The benefits of low-code development are well-documented: lower IT costs and greater business agility, being among them. Yet despite all the good press, many organizations are wondering if low-code development is worth all the hype. There's also pushback from data engineers and developers who believe that low-code software will take their places within organizations- which isn't the case. 

Underneath all the opinions, what does low-code development really bring to your business? Can low-code development actually enact digital transformation, or is it just a “flash in the pan” trend with no real lasting impact?

In this article, we’ll analyze the value of low-code development for the businesses who make use of the best low-code tools. After analyzing the return on investment of low-code development, we’ll go over some of the most common use cases of low-code development tools.

The ROI of Low-Code Development

A 2019 study by IT market intelligence firm IDC, offers answers to many of the questions swirling around low-code development. By examining organizations using the low-code platform Appian, IDC discovered that these companies achieved:

  • Faster software development lifecycles (62 to 72 percent faster).
  • 42% higher user adoption and 123% more productive business teams.
  • $14.8 million in annual revenue growth.

In total, IDC projects that these customers will achieve a five-year ROI of 509% on their low-code platform investments.

The IDC study is far from the only one to reveal a strong ROI for low-code development platforms. In another study by Nucleus Research, a Japanese electronics company and a UK government agency achieved low-code ROIs of 253 and 442 percent, respectively—paying back their investments several times over.

For data engineers and developers, these numbers don't mean a loss of careers, but instead the ability to handle more projects leading to an increase in efficiency and revenue. Curious about how to measure the ROI for your own low-code pilot project? Consider keeping track of metrics and KPIs such as:

  • The IT budget that you spend on software development.
  • The milestones that you’ve achieved on your digital transformation roadmap.
  • The number of tickets in your IT backlog.

3 Use Cases for Low-Code Development

1. Data Integration

Data silos are one of the most pernicious business problems, with 37 percent of companies citing it as a primary challenge. Data silos are artificial constructs erected when one team or department inadvertently or intentionally fails to share valuable information with the rest of the organization. Most companies use data integration to avoid data silos.

Low-code ETL platforms like Xplenty make it easier to break down silos by integrating all of your data sources into one database or data warehouse. With low-code drag-and-drop features and unlimited coding options, non-coders and developers alike can build centralized data pipelines to avoid data silos.

2. Legacy Migration

Legacy IT is holding far too many organizations back from achieving their full potential. The U.S. federal government, for example, estimates that it spends 75 to 80 percent of its IT budget on running legacy IT systems.

Successfully extracting the data and workflows from these legacy systems is a complex IT challenge. The good news is that many legacy migration projects have become significantly easier—all thanks to low-code application development.

For example, the low-code development company Mendix has a case study about transferring information and functionality from the customer’s legacy Lotus Notes application. The customer used Mendix to cleanly replace Lotus Notes in its business workloads, becoming more productive and effective in the process.

3. Modern Business Processes

When it comes to building enterprise software with low-code platforms, the sky is truly the limit. Organizations have used low-code platforms to create applications such as:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software
  • Accounting and invoicing software
  • Information management software
  • Back-office data integration
  • BI reporting and dashboards
  • Customer data management 

Here are some helpful case studies explaining how Xplenty's customers utilize low-code for a variety of business uses. 

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explored the question of the true value of low-code development in terms of its practical use cases and its return on investment for companies of all sizes and industries. Whether you’re a small business with no developers or a massive multinational firm with a large engineering team, low-code software can transform your organization by making you more productive in less time.

That’s why low-code platforms are so effective for use cases such as ETL data integration. Writing manual ETL code can be a laborious task: you need to account for a wide variety of possible data integrations, while actively maintaining the codebase in the event that your IT environment changes. Rather than dealing with these challenges yourself, why not give yourself a break by using a low-code ETL platform?

Xplenty is a cloud-based. low-code ETL platform that makes it easy to construct data pipelines between over 100 sources and destinations. Want to try it out for yourself? Contact us today and we’ll get you set up with a personalized demo of the Xplenty platform and a 7-day free trial.