Historically, software and computer programs by their very nature have tended to be complicated. In order to allow technology to be more accessible and available, low-code solutions have been built that hide the complex code, algorithms and instructions behind simple, easy-to-learn and intuitive interfaces.
Housing providers can now build, develop and deliver solutions that release value, reduce costs and provide greater opportunity using platforms that are a strong fit out of the box but can be adapted and customised with minimal technical expertise. Couple that with technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and you have a platform that can deliver more relevant, personalised and consistent experiences and outcomes.
Rather than write a program in one of the many available programming languages, it’s now a simple task to build a working solution by clicking and dragging simple building blocks on a screen or completing a series of online forms. In no time at all, you could customise the technology in your home to meet your needs and improve your living, comfort, and security. To give you a domestic example, consider the problem of a leaky washing machine flooding your utility room. Drop a flood sensor under the washing machine and get it to send you a notification on your phone if it happens again.
Take the above example and apply it to a business process such as onboarding a new tenant or changing a complaint process and you can start to see how simple it can be to adapt your platform to your specific needs.
The concept of low code is to build solutions without the need to understand or use complex programming languages and instead to use a graphical interface or configuration settings. This extends the reach to a much wider audience.
Housing providers can extend the reach of their platforms to their tenants and homes too. Homes can be integrated, monitored and managed centrally using disparate but standards-based technologies.
For example, in the context of the internet of things, low-code solutions can act as the glue which integrates everything together, giving housing providers the power and reach to build, manage and maintain solutions and scenarios themselves rather than relay on external suppliers.
One platform that has had much success in doing this is Salesforce. It delivers three core releases each year that cover the five core areas of innovation, platform, productivity, mobility and community. The focus on simplicity, agility and delivering solutions that allow you to focus on your organisational needs above all else are the keys to its success.
For organisations, vertically-aligned platforms coupled with low-code software are a key part of the democratisation of IT because it removes the dependency on your IT team. No longer do you need a team of dedicated IT experts to plan, develop, test and release code before the business teams can start using the system.
Low code has always been a fundamental objective, with the promise from the very beginning of solutions that contain ‘no code’, arguably one step better than low code!
Richard Corner is the CEO of Alscient.