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7 tips on how to select a low-code platform for core applications

Every modern organization knows that software serves as a catalyst for digital transformation and business success. But which solutions best fit the intended objectives? Low-code application platforms are growing in popularity, but they are not all suitable for core applications. In this blog we will cover what you need to pay attention to in order to choose the right platform.

The low-code market is extremely diverse with more than 100 different platforms worldwide, each with its own approach and intended use. This wide selection can be roughly split into three groups of low-code platforms:

No-code platforms

This segment is mainly used to replace shadow IT and focuses on citizen developers and the creation of very simple apps. They deliver practical, temporary, and often experimental solutions. This means that No-code is best suited for developing peripheral applications and not core systems.

Low-code platforms

Low-code applications are more extensive than no-code apps, but their complexity remains limited. Low-code platforms are also generally used to develop peripheral applications and link them with core applications via connectors. Large volumes of data, with more than 100 tables and thousands of users, quickly lead to performance problems.

Low-code for core systems

This low-code segment is specifically intended for the development or replacement of core systems, or very complex and extensive applications These platforms will offer integrated portals and apps. This enables an organization to build its entire application landscape within one integrated environment, with the option to modernize its legacy applications.

Would you like to know more about these three low-code variants? Read more about them in this blog.

The next question is then: what should you look out for when you are searching for a low-code platform for core systems? The research firm Forrester recently published a report in which it listed a number of important considerations, which we will discuss briefly:

  1. Distinguish the various types of core applications:
  • Systems of record, or the data foundation of an organization where all data, business logic and processes are stored.
  • Shared services, , the applications that perform the important functions for various business processes such as invoicing, payments and security.
  • Operational core processes, the applications which automate the most important business processes of an organization, such as for instance logistics or production processes.

Be aware of the fact that these three types of core applications exist and select a low-code platform that covers the desired functionality. The perfect situation is of course that the three types are all supported from one platform.

  1. Use a modern architecture
    Core applications require an architecture that can handle complex business logic and is scalable to support thousands of users and large volumes of data and transactions.In addition, this architecture must support modern technology, such as microservices and AI, and offer a flexible approach to implementing integral changes.
  2. Select a solid enterprise platform
    Core applications are business critical applications, so select a platform that is reliable, helps to guarantee uptime, can quickly recover after faults and minimizes the chance of data loss.
  3. Rely on vendors with a strong commitment to security
    It is crucial that a platform that runs the most important business applications is optimally secured. This requires, at the very least, control over the identities, roles, access rights, and data and privacy protection. Select a platform that satisfies these requirements and is certified for the current legal regulations.
  4. Select a reliable vendor
    Whoever trusts their entire business process to a low-code platform may at the very least expect that the vendor is financially stable, is growing and has good customer references. So, check this thoroughly and possibly ask if you can speak to an existing customer about their experiences.
  5. Involve the business in the development process
    During the (re-)development of core applications you achieve the best results if you involve the end users in the process. This will enable you to identify any frustrations about the existing applications and deliver practical improvements. This methodology also increases the acceptance and adoption from the users. Ensure that the low-code platform supports this form of cooperation.
  6. Treat end users as customers
    Training users is essential to take full advantage of new software. Personal one-to-one instruction works best, during which the employee uses the application and can ask questions. A good alternative are instruction sessions in small groups or for each department, during which a local specialist or super-user can answer any questions.

With these seven tips you can make an informed choice to select the best low-code platform for the implementation of business-critical systems. One thing is clear: With a low-code platform for core systems, you perfectly and efficiently tailor business software to an organization’s unique processes and practices. In the Forrester report one company sums up the benefits as follows:

“All processes implemented as we wanted. Financially, the custom solutions are way cheaper than the [packaged] alternatives we looked at.”

Do you want to know more about modernizing core applications with low-code? Read the entire Forrester report: click here.