A recent survey from Gartner suggests that by 2024 low-code software development will be responsible for over 65 per cent of application activity across all sectors.
Low-code is a visual approach to developing software, which aims to automate every step of the application lifecycle, enabling the rapid delivery of a variety of solutions.
Our developers at ROCC have been telling me for some time now about the potential impact of low-code filtering through to the housing sector, and I’ve heard about digital transformation journeys using low-code at Hackney Council and Midland Heart, which have both been developing new tenant-facing apps to help move more transactions online.
Opportunities with low-code
The benefits of low-code development include the agility and speed with which new software can be rolled out, empowering housing providers to make faster decisions and respond to changing needs by accessing software development toolkits which have reusable elements.
Moreover, solutions can be built at scale using cloud-native architectures, cutting front-end costs and developing manageable and sustainable IT solutions.
The 20 per cent which low-code doesn’t reach
There are undoubted capabilities offered by low-code platforms by using visual templates which software developers can use as their starting point.
Low-code has the capability to cover 80 per cent of a housing provider’s IT department’s needs, but it’s that extra 20 per cent, the bespoke elements of software development, which makes a real difference and which low-code struggles to reach.
For example, interpreting data to maximise job costings for repairs by optimising the scheduling of maintenance operatives or assessing predictive analytics information for housing repairs, such as boiler servicing schedules, add real value for housing providers.
Low-code enables a single platform to build multiple touch points in a tenant’s online journey based on drag-and-drop components. There are also no-code solutions which exist in the back office but are hidden from view.
At their core, professional developers across housing are driven to build creative and innovative software solutions to solve complex problems facing social landlords in terms of delivering tenancy services.
Low-code provides developers with a toolbox but it only goes part of the way towards solving the potential disconnect between business needs and software delivery.
Peter Luck is the director of operations at ROCC.