exclusively by a single business or organization. With this kind of cloud computing, businesses need to set up and maintain their own cloud infrastructure that includes servers, applications, and storage. Sometimes, companies choose to pay third parties to host their cloud.
The hybrid cloud concept combines public and private clouds together. This is possible owing to special software that allows the two environments to exchange data and apps. Developing this kind of hybrid cloud is hard, but highly beneficial for business security, flexibility, and compliance.
Businesses across all industries use cloud computing to speed up their digital operations, improve their system performance, and make their digital more scalable and reliable.
Cloud-native software development
Cloud-native is a development approach focusing on applications and software tailored to take full advantage of different cloud services. That means that cloud-native applications are flexible, easily scalable, and resilient. Businesses that developed their apps using a cloud-native approach experience less trouble expanding their systems, and integrating their app with other services. Cloud-native apps are loosely-coupled, reliable, and secure.
Low-code platforms for cloud-native development
Low-code platforms for cloud development allow citizen developers to produce sophisticated cloud applications and systems. Such platforms practice a visual approach to development where the complex code clusters are represented as pre-made templates and out-of-box functionalities. Thus, instead of writing long lines of code, developers can compile the necessary elements on a low-code platform’s interface. Essentially, low code speeds up and facilitates the development process, liberating.
At the same time, low-code platforms give enough space for cloud customization with unique integrations, features, and business logic. We will review the advantages of a low-code approach to cloud development in more detail further in this article.
Why businesses choose cloud migration
Low maintenance costs
Cloud environments are much easier to maintain and support. This comes from the fact that cloud systems are flexible, and have precise bug reporting, and disaster recovery features.
High integration capacity
Nowadays, most brand-new technologies and digital services are cloud-based. Following the trend of cloud migration, businesses make their apps compatible with the cloud. That means that if you have you deploy and develop your system in the cloud, the process of integration with other apps will be as easy as several mouse clicks.
Cloud environments are elastically scalable, so it won’t be a problem for a business to add new features and storage space in accordance with the growing demands.
Advanced BI and analytics
You can connect cloud apps and systems to AI and ML to drive insights from the data stored in the cloud. As you might know, many AI technologies offer their services on the Internet. Cloud systems too, so all it takes to embed AI into a cloud application is to connect them.
How do low-code platforms facilitate cloud app development?
So, what are the benefits of low-code cloud development platforms?
Reduces development costs
The first and most valuable benefit of low-code platforms is that they significantly lower cloud development costs. The primary reason for that is the simplicity of use and pre-made functionalities. Although low-code platforms require some solid understanding of development, they allow citizen developers to produce high-end cloud apps. This means that you can hire a team of middle-level developers instead of cloud pros that are not only cost much but hard to find.
Low-code cloud applications intrinsically carry all the benefits of cloud-native apps. Above that, they facilitate all the development and migration operations,
Speed-up of software development
Low-code platforms’ visual app-building process with drag-and-drop functionalities makes the app-creation process up to 10x faster than traditional high-code development. Instead of building all the elements from scratch, low-code developers can leverage pre-built components, functionalities, and integrations. From platform to platform, the number of out-of-box components and integrations differ. But the low code’s customization capacity creates enough space to build any lacking feature.
On top of that, low-code platforms usually include a set of developer productivity tools like code suggestions, AI-powered code quality control, DevOps tools, and powerful IDEs (Integrated Development Environments). Eventually, the low-code platform cloud development takes months, not years, to deliver a multifunctional, stable, and integrated system.
Allow hiring junior/middle-level developers instead of cloud pros.
One of the main challenges businesses face while trying to build their cloud environment is finding a high-level professional. As the technology is quite new and deserves deep expertise from the developers, companies usually have a hard time hiring pros of such caliber. Obviously, that’s because all the best minds are recruited by cloud tech giants like Amazon or Apple.
Low-code platforms for cloud-native development solve that problem, offering visual code abstractions to build the apps. Thus, your technical staff doesn’t have to possess in-depth knowledge of cloud development to add complex functions and integrations.
Better cloud system security
Low-code platforms for cloud app development provide multiple security measures to protect the system from the hack and your data from theft. First off, your applications became stronger due to the high-quality code structure. Low-code platforms reduce human errors during development and include accurate bug reporting that leaves no weaknesses from your back end.
Low-code cloud systems stand up to the highest software quality and security levels, complying with the most stringent compliance standards (ISO27001, ISO9001, etc.).
