Six Compelling Reasons Why Your Company Needs a Rapid Application Development Platform!

So what is a Rapid Application Development Platfom?

A Rapid Application Development Platform (RAD Platform for short) is a cloud-based platform which gives you the ability of building applications at speed through Low Code / No Code technology stack. We use the WEM Modeler and can help you sign up to get started.

1. A RAD Platform gives you the time to truly understand your customer's needs so you can build something they love

"Often, taking the time to understand business requirements and to thoughtfully design an app is a luxury you can't afford."

With traditional or even modern DevOps development a lot of focus goes into the complexities of modern web/mobile application development. Evaluating the right UI frameworks to use for the front end can be a challenge as there is so much choice out there. It is also unclear which framework is best, just ask 10 developers and you probably get 10 different answers! Your full stack team then needs to cut complex code logic and build data models, understand the best database technologies to use for your app, and the list keeps going. All this takes away from the time you could be spending talking to your "real" customer, the business. How many development projects have you seen where enough time and resources were thrown at understanding the outcomes the business wants? How many times have you seen shortcuts taken in UI/UX design due to time and budget constraints?

A RAD Platform abstracts a lot of the complexities in building the front-end user interface by providing rich templates to leverage and customise. You just don't need to build UI/UX from scratch, and with the time you save you can spend more quality time with your users building a great application experience.

RAD Platforms also provides you with a Low Code visual way of building logic in your apps which hugely speeds up the development process as your developers don’t need to drown in thousands of lines of code. They are also given a robust database which allows them to easily build even the most complex data models. Of course, all this means that you can spend more time talking to the business; talking to more stakeholders to ensure you understand exactly what outcomes the business want. This results in guaranteed success with better customer feedback from your users.

2. A RAD Platform reduces the cost of development by up to 80%

"Building custom applications cost a lot of money"

It's no secret that building custom applications with traditional and DevOps methods is costly. You need to hire scarce specialised resources all the way up the stack. To build your app you may need to hire front-end and back-end developers, business analysists, security consultants, infrastructure and/or cloud specialists. Managing a diverse mix of staff like this means that you need to find experienced resources which help bring it all together like project or product managers and scrum masters. All these resources mean more cost!

RAD Platforms abstract the complexities of front-end and back-end development. You can use a single front-end or back-end developer to build the complete stack. They can build quicker as they don't have to create all that code from scratch. Because you are building on a platform, you don’t have to worry about underlying infrastructure like servers, instances, containers, databases and then securing them. Simplification enables you to more effectively leverage your developers across the stack reducing the time to build, as well as the staff numbers you need. Less time and fewer people means less cost!

Reducing costs, of course, means "opportunity". What the customer saves now can be re-invested into building more features and refining the user experience. Start delivering now what your customer would have otherwise left for later in a backlog or future road map!

3. RAD reduces development timeframes – go 10 times faster!

"You need results fast but traditional development is slow"

Developing custom applications is a complex undertaking as you are building from scratch.  The complexity of writing code, building CI/CD pipelines and building infrastructure slows you down if you don't have a lot of very experienced expert-level resources. Another variable with complexity is spending the time to find the right people with the right skills. Sometimes the scarcity of these resources means you hire resources which don't do the job to the quality you would have liked and all this results in lost time.

With a RAD platform, you have the opportunity to jump right into building.  The learning curve is nowhere near as steep and is pretty simple for a developer of any level.  Starting with the developers you already have or even citizen developers avoids those startup delays.

The simplicity of RAD Platforms means your developers get more done in less time. We have found that we can easily deliver simple to complex applications in half the time, and in most cases, even quicker. It is a real game changer!

4. Simplify the complexities of releasing your app in production

"Releasing applications in production successfully is hard"

One of the most frustrating aspects of developing applications is release lifecycle management. To do this effectively you need to maintain multiple environments. Depending on the size of your company, the complexity of the application and development standards that you follow, you can have anything from two to six environments. This segregation increases complexity but also helps you to release updates to your application stack in a safe way (i.e. dev, test, pre-production, and production). Keeping the code base, the data, as well as the underlying infrastructure in sync, is a lot of work. Even when you use DevOps practices and CI/CD tool sets it still introduces a lot of complexity. The result is that it takes a lot of time and effort to release changes to your app. Avoiding mistakes, rollbacks and unintended issues is also hard to avoid.

Our RAD Platform provides developers with consistent environments to build, test and release applications. The underlying infrastructure, the data models, the workflows with logic, the environment variables are all completely consistent and relevant to their environment.

This means developers don’t need to worry about environment inconsistencies, code and configuration drift which dramatically improves the success rate of releases!

5. Avoids all the hard work of running the underlying infrastructure of your application

"For developers, working out how to set up and manage the underlying plumbing is a nuisance"

Building applications is what developers love to do, what they tolerate is the underlying infrastructure. The plumbing is just not as interesting; it is a necessity rather than a feature, and hence is often neglected in design and management. Released applications need to be managed. This "water and feeding" is often delegated to another siloed infrastructure or cloud group which do not understand the application intimately. All this costs your business more and introduces risk as well as technical and operational complexity. Even with a DevOps model, where more is done by cross-functional resources, the complexity remains and is just managed by hiring expensive "unicorn" type resources which can work all the way up the stack.

A solid RAD Platform allows you to deliver your application to your users through Software as a Service. Your application's runtime deployed to production runs on the cloud with a hyper-scale technology stack which provides the high availability and resilience you need to deliver for your business.

Hosting your application becomes a no-brainer. It is done for you and operationally all you have to concentrate on is your application feature roadmap!

6. Provides a proven secure environment to run your applications

"Security standards are complex and a headache to implement, support and manage"

One huge part of running your application on the cloud or on-premise is securing it. With the interconnectedness of technology these days your applications need to be built with security first in mind. Attack surfaces are huge and this means you need very clever SecOps or DevSecOps resources to build security controls, manage and monitor your environments. This presents a huge challenge to even the largest enterprise companies and will surely be one you experience as well.

An enterprise-grade RAD Platform provides you with a solid foundation to build your apps.  The underlying infrastructure is secured to international standards like ISO27001:2013, IEC27001:2013, NEN 7510 etc. Security is job zero for these platforms and you can leverage all the experience and maturity of a provider who hosts applications for hundreds of customers.  It's becoming a no-brainer for companies now to outsource their security. Who would you bet on? Your internal engineers to secure your apps or proven providers which specialise in securing their environments.

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About Jamie

Jamie is Zero Code's principal consultant. He is passionate about working with clients to deliver big, fully implemented, sustainable results fast. In his role at Zero Code Solutions Jamie uses serverless, no code solutions to help deliver value through process automation, organisational change management and workforce education.