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Why do we treat software as disposable product?

Software is a combination of functionality and technology that are inextricably linked. This works fine until the technology becomes outdated and needs to be modernized. As a consequence the software must be completely rewritten, while the functionality hardly changes. As a software supplier this means that you throw away your entire solution. And the worst part is: technology becomes outdated at an increasingly faster rate. Low-code software is a much more sustainable alternative, but why is it still underused? 

The inefficient development model of traditional software is maintained by the market. IT service providers even profit from the ever-shorter life-cycle of software. Once the software is technologically outdated, they can sell a new version of the product to their customers, including the implementation. And they face hardly any competition, because they know their customers inside out.

Package suppliers on the other hand, do suffer from the shorter life-cycle of their software. They have invested for many years in development, only to find that their software has become too outdated. As a result, their package is less interesting for new customers and their existing customers will also be inclined to look around for competitive products. The only solution is to rebuild the software package with new technology, but this requires a major investment. And then it is still unclear how long the life-cycle of the new product is. There is clearly a need for a more modern and a more sustainable form of software development.

More efficient development with low-code

The ideal development model is actually quite simple: functionality and technology must be separated from each other. Specify all the properties of the software in a functional model, which is subsequently used to automatically realize software. As a result, modifying the look and feel of an application or adding tablet support can be done easily without programming and while maintaining all functionality. This is precisely what a low-code development platform enables you to do.

There are currently several low-code platforms on the market, which usually focus on specific uses, such as apps or ERP. But the one thing they have in common is that the software can always be flexibly modified. Furthermore, low-code developers are ten times more productive than traditional developers because all functionality can be model driven. They do not have to worry about the technological basis of the software. This will be fully taken care of and kept up to date by the supplier of the platform.

Functionality over technology

Low-code development therefore offers all kinds of advantages, from increased productivity to the fact that software no longer becomes technologically outdated. IT service providers could definitely benefit in terms of productivity, if it were not for the fact that they would sell far fewer hours to their customers. In addition, they would miss out on recurring deals with their customers if the software they supplied would no longer become technologically outdated. Embracing low-code would therefore only be profitable for them with a completely different revenue model, for instance, based on project prices or maintenance subscriptions. This is often too big a step.

However, for package suppliers this is a different matter altogether. Technologically modernizing their own software is a costly recurring nightmare. They would be over the moon if they could completely eradicate this. Switching to low-code development would in principle be the perfect solution for them. This would allow them to focus fully on the functional aspects of their application, without having to build a new one every few years. Of course, it does sound a bit scary to incorporate your intellectual property into a low-code development platform. But if you think about it logically, this really is the development model of the future.