Subrato Bandhu, Regional Vice President, OutSystems

OutSystems is a modern application development platform that allows enterprises to build solutions that are fast, right and for the future.

February 22, 2021 10:27 IST | India Infoline News Service
In an interaction with Shweta Papriwal, Editor, indiainfoline.com, Subrato Bandhu, Regional Vice President, OutSystems said, "There is only a small group of tech companies that are achieving success with traditional development approaches. For the majority of companies, traditional development just isn’t fast, efficient, or flexible enough".

Do you think adoption of low-code platforms is different in large vs small businesses? Why?

The interest in new approaches to development is  largely driven by the pressing need for IT to deliver value to their organization and the perennial inefficiency of building applications on traditional platforms. . Over the last several years, and especially since the beginning of the pandemic, accelerating digitalization has proved to be essential for survival. This has resulted in the significantly increased adoption of modern application platforms that combine the speed and efficiency of low-code development with the expressiveness and capability of traditional development.

There is only a small group of tech companies that are achieving success with traditional development approaches. For the majority of companies, traditional development just isn’t fast, efficient, or flexible enough. Visual, model-based development (often referred to as ‘low-code’) helps more companies - ones with large or small development teams - build software faster - and the advantages are significant.

While most low-code tools focus on building applications quickly, few take a complete platform approach that enables the entire application lifecycle to be managed end-to-end. OutSystems has taken precisely that approach so that we not only enable applications to be built quickly, we also enable those applications to be deployed and managed easily as we provide a rich set of tools that enable IT to provide governance across a broad portfolio of applications and components.

Just about anyone can build an application using low-code tools, but for that application to be of any real use to the business and for it to continue to be useful as business needs change, business experts have to work hand-in-hand with developers and IT professionals. OutSystems enables these cross-functional teams with an integrated set of specialized tools for every member of the team. With this team approach, OutSystems enables customers to quickly realize strategic value that would otherwise take months or years with traditional approaches.
How do you expect the SaaS market to turn out in 2021?

With India being the fastest growing tech hub in the world and also the IT hub to many of the best international technology companies, the country is leading the technology trends worldwide. According to NASSCOM, India’s SaaS revenue is set to jump 6X to $13-15 billion by 2025. The increased digital consumption has led Indian SaaS market to grow 1.5X compared to the global market. Some of the key trends include:

● Faster adoption of new development paradigms
○ According to Gartner, by 2024, enterprise low-code application platforms will be accountable for more than 65% of app development activity. Low-code functionality allows developers to write applications an order of magnitude faster than before (e.g., in hours versus days, days versus weeks, weeks versus months, etc.). This allows them to have more time to innovate and attack the backlog.

○ We will see a gradual increase in adoption of such modern application platforms, allowing large enterprises, SMBs and even start-ups to deliver mission-critical applications and modernize core, legacy applications.

●  More focus on becoming agile with visual development tools
○ In a recent IDC study sponsored by OutSystems, it found that 47% APAC enterprise leaders rely on various model-driven development tools, with 39% relying on visually guided development tools and 29% planning to adopt low-code tools.

○ Whether the objective is to modernize older systems, streamline processes, or respond to new market conditions seamlessly, modern development platforms will see greater adoption in 2021 and become a key enabler for organizations to focus more on ‘outcomes’ -  delivering applications that make a difference to their business..

● Rise of vertical SaaS solutions
○ As the shift to cloud continues across sectors, it also opens up opportunities in terms of addressing pain points in verticals such as healthcare, FSI and retail, which require solutions that enable businesses to better connect with and serve their customers, as well as to meet their growing  demands for highly-tailored products and services .

○ In parallel to the growth of vertical SaaS offerings, we see growing demand for modern application platforms, like OutSystems, to help connect, extend and orchestrate these vertical SaaS offerings, as well as integrating these offerings with existing corporate technology systems and infrastructure. OutSystems not only excels at creating new software from scratch, it’s similarly adept at composing collections of SaaS offerings and legacy platforms into complete, mission critical systems on which enterprise customers operate the most critical elements of their businesses.

● Need for talent will increase
○ Bain & Company reported that India has over 100,000 SaaS developers. As such, we will be seeing greater competition for talent to continue to accelerate in 2021.

