For many businesses during the pandemic, modernisation became a hard-earned lesson, convincing even the skeptics that digitalisation is the way forward.
Fortunately for Singaporean law firm Allen & Gledhill (A&G), they had already embarked on their “technology transformation” initiative prior to the lockdowns, allowing them to become more agile with their internal operations.
Seeking a solution to move away from e-services hosted on on-premises servers, the law firm aimed to support mobile applications.
A&G’s technology transformation initiative involved the adoption of a low-code platform, optimising resources for application development and empowering the firm’s employees to be more mobile, according to Darren Chan, Head of Information Systems at Allen & Gledhill.
“Amidst the pandemic, our firm accelerated our technology transformation initiative, recognising the importance of ensuring our lawyers could access timely information to provide holistic legal counsel to our clients,” he said.
In their quest for enhanced workforce efficiency, A&G enlisted the services of app developer OutSystems to create their employee mobile app.
“After carefully evaluating various platforms, we chose OutSystems as it best suited our requirements. Moreover, we found their platform to be user-friendly, accommodating both in-house and outsourced developers,” explained Chan.
Chan also expressed encouragement due to OutSystems’ partnerships with local educational institutions, which offered them opportunities to hire developers over the long term.
Furthermore, A&G’s in-house app development team used OutSystems’ training videos to familiarise themselves with the latter’s platform. Within six months, the A&G team built the app, which is said to have optimised administrative tasks, improved operational efficiency, and contributed to a productive work environment.
According to Mark Weaser, Vice President of Asia Pacific at OutSystems, the suitability of their low-code platform in terms of reusability and scalability was thoroughly examined by A&G. This allowed them to establish support for a work-from-anywhere setup.
“Through the use of pre-built templates and a visual development approach offered by OutSystems, the A&G developer team no longer needs to create software applications from scratch. Instead, they can leverage our platform to enhance the A&G master app as per their requirements or develop new customised applications that provide a consistent experience for stakeholders. This ensures that the developer team at the firm remains agile, adaptable, and innovative, without concerns about talent shortages or ever-growing backlogs,” Weaser said.
Verdict is in
To deliver the needs of its customers, such as A&G, OutSystems uses a centralised dashboard complete with AI-based tools, which support the most critical areas of the software development lifecycle.
“For instance, by providing an analysis of patterns that identify and address potential technical issues during the development phase, developer teams save valuable time that would otherwise be spent troubleshooting these problems at a later stage. This accelerates the software building and maintenance process, enabling organisations such as A&G to allocate budgets towards innovation, growth, and key business initiatives,” OutSystems’ Mark Weaser said.
In addition, the app developer provides more than 100 online free courses and documentation articles to help its users familiarise themselves with the platform and learn how to build effective applications using OutSystems.
“This helps bridge existing knowledge gaps, particularly for staff members with limited technical coding knowledge or prior experience in application development,” remarked Weaser. “They can easily utilise our platform to create applications. In the case of the A&G developer team, they used our training videos as a learning guide to maximise the benefits of OutSystems before delving into the details of building the A&G App.”
A&G’s Darren Chan highlighted that using OutSystems’ low-code platform helped their in-house development team to keep pace with the latest technologies and methodologies, contributing to the A&G app’s ability to evolve and adapt for future needs, even during the development phase.
“The A&G app improved our operational efficiency by providing users with access to digital services such as our staff directory, e-namecards, EV bookings, meeting room reservations, as well as a central hub to our other digital platforms,” said Chan.
As a result, A&G experienced cost and time savings, allowing their lawyers to focus on their clients’ cases instead of being overwhelmed by redundant tasks.
With a high level of employee satisfaction regarding the A&G app, the law firm intends to leverage low-code technology to expand its range of digital services for clients.
“We plan to continue using OutSystems in our application development and are exploring the potential of introducing additional functions or applications. This includes supporting data-driven decision-making based on trends in the legal market,” shared A&G’s Chan.
Meanwhile, OutSystems’ Mark Weaser believes that low-code will continue to gain traction in application development, fostering developer engagement, retention, and driving innovation for businesses.
“One of our latest developments is the OutSystems Developer Cloud, a low-code application development platform. In today’s technology landscape, there is a growing demand for a new type of application development; one that is highly distributed, scalable, and enables the creation of enterprise applications that enhance organisational agility,” said Weaser.
In addition to their product offerings, OutSystems has been forging industry partnerships to promote the development of digital talent and enhance digital competitiveness in the community via low-code technology.
“In Singapore, we are currently collaborating with digital transformation firm Temus and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority on Step IT Up, a talent conversion initiative that trains individuals without prior tech backgrounds for tech roles in less than five months. Launched at the end of 2022, the Singapore iteration aims to provide trainees with credentials for low-code development in OutSystems and facilitate their transition into full-time tech roles at participating companies,” Weaser shared.
With these efforts, OutSystems aims to leverage such collaborations and extend the benefits of low-code application development to a wider range of users and organisations in the region.