How Low-Code Development Helps Banks Digitally Transform

What is Low-Code Development?

Low-code development is a form of software development that provides an easy-to-use front-end interface that allows a series of commands to be traced, often using underlying application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect data between multiple tools, as well as connecting to existing infrastructure, whether in the cloud or on-premises.

The concept of low-code development, a term coined by Forrester in a 2014 report, is beneficial in many ways. First, it opens up capabilities to broader categories of people, including those without traditional programming experience. Second, it allows for a faster development process, allowing more to be done in less time.

“The ability to easily build apps won’t require companies to dedicate fewer resources to the initiative,” said Seth Robinson, senior director of technology analysis at CompTIA. “They will actually want to dedicate more resources so that they can tap into the full potential.”

Low-code development can take many forms; for example, it can be used as a method of developing applications, but also as a means of managing servers and other pieces of digital infrastructure, extending concepts such as infrastructure as code.

What are the best low-code solutions for banking?

A number of low-code apps and platforms exist for different use cases, providing benefits for multiple industries, including banking. Some of the most common tools for low-code include:

  • Power applications by Microsoft: Because it is connected to Microsoft’s ecosystem of applications, including the Power BI analytics platform, Power Apps has become popular as a tool that supports the rapid development of business applications back -end. Its ability to integrate with Microsoft Azure is also seen as an advantage.
  • App Engine by ServiceNow: Originally rooted in IT departments but evolving into a more versatile low-code tool, App Engine has caught the interest of some highly regulated government agencies.

READ MORE: Find out why open banking is the future of finance.

How can low-code development improve banks’ digital offerings?

For the financial industry, low-code could enable a new influx of agility into areas that have not been so easily serviced.

Since many banks and their underlying financial systems still rely on legacy technologies, such as COBOL, a programming language from the 1950s, banks may find themselves unable to act as quickly as they would like. while other sectors are well placed to react quickly to changes. in the consumer climate.

In a recent blog post, Lucy Brown, head of enterprise applications industry for financial services at Microsoft, notes that financial institutions could find significant opportunity in moving away from legacy technology when possible.

“On average, financial institutions can spend up to 70% of their IT budget maintaining and maintaining core systems and legacy applications,” Brown writes. “But by allocating resources in this way, organizations reduce their time and ability to consider new innovations. At the same time, they risk providing a poor customer experience with outdated systems. »

She recommends adopting modern interfaces, including on mobile devices, that “integrate seamlessly with all existing apps, workflows, and business processes,” which can help existing infrastructure feel newer.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Discover the technology trends to watch for financial institutions in 2022.

How can low-code development minimize IT backlogs?

The real benefit of low-code development for banks is how much it can do and how fast it can do it. Given the complexity of most financial institutions, traditional programmers could take years to optimize the platforms for modern operations. With 88% of IT departments saying workloads have increased, according to research from Salesforce, the arrival of low-code is not too soon.

By expanding its reach to more staff, low-code development enables faster execution, which could allow IT departments to get work done quickly on initiatives that might otherwise not be a priority.

A recent Forbes article noted that banks are applying technology from companies like Salesforce to transform manual processes that typically take weeks to complete into transactions that can be completed in just minutes; for example, researching a client before a meeting, which may require data from dozens of legacy systems.

Low-code is also good for handling the occasional curve, like the need to change business processes to handle a singular event like the paycheck protection program. According to SiliconANGLE, the critical need for the program and the speed with which it was launched forced banks to complete in weeks what they could normally have taken months or years to complete.

“The only way for a company to build such an app so quickly was to take advantage of low-code features — which allow users to build apps through graphical user interfaces instead of traditional hand-coded programming — in the underlying platform,” says writer Jason Bloomberg.