21 September 2021

Low-code & No-code Solutions: The Value of Rapid Application Development

Insights

Low-code and no-code application development is a growing trend that facilitates a time and cost-effective delivery of applications with minimal hand-coding. It enables businesses and law firms alike to automate the entirety or parts of the development process and rapidly deploy solutions that can solve a variety of pain points and respond to specific business needs.

What is ‘low-code’ application development?

Low code application development (LCAD) is an adaptation of software development that requires minimal hand-coding to build an application. In contrast to traditional software development, which requires professional developers to write every single of line of code for a given application, LCAD automates parts of the development process and enables ‘citizen developers’ to visually assemble pre-built sections of code to create customised applications.

What is ‘no code’ application development?

Supplementary to LCAD is no-code application development (NCAD). NCAD is a further adaptation of software development that requires no hand-coding to build an application. This adaptation of software development automates the entire design process and uses visual drag and drop mechanisms to assemble pre-defined sections of code and create applications for specific use cases.

What is the difference between LCAD and NCAD?

The main differences between LCAD and NCAD are the level of complexity, customisation, and use-cases they offer.

Low-code applications are generally more complex, more customisable and offer more use cases. In a legal context, LCAD is the more suitable option for creating high functioning applications that need to be integrated with other systems, have conditions and variables or that may be required for use by departments other than the legal department. An example of this is a legal intake process, which may need to be integrated with a self-service tool, have conditions for triage or be used by the compliance and risk team. The main benefits of low-code applications are that they are user friendly, responsive, scalable and can be built to solve a variety of pain points within a legal function, department, or firm.

No-code applications are generally less complex, less customisable and offer less use cases. In a legal context, NCAD is the more suitable for creating low functioning applications that serve a single purpose and require little human input. An example of this is contract automation (specifically NDAs), which function by capturing a specific number of data points, and creating a document based on the answers. The main benefits of no-code applications are that they can save time, reduce costs, ensure best practice each time, and increase productivity within a department or firm.

Bringing ideas to life – quickly & easily

In the legal industry every legal team, law firm and alternative legal services provider (ALSP) has different ways of working, different pain points and different approaches to solving problems. For this reason, it is important to visualise new workflows or process before they are implemented to ensure they are the most suitable option for the firm or LSP. Low code and no code applications are an optimal solution for doing this time and cost-effectively, and enable the user or decision maker to experience how a particular option could function in their department or firm through the demonstration of a proof of concept (POC) or provision of a sandbox environment (an isolated testing environment).

Low-code + no-code in practice

Lawcadia Intelligence, Lawcadia’s intelligent automation engine uses no-code for rapidly building workflows, configuring client requirements, and developing proof of concepts for new ideas or client solutions. Lawcadia Intelligence can also use low-code for more complex use-cases. When this is required, a client’s internal IT team or a Lawcadia developer, can easily add their own JSON code to a specific workflow (or action within a workflow). Having the capability to build applications quickly, while also balancing the requirement for more complex functionality, is an innovative approach that is valued by technology and operations experts.

Conclusion

The accessibility and ease-of-use of low-code and no-code application development presents practical opportunities for everyday law firms and legal departments to scale their services time and cost effectively. Importantly, the ability to bring new ideas to life quickly means that innovation cycles can be accelerated with users testing and trying new applications, workflows and solutions, allowing for agile iteration and progression.

New Client Collaboration Workspace. 

Law firms can enhance their client relationships with a shared collaboration workspace designed for lawyers: sharing files, completed documents, status updates, messages and more.

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