○ The pandemic has opened up untapped intelligent capital and SaaS companies need to re-examine their strategies for attracting talent. At the same time, developers, tech professionals have to upskill to be on par with the industry requirements. The talent and hiring outlook in the SaaS market will see an upsurge in the coming years.
○ By abstracting much of the complexity and mundane repetitiveness of software development using visual, model-based tools and sophisticated AI-assistance, OutSystems helps companies betting on SaaS solutions increase their developer talent pool and improve the agility with which they are able to tackle these types of projects.

How do you think these predictions will impact the Startup community?

The combination of access to better development tools and applications platforms that accelerate time to market, along with the rapid transformation of the SaaS industry, will together dramatically expand the opportunity for startups. 

The startup community is all about faster time to value as well as faster time to market. On priority, they need to focus on their agility so they can hit the market faster than their competition. Adopting a traditional application development approach of building the full stack by hand, leads to tremendous challenges. With OutSystems, it can be achieved faster while the startup can focus on business value; which is to add more value to customer experience and connect to systems of record more efficiently. OutSystems ultimately helps build fast, build right and for the future.

How does OutSystems ensure that businesses are agile enough to transform their operations quickly in this volatile market?

OutSystems is a modern application platform that delivers three key things that allow enterprises to build fast, right and for the future.

In addition to the pressures brought on by the pandemic, customer’s growing demands for highly-tailored products and services creates additional pressures on organizations to rapidly extend and adapt their existing systems in ways they were never built to do. This is where solutions like OutSystems step in to address these needs.

Designed not only to help organizations rapidly build new applications that are scalabile, secure and reliable, the OutSystems platform is built from the ground up to enable applications that are adaptable - able to be changed as quickly as the needs of the business shift. Whether applications require updates to workflows, user experience, back-end integration, support for new mobile devices, or new infrastructure technology – OutSystems helps developers adapt solutions to meet their organizations' latest challenges with unprecedented speed.

OutSystems includes a rich collection of AI-powered tools and automation that enables scenarios such as this. Applications can be moved across ‘development’, ‘test’ and ‘production’ environments with a single click, and at the same time, IT can provide robust controls over who gets to manage those movements from environment to environment, as well as when and how that is accomplished. Furthermore, OutSystems includes rich tools for managing every aspect of each environment’s parameters as well as monitoring the health and performance of each deployed application or module. Whether applications require updates to workflows, user experience, back-end integration, support for new mobile devices, or new infrastructure technology – OutSystems helps developers adapt solutions to meet their organizations' latest challenges with unprecedented speed.

Visually-driven development is definitely the future of coding. But it is critical for IT and the business to work together seamlessly to ensure that applications meet business needs and adhere to all of the governance requirements that assure high-security, scalability and reliability. While certain low-code and visual development solutions do enable non-developers to solve siloed problems, it’s only with modern, AI-powered application platforms, like OutSystems, that organizations can truly realize the benefits of faster application development and total agility.

What are Outsystems’ expansion and growth plans in India? 

Since the pandemic emerged a year ago, we have witnessed a tremendous rise in the the demand for better, modern application platforms globally, including developing countries like India, as businesses are scrambling to look for ways to build applications quickly in response to the pandemic, ever-increasing developer workloads, and changing business needs.

In India, the market for these rapid application development approaches is expected to bring major disruption in the coming years as we witness the technology penetrating more and more vertical industries. Along with the IT and telecom verticals, the BFSI, education, healthcare and retail sectors are expected to contribute largely due to the rise in demand for the technology in financial procedures like payments and online banking. Because of the exciting growth and sophistication of the Indian market, OutSystems is investing heavily in expanding our business here. We are growing our sales and support organizations and building up our partner networks in India faster than any of our other world-wide markets.

As the industry undergoes a tremendous digital transformation, we are constantly reaching out to companies that have development needs to change the nature of their business to survive. Our plan will focus on helping organizations in India across verticals including business, education, healthcare and finance looking to transform. In a recent IDC study sponsored by OutSystems, 23% of Indian organizations revealed plans to adopt visual development tools in the next 18 months.

We are committed to the India market knowing that a large proportion of global application development happens in India. India is a global hub for app development driving digital Transformation for the world’s enterprises. We are confident that from India we can build a broader community for application development in a faster and agile manner that will fuel digital transformation worldwide.

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