Log in to like this post! How To Drive 10x ROI With Low-Code Tools Jason Beres [Infragistics] / Wednesday, October 4, 2023 It is always very exciting to build a new app. Maybe you’re using a new technology or platform, or maybe you’re building a whole new experience for your customers. But then you start to get into that mundane, boring, error-prone & repetitive code. Processes slow down and repetitive tasks become heavier. Imagine being able to accelerate application development, innovate, reduce development costs, and rapidly deploy solutions to meet evolving customer needs, all while maintaining high-quality standards. This isn't a pipe dream. It’s the capabilities that low code offers today. Amid this era of digital transformation, platforms like our WYSIWYG App Builder™ have emerged as transformative tools that can streamline the entire design-development process and objectively define their impact on the company’s ROI. While we’ve discussed the benefits of using enterprise low-code platforms many times, the focus of this article now is how exactly these technologies help you achieve 10x ROI, while fundamentally reshaping software development landscape and fostering innovation. Try App Builder Article pillars: The ROI Accelerators Top 7 metrics to measure the ROI of low code IT expenditure Time-to-market Productivity Adoption and users IT output Digital transformation benchmarks Stress factors App Builder against the metrics: the 10x feature set An App Builder example showcasing its ROI-boosting value The ROI Accelerators in the Face of Low-Code Tools: The Gamechangers Businesses Need Organizations are constantly seeking ways to innovate, respond to market changes swiftly, and extract maximum value from their technology investments, while handling different industry and process challenges at the same time. For example, in one of our latest surveys that we carried out, we found out that: 80% percent of development teams don’t work with the designer and lack design resources. 60% percent of development teams don’t use prototyping tools. 85% percent of you say that UI screen layout and working with HTML and CSS are the biggest challenges and time wasters which means most of the development time is spent on tasks developers don't enjoy doing or don’t have the right skills for it. 90% to 92% percent of developers use low-code tools for 0 to 10% percent of their job. And this is a major setback. Luckily, that’s where low code and App Builder™ come into play, bringing things like unmatched time-to-value, code generation capabilities, data binding, and analytics dashboards. All of which helps it live up to its cost, while enabling businesses to handle top software development challenges more easily, scoring bigger ROI. The Top 7 Metrics to Measure the ROI of Low Code By now, you must have noticed that the low-code revolution is here, and you need to get onto the bandwagon in one way or another not just to stay competitive but to be more productive. The question here, though, is how to quantify the ROI of low-code application development? From calculating the cost savings to measuring the impact of automation achieved through the implementation of low-code platforms – here are the top 7 ROI metrics for low-code tools. Here are the key low-code ROI metrics to consider: IT expenditure Time-to-market Productivity Adoption and users IT output Digital transformation benchmarks Stress factors Let’s discuss each one in detail. 1. IT expenditure Benchmarking metrics related to cost savings and IT spending is one of the best ways that will help you quantify the ROI of low-code application development. To get an idea of the effect of the implementation and usage of low-code tools on your business in terms of spending, do the following: Calculate the cost savings achieved through reduced development time. See the decreased maintenance costs compared to traditional app development requiring more technologies. Compare the cost and time spent in building an app or a screen with and without the low-code platform. Evaluate if extra features and improvements will be more/less expensive. Measure the technical debt and if there will be a reduced need for refactoring or redevelopment or the opposite. Calculate the total cost of ownership over the lifecycle of low-code apps, including development, maintenance, and operational costs. Calculate the time and cost savings from automating manual processes. 2. Time-to-Market In today's fast-paced business environment, being the first to market a new software product or a feature can provide a significant competitive advantage that results in faster revenue generation as well. So, make sure to: Measure the time it takes to develop and deploy a new app using low code and then compare it to traditional app development and hand coding. By how much is the average project timeline reduced? Measure the number of requests that the IT team manages successfully since the implementation of the new low-code solution. Does it happen faster? Slower? The same? See if the IT team is capable of building the minimum viable product (MVP) with essential features more easily using just the low-code platform. 3. Productivity Low-code platforms typically come with a range of pre-built templates and reusable components which accelerates development and result in a productivity uptick. Compare the number of apps developed per developer/team using low code versus traditional coding. Consider citizen developers here as well and measure whether they can clear IT backlogs or handle repetitive tasks more easily without the help from experienced developers. Evaluate how much time is minimized on critical tasks and how many manual tasks are actually automated. Measure how much more work the development team can complete. Calculate the number of people it would take to complete a project within a deadline – designers, developers, etc. Monitor the number and severity of bugs and issues in the apps built with low code and those built with traditional methods. Measure improvements in workflow automation, resource allocation, and task completion times. 4. Adoption and users It’s one thing striving for digital transformation through low code, but it’s another thing to carefully select a tool that matches your business goals and complements the capabilities of the team. Track the number of people who actively use the low-code tool. Is it suitable for fusion teams? Measure its flexibility and whether it can really serve as a single source of truth where designers, developers, stakeholders, PMs collaborate. Evaluate how many repetitive tasks it eliminates and whether teams across the board can use it for different purposes. See if the platform integrates with existing technologies and how many legacy systems are eliminated. Measure the time and effort required to integrate apps built with low code and those developed with other technologies and additional data sources. Assess the ability of low-code applications to scale and handle increased workloads and more projects at the same time when used by multiple people. 5. IT output This is another way to measure the low code ROI when IT teams work on more complex, mission-critical projects. Estimate the turnaround time for completing apps. Estimate the reduction in errors and associated costs in bug fixes and maintenance. Compare the time spent maintaining and updating old systems with and without low-code platforms. Examine the impact and quality of the IT output before and after implementing low-code strategies and tools. See how much development work is completed for large-scale, enterprise-level applications. What’s the time-output ratio? Quantify the impact of a UI built with low-code and consider things like user retention and engagement. 