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How Low-Code Experience Models Can Improve Time-to-Revenue for Enterprise Software Providers

How Low-Code Experience Models Can Improve Time-to-Revenue for Enterprise Software Providers

How Low-Code Experience Models Can Improve Time-to-Revenue for Enterprise Software Providers

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of articles written by industry thought leaders in maturing software categories—Vikram Srivats, WaveMaker, explains how low-code experience models can expedite time-to-revenue.

Profits for enterprise software providers have been sliding for several quarters, with multiple rounds of layoffs, stock valuations shrinking, and a broader economic uncertainty sending the tech industry into a time of reduced growth. 

Priority number one then—and circled three times in red marker on whiteboards in conference rooms across the country—is to find more profit opportunities. Increasing prices to expand margins is a no-go right now since inflation has battered individuals and businesses alike. When expenses from office supplies to business capital interest get more expensive, enterprise budgets can’t take much in the way of bloated software costs. Customers are likely to jump ship, or at least the relationship between the software provider and customer could see some real damage that could spell trouble down the road.

Instead, software companies are looking at their long implementation cycles and seeing what they can do to trim those windows. Generally, implementation and even onboarding phases happen before the customer billing starts, which means a day spent in those processes is a day of unrealized revenue and margins shrinking further.

The sooner a solution is implemented, the quicker time-to-revenue a software provider can enjoy. These companies have begun using low-code experience models as an alternative to providing complete, closed experiences that are locked in, hand-coded, and require significant implementation time due to the same starting point regardless of how the customer’s systems are configured (and how much work is done to bridge the two).

Experience Infrastructure

Low-code models lay the experience infrastructure (sometimes known as the “experience-as-a-service”) as its layer on top of the platform core of the software vendor—as opposed to a more typical vertical integration model seen with full experiences. The infrastructure is formed by micro-apps, experience-aware APIs, composable experience studios, and design system builders. Together with web and mobile experiences, it serves as a foundation for further building. As a result, system integrators (SIs), customer teams, and third-party developers can compose unique application experiences. API-integrated experience components and their development remain under the purview of software vendors.

Since the software vendors aren’t the only ones contributing to products with these low-code experience models, self-service capabilities replace full-service models. A collaborative process between SIs, vendors, third parties, and customers allows for creating apps when needed, without significant coding requirements or roadblocks. Since building these apps is low-code, this model provides considerable speed in getting software integrated and users up and running.

Application Composability

A faster path to revenue realization for software developers is assembling customer experiences from abstracted components, and implementation teams can quickly customize applications that serve the implementation process. This approach shrinks the time between contract signing and day one of using the solution. After a while, some customers and third parties can continue to customize and grow the solution without needing the vendor’s implementation teams—freeing up those teams for more complex tasks elsewhere.

Whenever enterprise vendors adopt low-code models, their customers experience easier integration processes due to an ability to customize the solutions to work within the systems and platforms they already interface with on a day-to-day basis. Recent research has shed light on the productivity drain that comes with the mental tax of toggling between tabs, windows, and platforms—low-code models result in end-users being able to adopt solutions quickly and with minimal disruption in modes they feel comfortable with.

Such a competitive edge serves as a long-term advantage for enterprise software developers, as does the ease of use of the collaborative app creation process. High-quality experiences make customers nearly three times as likely to stick with a brand, and people will pay more for a better experience. Experience-driven app development and ease of use of low-code when fixing issues and improving processes add up to a powerful, positive experience for users and vendors alike.

Opportunity for Self-Service

It’s worth noting that low-code platforms still generate real code, but the effort required is much lower to achieve the same results with these models. Therefore, solution customization—a significant selling point that can often bog down the integration process—gets a green light. Customers have the self-service tools to customize the solution for the look, feel, and functionality they need. Customizable layers allow the building to happen quickly and easily for developers, designers, and anyone needing to create an app rapidly. Low-code, command-line tools that are easy to design and implement make this possible.

This flexibility is a significant long-term advantage, but with profits so hard to come by right now, low-code experience models need to cut down on short-term costs to have any chance of meaningful adoption in 2023. That is undoubtedly the case. Maintenance costs for low-code models are significantly lower, thanks to less time coding, debugging, and a shorter time a vendor’s integration takes to deploy. Both productivity and time-to-revenue increase as implementation cycles shrink. Many low-code infrastructure providers have a marketplace for a library of useful apps across parties, saving more time and resources.

The Bottomline: Acceleration

Software companies face numerous challenges when configuring, customizing, and integrating their software products for enterprise customers—challenges that have become significant threats to profitability as the tech world faces the headwinds of an uncertain economy. Composable experience models powered by low-code platforms are poised to help vendors shrink implementation time to accelerate customers into a paying position while also setting up a digital ecosystem that customers can build on into the future.

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