At Appian World hosted in Miami, the company announced a significant shift in its low-code application development approach. In essence, the company wants to democratise low-code to transform business processes and empower the citizen developer.
In a world as competitive as the technological space, it is not enough to have the best software or services; it is also essential to give everyone in a company the tools they need to innovate.
This is the aim of Appian’s #lowcode4all programme, announced at Appian World 2022.
Over the next few years, many more developers will be needed than ever before, but it is not always easy to find professionals with the right skills to carry out the tasks of creating new applications and business processes. In fact, the demand for professionals in these sectors is currently huge and far outstrips the talent available with specific application development and programming profiles.
According to Morgan Stanley, there is a shortage of 1.4 million professional software engineers in the US alone. Low-code technology, one of the fastest-growing sectors today, will fill that gap because it allows anyone to become a developer.
In addition, Gartner predicts that, by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by companies will use low-code or even no-code technology, up from less than 25% in 2020.
And Appian has always sought its low-code platform to reduce this gap so that more professionals can design business process management without needing to be software development experts. This #lowcode4all initiative adds the educational component so that more users can learn and study what is becoming an industry standard: the development of solutions and applications in an easy, simple way by minimising the use of complex lines of code.
The #lowcode4all programme will provide training and certification in this area for future professionals. It is a decision (and an investment) for the future, as the more users know about this platform, the more companies will use it.
Over the last few decades, we have seen this with many tools and solutions, from everything related to Windows environments to current cloud services from providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud. To a greater or lesser extent, they all have agreements at university or training centre level. And Appian wants to be no less.
The Appian way
During his opening session at Appian World 2022, Matt Calkins, CEO of Appian, highlighted these issues: “The global economy needs more developers. The ease of low-code learning allows people to change careers, upgrade their skills and improve their individual circumstances. Appian is committed to making low-code careers available to everyone.”
With the #lowcode4all programme, Appian will award at least 1,000 scholarships over the course of this year for courses leading to the Appian Certified Associate Developer qualification.
The programme will be available to students currently pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies, students who have decided to take a temporary break from their education, unemployed people or those wishing to change careers, and military veterans.
This initiative started in the United States but aims to expand to other countries, such as Spain. It should not be forgotten that the Iberian subsidiary is one of the most important in the EMEA region after acquiring the Sevillian firm Novayre, which specialised in RPA, by Appian two years ago.
More than low-code
Miguel Ángel González, Regional Vice President of Appian Iberia, explains why this platform is a revolution.
During this edition of Appian World, as on previous occasions, this Silicon had the opportunity to chat with Miguel Ángel González, Regional Vice President of Appian Iberia, as well as with some of the heads of areas such as the public sector and banking, which Appian has focused for the adoption of its low-code platform.
For González, this is the most critical event in recent years, not so much because of the announcement of major new developments, but mainly because the event marks a watershed moment for the company as it integrates data mining (from the recent acquisition of Lana Labs) into the platform, which already has low-code and RPA capabilities.
Also, Gonzalez is clear that the integration of process mining is a qualitative leap for Appian because: “companies will no longer miss that causality they have in the data generated in the past to improve business. And these elements can be integrated with the rest of the available components, so that the intelligence generated, can improve processes already executed in Appian’s own platform.”
Let’s look at the generation of new applications. One of the central values of Appian is that they can be created and modified quickly to adapt to the specific needs of the market at any given time. The only thing missing in these processes was, as Gonzalez noted: “knowing how to do it, knowing where the important thing is when it comes to creating or modifying them”. And that is precisely the differential value and what process mining provides: being ability to make quick, agile and reliable changes based on the experience acquired in the past.
Appian’s platform already had information analysis functionalities in real-time to know how processes are being executed. With the incorporation of process mining, other factors come into play that considers all the information through historical analysis, all the casuistry to find inefficiencies in an automated (and predictive) way thanks to artificial intelligence and that serve to provide feedback into the systems that improve the processes. Process mining is the component that closes the circle of a continuous life cycle in each process.
Another new feature presented by the software manufacturer during the Congress is the extension of offline mobility – a functionality requested in the past by many customers to continue working on projects without having to be connected to the platform at the time. Gonzalez commented: “We have listened to our customers in areas such as construction, energy and public administrations, and they had that need – the need to be able to continue working even in conditions where there is no connectivity.” You can continue to work offline and then synchronise the data with the platform once the data exchange has been re-established.
One of the capabilities that set Appian’s low-code platform apart is Portals, which allows companies to build web services and applications easily and quickly in a secure environment. Gonzalez explained to Silicon: “Portals means opening a window for all users who need to be connected to the platform, but transparently to provide a more personalised service and improve the experience of the users themselves”.
Technologically, it is a scalability challenge that companies need to address, even when they do not know how users will behave on the platform. With Portals, companies can focus on providing the processes and data management that users (whether corporate or end-users) need and not so much on usability, design or scalability. But, of course, all of this is already available by default in this Appian service.