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Low-Code vs. No-Code – What’s the Difference?

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Software plays an important and ever increasing role in our daily lives and we do not even realize it most of the time. You may be surprised to learn that it took less code to send a person to the moon than it does to power the smartphones we use every day. Designing and writing the code that creates software is more than a discipline - it is a difficult skill that a small percentage of the population have mastered with great success. As programming has evolved, technology companies have introduced platforms that have made it easier for both developers and non-developers to create tailored solutions. You have probably heard about these platforms, referred to as “low-code” and “no-code”, but may not know what makes them different.

Coding 101

Coding is the process of creating software, by writing instructions for a computer to execute commands. Code is not written in natural language - there are dozens of programming languages, like Python, Java, Ruby, HTML, Javascript, C++, C#, SQL and PHP. You may have also heard mention of various types of coding languages, including scripted, compiled and object-oriented. Each coding language has its usage scenarios where it is a stronger fit, based on the capabilities needed of the software. A developer working at a large insurance company may need to know many distinct coding languages and types, even if to support and maintain older applications while also working on newer systems.

What is Low-Code?

Low-code refers to a more modern way of developing applications, where less programming expertise is needed. A low-code platform has pre-built blocks of coded commands that can be organized and then connected via programming into larger workflows. Low-code platforms are targeted to IT users but complex technical skills are not required to develop applications. Examples of low-code platforms include Appian, Mendix, OutSystems, Quick Flow and ServiceNow. Digital portals for customers and brokers that facilitate transactions through connections with backend core policy, claims and billing systems have been successfully built using low-code platforms. But just like each programming language having its place in terms of fit, low-code platforms will not always be the best option. This includes when meeting the business needs cannot be met through the platform’s pre-built templates, widgets, and UI components.

Low-code platforms offer speed, encourage agility and foster collaboration, as developers work together to deliver impactful solutions.

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What is No-Code?

No-code is similar to low-code but has some specific differences. No-code platforms have a drag-and-drop visual interface, similar to some low-code solutions. However, no-code platforms do not require programming to connect the pre-built components. They are designed for non-developer users with no coding experience required. These non-technical professionals, also referred to as citizen developers, have the ability to create complete applications. No-code platforms require minimal training, resulting in a quick ramp-up, contributing to speed to market.

While IT skills are not required to create applications using no-code platforms, IT plays an essential role in establishing the compliance and security governance structure, along with the sandbox (test environment) for the citizen developers. Developers will also assist if there is the need to integrate a no-code system with an enterprise application. But otherwise by design, the citizen developer builds solutions autonomously. This can reduce the contention of demand for IT talent, a challenge for many insurance companies.

The benefits of a no-code platform include agility and speed. Workflow automation is a strong use-case for no-code, where a business analyst at an insurance carrier can introduce new capabilities in less than an hour. Collaboration and the voice of the customer are amplified with no-code, with the application being built by teams that are closer to the business operations and end users. The return on investment (ROI) will be greater, with fewer resources and hand-offs between teams reducing both cost and duration, compared to development where coding is required.

Ushur’s No-Code Solutions

Ushur has created a no-code platform for insurance carriers to better serve customers, agents, brokers, members and claimants through automation. Employees are empowered to create, deploy and track two-way communications and workflows across multiple digital channels. Ushur enables digital transformation through its complete solution for intelligent automation, powered by advanced conversational AI and intuitive process automation workflows.

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