6. Digital transformation benchmarks Digital transformation benchmarks are key performance indicators (KPIs) that companies use to assess and measure the progress and success of their digital transformation goals. Determine your roadmap and see how it will change after implementing low code. Then compare it to the current roadmap. Measure the performance before and after low code. Track metrics like customer retention rates if a key goal is to improve customer satisfaction through low code. Access sales growth, conversion rates, and average transaction value achieved for the before-after period. 7. Stress factors This is closely related to engagement and the way teams respond to the adoption of low-code. Gather feedback from users to assess their satisfaction with the low-code strategies and tools in place. See if people find their work facilitated or more complex after/before low-code platforms. Calculate employee engagement and participation levels. Evaluate whether teams are satisfied with the pace of work, output, development time, low-code capabilities, etc. See if they are more willing to take on more projects as much of the repetitive task factor is reduced or they are still inclined to focus on fewer tasks but with more hand-coding involved. Something to keep in mind - Quantifying ROI can be a complex task, especially when it includes harder to monitor and measure benefits like shifting and changing user experiences. However, when a business has clear goals and knows its pain points, a well-thought ROI analysis can in fact provide valuable insights into the impact that low-code tools and development practices impose. App Builder & The Metrics: The 10x ROI Feature Set In essence, App Builder is a cloud-based, low-code tool that helps digital product teams build apps faster than ever. Through its WYSIWYG toolbox, drag and drop enterprise-grade components, code preview and code generation, and a design system with UI kits, you can achieve the outcomes you want faster than you ever would be able to develop with hand coding. And here we mean up to 80% faster. The faster way to explain how it works and optimizes every process -> Think about screens created in Figma or Sketch that can be easily imported into App Builder, saving yourself all of that time of starting something from scratch. Then there’s the Indigo.Design system with UI kits that lets your design team do what they need to do and the App Builder itself that natively understands how all of that works, bringing everything together with a core feature set that accelerates app delivery and help you get 10x ROI: Production-ready code generation in Angular, Blazor, and Web Components Full UI/UX Toolbox Data Grid, Tree Grid, Pivot Grid Charting Cell Display/Edit Templates Data Binding with Open API, JSON Support Responsive Design (RWD) CRUD Actions for Grids Routing & Navigation Theming & Branding App Starter Kits App Templates Screen Templates A Design System Figma and Sketch Import Reveal BI Component But to be even more specific, why Is App Builder + low code critical for companies aiming at bigger low-code ROI? Achieve unparalleled time-to-value Rapidly deliver apps that your business needs with the existing talent. Empower more programmers and citizen developers to build applications and contribute. Improve developer productivity with low-code attributes, such as a development toolkit (based on developer experience), a visual user interface, reusable components, and more. Use a common platform to design prototypes and then transform designs easily into clean, production-ready code. Build more at scale Develop a variety of solutions ranging from process automation apps to mission-critical systems modernization, without incurring heavy costs. Deliver continuous improvements to end-users with engaging web experiences. Build maintainable solutions that are easy to scale on cloud-native architecture. Shape a new way of developing Break down silos to foster a strong business-IT partnership. Provide a single source of truth for different teams, create workspaces to work with your teams, share applications with others, or invite new team members. Start a project from scratch or use an existing sample to either learn from it or modify it and make it your own using the property editor inside the tool. Stay agile to respond quickly to changing business and customer needs. Take advantage of an environment for visually defining the UIs, workflows, and data models of your application. Automatically handle data structures and data binding. While you have all of these things in place, think about how they respond to the most important metrics for measuring the ROI of low-code tools. After all, to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of low-code development, businesses must set up and access various key performance indicators (KPIs). Only this way can people determine the impact that these platforms and development practices have on the organization in general. A Quick App Builder Example Showcasing Its ROI-Boosting Value Think for a moment that you have to build a full-fledged Blazor Grid with different features and fetch data. This is something very specific but the low-code App Builder tool can basically do it for you. So, what would typically take months or weeks and would involve a dedicated design team, software developers, processes like handling designer-developer handoffs, POCs, hand-coding, etc., is now minimized significantly. How exactly does it work? You can start by easily picking a layout from the pre-built ones. Then drag and drop a grid on the screen that comes built in with an Excel-like filtering and maybe even set up a Master detail scenario. Since the grid is very powerful, you can add more features by simply clicking the plus icon in the feature section and start adding what you need – Paging, Row Actions, Row Selection, Grouping, Moving etc. It’s all there. Another great thing about it is that customization also happens with ease. You can just use the hyperlinks in the feature set that will allow you to modify the Grid even more. From here, you can generate the Blazor code and run it locally. If you want to see how this actually looks like in real life, just click the preview button and you will have the grid there just like it would feel like in a real app. However, if you want to see the definition for the same Grid but in Angular, all you have to do is regenerate that code in a click. Simply select the desired framework from the button in the upper right corner and you will be able to see what the grid would look like in Angular with everything that you would need for this page, including all the data binding, property settings, etc. You have the TypeScript and the CSS that you would need for the pages too. And you don’t have to generate the whole app all the time again and again. Let's say you already have a screen in your app and you only need a new grid. You can go and highlight just this part of the app/screen, then copy and paste it into your app and there you go. This eliminates all the typing and all the figuring out to actually do this with all the columns and all the property settings from scratch. Everything happens in minutes, not weeks, proving that low code and App Builder can really revamp the entire design-development cycle. The impact is clear: higher revenue, lower expenses, and greater efficiency. Lastly, if you want to see the full power of App Builder in action and the way it helps businesses achieve 10x ROI, watch the quick tutorial below. Our SVP of Developer Tools – Jason Beres – covers the details and shares more useful tips.