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Uncertain economy? Learn how to save time & money by reducing IT clutter with low-code

In uncertain economic times, companies generally look at ways to cut costs. This can certainly reduce overheads and free up capital in the short term, but often leaves the organisation with a ‘cost-cutting hangover’ down the line, when conditions stabilise. 

In the majority of organisations, legacy systems are kept operational long after they are effectively obsolete – mainly because they hold critical data, or happen to be integrated with systems still critical to normal operations. There are often ‘work-around’ solutions in place to access the data, or drag it into newer systems in order for it to be used.

Between these two factors, cutting costs while still maintaining a productive business is difficult. Regardless, it will become ever more crucial to find ways of making those cuts at the same time as ensuring the business cannot just survive but run even more efficiently. 

One way of doing this is to end-of-life older systems that are no longer critical, or running inefficiently. Consolidating data from disparate systems can also play a part in this ‘trimming’ process. However, lean economic times are also not conducive to major changes, especially those that may affect business continuity in the short term. It takes a lot of effort – and a certain amount of risk – to migrate large batches of data from one system to another. Again, the cost of setting up that new system can also be a deal-breaker. 

So the question remains, how does an organisation balance this critical yet painful process, while remaining risk-averse? How can you take systems offline while they are replaced, or while data is being ported from one repository to another?

The answer lies with high-performance low-code.

Consolidation of IT systems

Advanced low-code and platforms allow developers to build applications faster and easier than by using traditional coding. This means that IT departments can require fewer resources to design and develop the right applications for their business. Having the right systems designed and built in-house can in turn lead to the consolidation of IT systems, which begins the process of reducing IT sprawl. By consolidating those systems, organisations can reduce the number of applications they need to maintain.

Update and refactor applications

By updating features such as the user interface and other touchpoints, it is possible to extend the life of a system, increase usability and make it more functional. Organisations can refactor old applications by decoupling them, thus creating a modular composable architecture that is flexible and adaptable, as well as being ready for new cloud models.

Integrating applications

High-performance low-code platforms often include pre-built integrations with other systems and applications. This can make it easier to connect different applications and systems together, reducing the need for custom integrations and cutting down on the number of disparate systems that need to be maintained.

Streamlined processes

The use of a high-performance low-code platform will allow developers to build applications using a highly visual interface, which can help to streamline development processes. It also allows for a more inclusive design and planning process as non-technical stakeholders – such as departmental heads who will be using the application – can be more engaged in discussion and development. It gives them the opportunity to consider the daily tasks and workflows required of that application, and essentially incorporate this into application design to create holistic and well-founded user experiences. This potentially makes each new application more effective and reduces the chance that further auxiliary apps and systems will be required later.

Therefore, by streamlining development processes organisations can reduce the number of custom applications that need to be built, further reducing the amount of IT sprawl.

Faster development and deployment

Low-code and visual development platforms allow developers to build and deploy applications much faster than by using traditional code. This means that IT departments can respond more quickly to changing business needs, reducing the need for multiple applications to handle different business processes. Applications and new services can get to market faster, using fewer resources. This allows the organisation to respond better to market forces and stay ahead of competition.

Cloud readiness and scalability

Cloud-native low-code, high-performance platforms allow for limitless scalability, which helps future-proof the organisation. Considering that lean economic times call for prudence, it makes perfect sense to adopt a scalable system, providing the means for modular development. In other words, just build what you need now, then add to it when it makes sense to do so.

This provides the framework for a modern, flexible foundation on which to build future success.

In summary, high-performance low-code can be used to reduce IT sprawl by consolidating IT systems, integrating applications, streamlining processes, and enabling much faster and more inclusive development and deployment. By leveraging low-code development, organisations can reduce the complexity of their IT systems, leading to more efficient operations and better business outcomes.

Paul Arthur is Regional Vice President Australia and New Zealand at OutSystems.

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