Custom software The reality, however, is different, because vendors of comprehensive, standard ERP packages mainly serve large organizations that are...
Traditional business software is a silent killer
The cost of maintaining their business applications has risen to astronomical heights for many large organizations. For many years they have invested in a complex IT environment with cumbersome software packages full of customization and supported by numerous peripheral applications. Despite the high costs, these environments rarely live up to the expectations. And because of all the effort and costs that are involved, it often seems impossible to start afresh. However, low-code software now offers companies an affordable and flexible alternative to escape from this situation.
Robert van der Linden, founder and CEO of Thinkwise
We are accustomed to traditional software. For each industry sector there is a software package that is considered to be the gold standard. Unfortunately, no company is ‘standard’, which means that long implementation processes are necessary to modify the software to satisfy the technical and business requirements of the organization. And after the initial implementation the software still rarely delivers what is expected. And what do you do then?
Are you going to embark on a new, expensive development project, or are you going to learn to make do with what you’ve got? Most organizations in this situation continue to build on their earlier investment with more customization, hundreds of self-developed applications or industry-specific packages and once every few years a major software update. But this does not result in the software being better suited to the business requirements, while the maintenance costs continue to rise. Low-code software turns this model on its head by offering a platform where technology is no longer the bottleneck for innovation. It allows you to develop business software that perfectly suits your business and can be flexibly modified at any time.
Focus on innovation
More than ever, companies are focused on rapid innovation, keeping up with technological developments and distinguishing themselves as much as possible from the competition. This is impossible if you force yourself into the straitjacket of a standard software package. Or if you invest a lot of money in modifying such a package and eventually still run up against all kinds of obstacles. Low-code software offers a far more future-proof model for the development of business software. The focus is on the definition of the business processes in a functional model, which forms a kind of virtual blueprint of your business. The applications are designed in the same model-driven manner, after which the software is automatically generated, without the need for a programmer. The major advantage of this is that the basis of the software, the virtual blueprint, can be flexibly modified at any time. Adding or changing new technology or a new process is always possible, just as modifying the user interfaces. In the end, the software conforms to the model.
Model-driven ERP systems
The only disadvantage is that some low-code software is only suitable for building business applications with limited functionality. However, many people are not aware that nowadays there are also low-code development platforms available with which you can develop fully-fledged ERP systems using a model-driven approach. Modern low-code platforms are in this respect a game changer for companies in, for instance, the manufacturing industry, retail and logistics that are highly dependent on efficiency and rapid innovation. By making the transition to low-code business software, they can replace their traditional, expensive IT systems with software that contains far less complexity and which perfectly suits and supports their processes and also remains flexibly modifiable. This may sound too good to be true, but it is already a reality. I would even go as far as to say that companies that do not switch in time to low-code software, will eventually lose their competitive position, which they will not be able to recover.