Seamless scalability and maintenance
Owing to reusable modules and components, low-code platforms provide an easy way to extend your cloud environment in response to your business requirements.
Low-code platforms for cloud-native development: real-life use cases
Here we get to the juice of the article - the use cases of cloud-oriented low-code development platforms.
OutSystems and Western Union: client-side banking apps, workflow automation, and digital back office.
Outsystems is a low-code platform for cloud-native app development. It provides enterprise-level cloud computing power to run and deploy both mobile and web apps plus business-critical management systems. OutSystems is a leading low-code platform that helps businesses not only build cloud apps from scratch but to migrate existing systems. Among the apps, you can create with the platform are internal business apps, customer portals, banking applications, business core systems, SAP extensions, AI-powered process automation apps, and others.
The platform accelerated cloud adoption across multiple industries including healthcare, e-commerce, banking, education, etc.
Recently, Western Union leveraged the power of OutSystems for their customer apps, back office, and workflow solutions.
Challenge: The company is moving its core business systems from on-premise to the cloud.
Result: With the help of the OutSystems platform and a few professional low-code developers, Western Union got two performant and secure mobile apps in record time.
The outcome is better described by the WU Innovation Officer, Tom Mazzaferro: “OutSystems provides the innovation and agility to accelerate the digital transformation of Western Union. In just 11 months, we delivered a full-service digital banking experience that expands our relationship with customers.”
Mendix and Mitsubishi Elevator: IOT-enabled remote monitoring system.
Another strong low-code platform that offers cloud development options is Mendix. It is a cloud-based PaaS low-code platform that includes a classical visual development toolkit. Using the platform, you can create cloud-native applications that are easily scalable, containerized out-of-box, and have redundant architecture by default. Mendix can help businesses with creating cloud-native mobile applications, automatization tools, cloud-integrated web applications, and others. All the applications can be deployed anywhere, including the cloud. Besides, Mendix’s architecture makes it easy to migrate on-premise legacy business applications to the cloud.
Among the businesses that have already used the platform for their digital transformation are Rolls Royce, Fugro, Norsk Hydro, and other world-famous companies.
But let’s review the actual cloud system development case for Mitsubishi Elevator.
Challenge: The company aimed to increase operational efficiency and enhance customer experience by introducing the top cloud solutions.
- With Mendix, Mitsubishi’s low-code development partners developed a customer-facing app only in two weeks;
- Then, the company created a field service application for maintenance engineers. This app allows Mitsubishi’s back office to know the location of their engineers and ensure that the right engineer is being assigned to emergency repairs more quickly.
- Also, Mitsubishi connected its IoT network to the new system. Today, cloud real-time analytics drives much more valuable insight from the data securely collected by sensors.
Cloud computing trends to watch in 2023
Multi-cloud is an approach to cloud migration where the business system is able to connect to multiple cloud services and easily change the deployment. This way of organizing cloud systems gains popularity owing to the ability to increase system efficiency with the best tools from different cloud service providers or easily change one.
Low-code/No-code cloud services
Low-code and no-code are all about accelerated software development and allow citizen developers to create more complex apps. And you already know what other benefits it brings to businesses during their cloud migration. All in all, the core reason low-code cloud development is an upcoming trend is its reduced costs and fast software time-to-market.
Security was a concern in the cloud community for quite a while. Surely, modern cloud services can have much higher protection. However, it's not perfect yet. So, businesses are still in search of better ways to protect their cloud-stored data. By the way, low-code cloud platforms (e.g. OutSystems) are on the verge of cloud security and usually offer great SecOps as a service.
Low-code development experts
Low-code platforms for cloud development are powerful tools but their full potential reveals itself in the hands of professionals. Despite the ease of use of low-code platforms, companies still need experienced low-code developers to create secure, stable, and performant cloud systems.
If you are looking for professional support for your cloud digital transformation, consider Akveo low-code services. For 8+ years, our developers helped multiple businesses, using the top low-code platforms. We work with different industries including FinTech, EdTech, manufacturing, healthcare, e-commerce, insurance, and start-ups. Akveo offers full-cycle of low-code development assistance:
- Low-code consulting and the selection of the platform suitable for your cloud development project;
- Cloud-based low-code apps and systems development;
- Low-code cloud migration services to Microsoft Azure and AWS Cloud;
- Creation of custom low-code integrations to your existing cloud system.
Contact us our low-code development experts to get a free consultation regarding your business case and how low-code can facilitate cloud development campaign.
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