With the tech talent crunch, low-code could be the answer for organizations in Asia Pacific looking to go digital quickly.
The never-ending fight to find tech expertise, especially in software development and coding, has often been cited as a reason for delays in digitalization projects.
Many organizations in the region have started looking to low-code development platforms to overcome this hurdle.
However, misconceptions about low-code application development still exist among organizations. For businesses looking to accelerate their digital transformation, what can or cannot be done on low-code platforms?
DigiconAsia had the opportunity to draw some insights from Daniel Lim, MD, Technology, Temus, and the company’s experience with organizations leveraging its low-code platform.
What are some common misconceptions about low-code development?
Daniel Lim (DL): As with any up-and-coming technology, there are many misconceptions about low-code development and its applications. Even the most experienced tech leaders sometimes struggle to accurately assess its suitability, and this uncertainty prevents them from adopting a platform that can greatly contribute to their digital transformation.
Below are some of the common misconceptions:
Low-code can only build simple, lightweight apps
Some believe that low-code introduces limitations in terms of both functionality and user experience. Indeed, this was true when the technology was less mature – but it is not the case now.
For example, amongst our platforms and partners, Temus works closely with OutSystems to deliver low-code solutions to the industry, and some years ago the OutSystems tagline was “Speed without Walls”. A good low-code platform must allow the developer not just to deliver applications at speed, but also to cover a large proportion of the business needs.
The choice of low-code platform, and delivery partner is crucial. We have successfully challenged this misconception on multiple occasions, using low-code to deliver complex applications that range from an end-to-end procure-to-pay application, an employee self service portal, a super app for students and one of the first consumer mobile applications built on low-code in the region with a fully customised user experience.
My business users can now create their own apps
Well, yes and no. The truth is that there are different low-code tools in the market that are suited for different types of applications – not all of them are equal. In general there are two categories: platforms that targets citizen (business) developers, or platforms that target professional (technical) developers.
Users who have no IT knowledge being able to create their own apps is a pipedream for many organisations because it relieves demands on their IT department. However, apps built by such developers are usually limited to simple use cases in terms of functionality and integrations, such as a single form or workflow.
If low-code is selected as a technology for enterprise and business critical apps, a platform that targets professional developers such as OutSystems would be more suitable. This is where Temus excels. Our agile squads comprise of multi-disciplinary resources, including functional consultants, UI/UX designers, and developers.
There is a school of thought that low-code developers do not need to be as technically inclined or competent as a high-code developer, but this is not entirely true. We have found that in order to develop apps that are robust, scalable, and encompass complex business logic, developers need to be just as skilled and in addition require deep low-code knowledge in order to leverage low-code at its maximum potential.
Low-code platforms lock you in
Vendor lock-in is one of the common fears surrounding adopting any product or platform. Low-code is no exception. However, there are platforms out in the market who generate the low-code applications that run on the standard architecture and will allow you to export your code and your data should you one day choose to exit the platform.
What are the key opportunities for enterprises leveraging low-code in Asia Pacific today and how does low-code help them to transform for the digital future?
DL: With a rapidly evolving business environment, speed, agility, and quality technology innovations are at the heart of successful digital transformation – animperative for organisations to stay ahead.
Time-to-market is becoming increasingly important for enterprises. A low-code platform helps organizations to modernise their applications quickly by providing tools that boost developer productivity through automation and reusability. Using visual language instead of the regular textual coding languages, it allows developers to focus on what matters most to the business, such as user experience.
The technology talent crunch is also a key challenge that enterprises all over the world have to deal with. Our choice of platform will allow developers that are skilled in the visual language to build applications for web and mobile channels, ensuring that scarce developer resources are used in the most efficient way possible.
Which are some organizations in the region that have benefited from low-code app, and what are some of these key benefits?
DL: Because low-code sits in the custom app development space, our customer base cuts across many business verticals. We have over 30 customers that have benefited from the speed and agility that low-code offers.
For example, we have helped one of the leading virtual telcos in Singapore build their entire web and mobile presence, which is their main touchpoint with their customers, using low-code. This has allowed them to respond to market demands quickly and roll out features in a timely manner to continue to engage and win customers.
We have also helped a multinational pharmaceutical company run a low-code digital factory for 12 months, deploying multiple teams working with 16 countries to migrate some 90 applications from an aging technology stack to a modern low-code platform.
What are Temus’ plans in Singapore and for the Asia Pacific region, especially after the acquisition of Dreamcloud?
DL: Dreamcloud, the first company that Temus has acquired, adds low-code, high-speed app development capabilities to the firm’s pro-code capabilities, thus providing a new dimension to our app development practice which should be good news for our customers. All of us from Dreamcloud are thrilled to be a part of the Temus family.
We will continue to grow our capabilities with partners and embark on bold new initiatives like Step IT Up x Temus, a hire, place and train programme that aims to broaden digital opportunities for around 400 people and grow digital talents for Temus and Singapore.
Today, Temus is delighted to count some of Singapore’s most future-forward government agencies and large enterprises as our customers. Our customers operate across a wide range of sectors, including energy and waste management, infrastructure, financial services and insurance, education, consumer goods.
We have to be on an accelerated growth momentum because of the growing digital aspirations of our customers. And what has been achieved so far has been quite remarkable, given that Temus has only been in operation for just 18 months. We are looking forward to unlocking even greater economic and societal value for our customers and shaping the digital future of Singapore and the region, together!