OutSystems: Accelerating Digital Transformation through Rapid Application Development
In 2009, The Danish Business Authority, an agency involved in registering corporations that do business in Denmark realized that it could no longer maintain a largely manual registration process and decided to switch to a new digital registration process. While the agency’s goal was to roll out the streamlined process by 2014, its decision to adopt the traditional waterfall approach didn’t support its vision. Having adopted the waterfall approach, which most businesses have been getting rid of in the past, the agency saw its effort stalling for a number of reasons including ever-changing systems requirements and slow decision making.
There have been numerous other similar disappointing tales associated with the usage of the waterfall approach, which takes place systematically, but minimises the chances of changing dynamics of software at a later stage. So a great deal of time is spent trying to plan for everything needed in an application to ensure that it is ‘right the first time’.
For OutSystems the solution to this problem was clear: Instead of trying to get software right up front, the change process should be inexpensive, fast and independent of the size of the application. And to make it possible, the company came into being in 2001 with a vision, i.e., a complete reversal of software delivery. “The founders of OutSystems were seasoned IT professionals who recognized that a large majority of software projects were failing. The projects either did not meet the deadlines or their budget was overrun,” details Mark Weaser, Vice President – Asia Pacific, OutSystems. The team examined the anatomy of change and built the organization with the goal of building, delivering and changing applications fast.
A Revitalized Approach to Development
Success of a software project is an outcome of various factors that range from reliability to functionality to ability to develop fast and a lot more. Thus, businesses consider relying on methodologies that ensure flexibility to integrate and ability to avoid cost overrun. As per a PwC report, reliability, ease of use, and ease of integration are the top three requirements project managers look for when shopping for software. Another study states that 75 percent of business and IT executives anticipate their software projects will fail. “The ability to develop and create apps quickly the first time is one thing but being able to rapidly iterate the apps based on user feedback and ever changing requirements is everything,” adds Mark. OutSystems low-code platform for rapid application development, which was developed by the company as a fresh approach to development, ensures this well.
It’s a low-code development platform which assures great efficiency and enables rapid iteration of the applications based on user feedback and ever changing requirements. The OutSystems platform has been specifically designed considering this objective and incorporates numerous other critical features. Some of its benefits include one-click continuous delivery, global dependency tracking across portfolio to ensure proper builds, promotions and rapid change – across all layers and security governance controls. The platform also carries the ability to capture user feedback directly inside the app and user experience analytics to help developers improve adoption. It has also earned the status of Best Mobile Application Development Platform and Best Cloud Platform as a Service in the CODiE Awards and was named a leader in The Forrester Wave: Low-Code Development Platforms.
One of the most remarkable features of this platform is that the applications delivered through it are multi-channel ready from the very first day.
An Extensive Suite of Pre-Built Apps
Other than its revolutionary low-code platform, OutSystems offers its clients a portfolio of pre-built apps, which include various sales and marketing, intranet, HR, and portal apps along with several others. These apps serve as great solutions to help kick-start low-code development projects. These pre-built apps cover an extensive range of usage patterns that can be easily customized and extended to comply with the user requirements. The OutSystems team has designed these apps from the ground up to be easy to change, secure and scalable and they also enable organizations to deploy complete solutions within days or weeks saving a lot of time, which businesses usually have to dedicate for app development. Mark adds, “Whether a company is looking to build a state-of-the-art mobile solution for consumers (B2C), a tablet app for a mobile workforce with built-in offline support and device integration (GPS, scanner, camera, etc.), or a variety of different web applications and portals - we have something to accelerate their creation.”
OutSystems has grown its subscription revenue by more than 60 percent. It is experiencing rigorous growth with the low-code market becoming more established
Leading Digital Transformation in Banking & Finance Segment
OutSystems solutions are widely used across the banking & finance sector. Banking remains one of the major sectors that have been finding it difficult and complex to upgrade its conventional systems including a mix of home-grown applications built in different technologies and various off-the-shelf packages - often with heavy customization making them difficult to change. However, with the evolving fintech landscape and expectations of customers, they have been working towards upgrading their systems. Thus, they expect new solutions that are immediately intuitive, work on any device, look beautiful, and evolve quickly with the changing needs of the customers. OutSystems allows banking and financial institutions to be able to meet these expectations without having to completely replatform the back office with new technologies. These solutions make it easier to integrate with existing back-office applications, develop new workflows and business logic that span these systems, and provide great user experiences that run on any device. The biggest advantage is that the solution makes it convenient to quickly evolve these new solutions at the speed the business demands.
The OutSystems platform helps its clients to build omni-channel tools for internet banking, mobile banking, and call centers along with various in-branch apps that allow tablet portfolio management, loan proposals and approval workflow, and 360 degree customer views. As an outcome, it has garnered a vast user base in banking and finance sector including leading players such as ING, ABN AMRO, Cofidis, and many others.
A Widespread Partner Network
OutSystems outreach undoubtedly goes beyond banking to numerous sectors that extensively use its low-code development platform. Over the years, 140 leading IT services and consulting companies have partnered with OutSystems, forming a solid global community that has helped it become the platform of choice for businesses operating across many other sectors. The company’s solutions enjoy great usage among telcos, retailers, manufacturers, educational institutions, utilities along with bio technology, insurance and transportation companies. Having partnered with OutSystems, these organizations have continuously been assured of speed, which remains the company’s core USP. Over the years, the organization has reached out to 33 countries, 22 industries, over 7 million end users with more than 90,000 applications. It also has partnerships and certifications from the leading industry players including Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and Amazon.
OutSystems has even grown its subscription revenue by more than 60 percent. At present, it is experiencing rigorous growth with the low-code market becoming more established. And to cope up with these prospects, the company plans to expand its geographical presence in the future. Further, it plans to stick to its philosophy to adopt new technological trends in the future, with several new technological trends i.e., IoT, AI, Big Data ready to disrupt the market. “Once we see enough evidence that the technology will become mainstream then we incorporate the best practices and approaches into our development platform. This increases stability and reduces risk for our customers, which is of particular importance to financial services organizations,” concludes Mark.