Focus on Fusion Development
Learn how to balance low code and pro code for accelerated business agility in our Fusion Development blog.Read the Blog
In my previous blog, I introduced the concept of fusion development and how it bridges the gap between low code and pro code for an enterprise. In this blog, I wanted to dive a little deeper into leveraging a fusion strategy to actually increase low-code developer innovation, velocity, and governance.
Low code development is here to stay
Arming non-coding citizen developers with the tools they need to build applications and workflows that improve their business processes has gained steam over the last few years. Called low-code development, many companies have embraced this approach because it is an efficient and affordable way to modernize the business, leverage data-driven insights, and better meet user needs without using expensive IT resources.
“72% of leaders in the IT world admit that project backlogs constitute a major setback in strategic projects” — ZDNet
There are a lot of pluses for organizations — large and small — when it comes to low code. Some of the biggest benefits include:
- Building business-specific automation apps faster and cheaper, increasing adoption, productivity, and service
- Freeing IT from the demands of business users, allowing them to spend their time and resources on higher value, strategic projects
- Empowering users to solve their own problems and driving innovation throughout the organization
Microsoft’s Power Platform is one of the most popular low-code platforms. According to Forrester’s 2018-2022 The Total Economic Impact of Power Apps report, “Power Platform solutions are leveraged to develop end-user solutions as much as 74%, faster than traditional application development with more than a 140% return on investment.”
Developer maturity identifies a need for pro-code capabilities
The appeal of low code is undeniable, as more and more companies have adopted this approach to application development. However, as low-code developers mature, they can run up against some limits.
For example, as low-code developers start to solve more complex business challenges, they can out-grow the platform. The standards and capabilities built to support makers as they innovate safely can max out and no longer meet the needs of the users. Apps will need to do things not included in the pre-built components. At this point, the pros need to take the reins.
Another example is low-code apps that are created disparately and eventually need to align to the enterprise — ERP, CRM, or legacy business systems — to scale and grow. While there are some connection capabilities built in, pro-code connectors and services are sometimes required for safe and secure or more performant enterprise integration.
Standards are another issue companies run into with a low-code-only development approach. A center of excellence to align rules, standards, and best practices needs to be applied to ensure business security, privacy, and data safety.
When companies encounter these constraints, it can cause their low-code momentum to run out of steam.
Pro code fuels advanced low-code solutions
This is why, as your use of low code matures, evolving to include pro code is best. Known as fusion development, it’s important to note that pro code does not replace or take over low code — it augments its capabilities and unlocks its true power.
A fusion approach can help you bridge the gaps and overcome these low-code only limitations. Eliminating the barriers between low-code and pro-code developers, and allowing them to work together, actually empowers citizen developers with even more capabilities and accelerates their ability to innovate.
Pro-code developers can create custom APIs, connectors, and process logic and flows that can elevate existing low-code apps to better meet enterprise needs. In turn, citizen developers can then re-use these powerful microservices to build even more sophisticated solutions. The need for design velocity and speed to market is met without sacrificing customization, scalability, and sustainability.
Creates a safer space to innovate
The more citizen developers are empowered, the more their appetite for innovating grows. They want to create fast solutions that help them do their jobs better. Letting low coders explore and test out new functionality helps discover and fix issues earlier in the development cycle, increasing useability and adoption. It also helps prove out ROIs for apps that might eventually go pro code.
To do this, they need a safe sandbox to play in — so they can experiment without fear of failure. Failures at this level could threaten production data and business system integrity and enterprise security.
As I mentioned, though, when most companies start building with low code, they don’t always establish rules. It’s the wild west of app development with everyone doing their own thing. With a fusion approach, you are able to establish standards and best practices that govern how everyone develops applications. You can also put the necessary digital guardrails in place to manage the platform and ensure:
- Security and privacy
- Data, process, and business system protection
Making sure everyone is following rules and is on the same page will help protect the company while cultivating a community that nurtures low-code app developers, and help to enable growth, scalability, and future-proofing.
Governance first for speed and reusability
Governance also unifies all the disparate groups you have building apps. Ensuring all the spokes are connected is important, especially when you are a larger organization. If not, things can get out of control fast — costing you time and money and putting the company’s assets in potential jeopardy.
“G2 research says 25% of organizations are scared that low-code applications could be open to threats and other security risks.”
When you have a fusion strategy, it is best to think about rules, standards, and best practices in the beginning. This will create a more solid and sustainable foundation. Low-code apps are more likely to be designed correctly originally, so when you do need to hand them off to pro code developers, it can be done cost-effectively and quickly.
If you don’t have governance, low-code apps that need to migrate must be rebuilt. This causes code waste and friction, which can be slow and costly. Governance encourages reusability so you don’t have to throw as much away, and app migration is faster and more efficient.
Finding the right approach is key
As you can see, leveraging fusion development gives you the best of both — low-code and pro-code — worlds. With the right balance of each, you can realize maximum benefits including:
- Accelerated citizen developer innovation and creation
- Augmented pro dev velocity
- Increased end-user efficiency and adoption
- Greater options for citizen developers
However, every organization requires a unique approach to optimize its resources and outcomes. This is why it is best to collaborate with an experienced partner when planning or evolving your data and application platforms – whether you want to accelerate your low-code strategy through fusion, or you want to see what all the fuss is about and start experimenting with low-code.
The right partner should have expertise in low code and pro code, as well as cloud infrastructure and enterprise information security. That way, they can advise you on your strategy and find the best approach for your needs, skills, and budget. There’s no one-size-fits-all for this. Collaborating with an expert can help you:
- Bridge gaps in development
- Establish a center of excellence for app development
- Make sure your apps are being developed correctly from the beginning, so they are easier to migrate and are reusable
- Ensure data and system security
- Realize ROI faster
Hitachi Solutions can help
Hitachi Solutions is the partner you need for your app modernization journey. We have Microsoft Azure, enterprise-scale software development, information security, and Power Platform expertise to provide the best-of-industry approach, proven technologies, and effective teams to determine the best fusion path for your organization.
Can’t get enough of fusion development with Power Platform? Check out our webinar series to learn more. Contact us today to talk to one of our Modern Solutions practitioners or schedule your data migration assessment.