OutSystems : Lego-styled platform for more agile software creation

When the economies of speed take hold later this year due to the easing of Covid-19 issues, public and private sectors in Thailand will gain from a new low-code software creation platform championed by OutSystems, which is poised to modernize virtually all enterprise applications with less time and manpower.


Akarat Ngandee, country manager of OutSystems covering Thailand and Vietnam, said potential customers should adopt the company’s low-code software creation platform due to the attractive return on investment (ROI) made possible by faster project implementation, resulting in cost saving and reduced business risks.


“We can build fast and build right for the future,” said Akarat, noting that innovation is now driven by the new generation of software creation tools, especially the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for new features such as face recognition, QR code scan, and KYC identification.,


In the older days, software development would need a lot of specialist manpower and technical skills as well as a lot of lead time to deliver products that meet business requirements. But today’s digital transformation and widespread rapid adoption of mobile devices have led to new challenges which could be better tackled by the so-called low-code or Lego-styled software creation platform as developed by OutSystems.


OutSystems recently completed its latest round of $150-million fund-raising at a valuation of $9.5 billion.


Instead of 6 months or longer, the low-code platform can deliver results in 3-4 months, underlining the new paradigm shift in enterprise management amid increased business complexity resulting from the prolonged Covid 19 worldwide pandemic. Public and private sectors now need to meet new requirements on mobile, web-based and other applications for both IOS and Android in one go so less technical skill and time requirements have become competitive advantages.


Meanwhile, older-generation software, having been used for a couple of years, is generally tough for further development or upgrade so it is better to start anew with the low-code platform which allows developers to work more closely with business management from the outset to better meet customer experience requirements.


For example, in the financial industry, mobile banking apps are now a significant competitive arena with  agility and speed being key to stay competitive. Instead of starting from the first to the tenth 10 steps in the traditional software development model, the low-code platform allows enterprises to focus on, say, 7th to 10th steps, thanks to built-in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered features, which also ensure seamless integration of security features like KYC customer identification.


The AI-powered platform also makes use of existing patterns and can generate  a wide range of suggestions to respond to fast-changing customer experience requirements. This makes software creation and updates more efficient and speedy than the traditional model.


New log-in pages, barcode scan feature for mobile payment apps, KYC identification, CRM and digital coupon or token features etc can be done automatically, thus saving time and costs.


Akarat said the 2021 priority is to transform customer experience over the next 1-2 years, covering both public and private enterprises as consumers and citizens would need more digital touchpoints for government and commercial services to make online more simple and easier.


Next is workplace innovation, especially for SMEs,  work from home, and human resources management. For example, HRM now needs innovative software for new recruits covering hiring,  orientation to training, probation, leave while making use of e-learning, online collaboration and other tools to ensure healthy well-being and productivity.


The third priority is process automation so as to streamline business procedures, compliance, marketing and other key functions.


Last but not least is the modernization of applications which are now required to connect  with LINE, FB, Clubhouse etc or have barcode scan features so many mobile banking and other apps need a facelift with new font and other innovations as well as complete overhaul to deliver better customer experiences.


In the older days, apps might be unchanged for 1-2 years, now the lifecycle is much shorter, averaging 1.5 month after which a refreshed version may be  needed so the low code platform is the answer, turning what used to be a technical-led software creation into a developer-led approach for increased business agility.


Another example is the recent launch of the vehicle leasing platform in Thailand which was done in about 3-4 months rather than 6-12 months, allowing the automaker to enjoy revenue gains ahead of competition as customers can go online 100 per cent to the platform by identifying themselves, choosing a car model, sending all document online, and waiting for online approval after which they will get QR codes to pick up their vehicles without any paperwork.


Akarat said the new business paradigm post Covid 19 is the absence of big bang launch on Day One like in the older days as enterprises now prefer to start with key features as a core and then update the core with feedback via multiple MVPs (minimum viable products) to better customer experiences as this method is more accurate in satisfying the customers. Social media such as Tik Tok vdo posts are also used as part of the  new approach.


The same method can also be used when the government launches the upcoming vaccine passport scheme in partnership with international and domestic agencies such as WHO, Interpol, tourism authority, airlines, hotels and related entities to re-open the tourism industry.