Leading-edge low code application platforms, have included built-in administrative controls that provide holistic, granular controls over access to enterprise data stores, user provisioning, and application deployments, says Alvaro Pombo, CEO, and Founder, ProntoForms, in an exclusive interview with EnterpriseTalk.

With large enterprises using at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives. Do you feel that smaller enterprises are left behind in the race to adopt LCAP?

When considering large enterprises and the number of development tools they use, it’s essential to understand that dependence on multiple devices is proportional to the volume of applications in production, as well as the increasing complexity and mission criticality in enterprise-class applications.

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For smaller enterprises, while they tackle many of the same fundamental problems, they may not have yet reached that point where the complexity and scale of their applications warrant multiple LCAPs. That being said, SMBs businesses will benefit from adopting LCAPs early as they scale up, enabling a smoother transition to include low-code tools in their software development lifecycles.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge faced by enterprises that stops them from investing in LCAPs?

In my opinion, not all IT leaders have yet realized that LCAP truly is the best way forward. And I understand that thinking because I was a CIO before starting ProntoForms. But I also think that my past puts me in the unique position of having sat on both sides of the fence, and I can tell you with all sincerity that the grass truly is greener on the LCAP side. Here’s why.

Many enterprises value the ability to provision applications centrally, ensuring that applications are both leveraging a centrally managed technology stack, and are delivered to the organization as part of an overall software lifecycle to ensure quality at all stages of deployment. As a result, IT teams struggle to reconcile the democratizing nature of LCAPs with their traditional applications.

To alleviate this, leading-edge LCAPs have included built-in administrative controls that provide holistic, granular controls over access to enterprise data stores, user provisioning, and application deployments.

How crucial is it for firms to secure their mobile apps, and why?

Ensuring that mobile apps are secure should be a top priority for any enterprise field service organization. The demand for workflow automation in the field is very high. Field service comes with a host of different sets of risks for data exposure. The fact is, almost 20 percent of files uploaded to cloud-based file-sharing and collaboration services contain sensitive data.

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A suite of mobile device management tools—many of which have been around for a while—complemented by SOC 2 compliant apps goes a long way to mitigate those data exposure risks. Any LCAP for the field should be up to date in its compliance certifications, encrypt all data that passes through, have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, provide system status updates, and enterprise-grade support.

How has deploying LCAPs for medical device manufacturers helped the healthcare industry?

Medical device manufacturers are at the center of a storm: demographics, cost of healthcare, regulations, and emerging technology. And this is not a storm that is going just to blow over. New processes that offer better automation in the field that can stand up to the need for scale are the only way to weather this storm. LCAP is the solution.

To put it in real terms, consider the lost revenue every hour, a high-value asset is down. In the medical device industry, this can be an MRI machine or some other diagnostic tool. Custom mobile apps—built and deployed with LCAP—improve first-time fix rates and asset uptime and drives service revenues.

LCAP increases technician productivity, ensures compliance, and empowers technicians to fine-tune asset service throughout an asset’s life cycle. That covers the business side.

But let’s not forget the human side of the healthcare industry. The longer these machines are down, the longer it takes for people to get life-changing results. People at home waiting anxiously for the phone to ring don’t consider the impact a field service technician can have on their lives—but that impact can be dramatic.

How does use field focus LCAPs empower field techs and bolster tech stacks?

LCAP for field service empowers field technicians in a multitude of ways. Field technicians are the ones who face the customer and, in the days of paper reporting, would spend more time on administrative work than on offering high-quality customer service.

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But a field-focused LCAP allows field techs to arrive at the job site with a lot of the details pre-filled in the forms, automated maps and time stamps, the ability to capture photos, perform mobile searches, and more—things that used to take hours, now take minutes. The right LCAP empowers the field service worker to get the job done right the first time. The software is intuitive, easy-to-use for even the most technology-averse field worker.

I can keep talking about this, but Johnson Controls Director of Service Operations David Bishop perfectly encapsulates the importance of empowering the field technician.

He said: “We want to give [technicians] all the tools that we possibly can to help them become the hero in front of our customers. Therefore, when the time comes, they need additional service; they’re going to look to Johnson Controls.”

This pretty well sums everything up.

As for how LCAP bolsters an enterprise’s existing tech stack, the answer is pretty simple, really. They seamlessly integrate with an enterprise’s existing cloud, LCAPs, FSMs, APMs, EAMs, and legacy systems to fully digitize workflows. Enterprise-grade capabilities, scalability, and deep analytics help drive high ROIs.

How LCAPs improve asset uptime and service revenue?

In a nutshell, asset uptime is improved because of LCAP’s ability to streamline processes and provide superior automation. This makes for more accurate data collection that yields better outcomes. LCAP empowers field service works to do it right the first time, every time.  High-quality customer service is a high value-add and a key differentiator for field service organizations. Satisfied customers are willing to pay more for improved asset uptime, which means high-functioning field service organizations can charge for premium service contracts.

“SMBs businesses will benefit from adopting LCAPs early as they scale up; enabling a smoother transition to include low-code tools in their software development lifecycles.”

Alvaro Pombo, CEO, and Founder, ProntoForms

Alvaro Pombo, Founder and CEO ProntoForms, is a technology industry leader and innovator. He has 30 years of leadership experience in Field Automation and IT, including the role of CIO and Vice President of Global Information Technology for the Carrier Internetworking Division of Alcatel Lucent. Alvaro is a regular speaker at technology events and conferences, with a focus on how SaaS and related technologies can transform business operations and improve profitability.