Application Delivery Savings: How to Lower Application Development Costs with Low-Code

This blog post is part of our series focusing on Forrester’s The Total Economic Impact Of The Mendix Low-Code Application Development Platform report.

By using Mendix for your development needs, you can generate $20M in net benefits. In this blog post, we’ll focus on the application delivery savings metrics noted by enterprise technical and organizational leaders interviewed by Forrester for the study. Other sections cover operational efficiency, customer engagement , and time-to-market advantages for new products and services attributed to the Mendix platform.

Part of the appeal of low-code development is the potential for substantial application delivery savings. Low-code enables an organization to lower application development cost because it can deploy faster with less IT involvement.  When Forrester released “The Total Economic Impact (TEI) of the Mendix Low-Code Application Development Platform”, the research firm found more than $8 million in application delivery savings attributed to the platform over three years.

Although the Mendix customers Forester interviewed for the TEI report come from different backgrounds, the benefits they experience follow two major themes: reduced resource and maintenance costs and speed of delivery. Let’s take a look at both, as well as some concrete, on-the-ground examples of enterprises realizing application delivery savings and benefits.

Decreased application development costs

When your IT resources are stuck maintaining existing solutions instead of innovating, there’s no time to develop process efficiencies that will save your employees time and energy or release customer-facing updates that track with market innovation.  

Ineffective development tools lead to inefficient processes, which lead to longer development runways and higher application development costs.  Accounting for technical debt, legacy services, and communication barriers can extend how long it takes to create applications and cause difficulties in prioritizing and managing application portfolios. Mendix can help.

According to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact report, an organization can accrue a three-year, multi-million-dollar benefit using Mendix’s low-code application development platform by increasing developer productivity, decreasing personnel costs, and reducing operational costs.

Increasing development productivity

Custom code extensions, AI integrations, and visual modeling are just a few of the ways that Mendix enhances developer productivity. Not to mention the support of real-time business domain expert involvement throughout the development process.

Decreasing personnel costs

Mendix developers are faster to onboard, utilizing an online learning academy, integrated community support, and built-in AI guidance. The Mendix platform’s visual modeling and low-code/no-code development toolset not only decreases the number of fully-loaded developers needed per project but also increases the pool of available developers by opening doors to citizen developers for less sophisticated work.

Reducing applications’ operational costs

With Mendix, developers use one underlying model to support all devices and touchpoints. Developers can also use built-in DevOps features or integrate to their own tools—featuring one-click deployment and optimized operations support, saving both time and effort. With out-of-the-box elastic scaling, failover, and fallback, the process of aligning Mendix applications to high cloud nativity standards is simplified.

NC State’s low-code registration demonstration

As a public land-grant research university, budget and available IT resources can be in short supply at North Carolina State University. So when the school looked to digitally transform antiquated and non-centralized processes—like half a million non-credit course registrations recorded on spreadsheets, siloed databases, and even paper documents—most commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) solutions proved too expensive or time-consuming to implement.

Mendix’s Low-Code Application Development Platform offered the university a solution that fit their needs, delivered by a small team with limited resources and experience. In the end, NC State built the MVP version of REPORTER—a centralized non-credit course registration system—in just five months.

How much does it cost to develop a software application like REPORTER? Let’s look at how NC State actualized real application delivery saving:

  • Freed up resources and low barriers to entry: With Mendix, NC State could increase development productivity and decrease personnel costs. The enterprise application group hired and managed interns to help develop the project, reducing the cost per developer. Meanwhile, more accomplished IT resources were able to continue to contribute to critical projects and support the REPORTER application, as needed.
  • At least $2.5 million in application development cost savings: NC State priced out COTS solutions for their course registration build and found a price range of $3 million to $10 million over five years. Mendix was able to deliver a more robust solution in the low six figures—a rate the publicly funded university could afford.

Read how NC State used Mendix to build an engine of economic growth.

More applications, more savings

Traditional languages, frameworks, and legacy systems that require manual intervention often result in data quality errors and extensive delays—making the IT department look unresponsive and slow when it’s really dealing with too many challenges to meet business needs.

According to data collected by Forrester during customer interviews, Mendix’s dual integrated development environment increases collaboration between technical and non-technical employees. The business is right there beside the developer within the platform, so costly and time-consuming communication breakdowns or development errors are caught earlier and remediated more quickly.

Support for composable applications, API libraries, and a full-stack visual modeling framework help ship Mendix-built applications faster than traditional development methods. 

Support for custom code extensions, expressed as native components in Mendix’s visual modeling environment, can be saved to libraries and private app stores to promote composability and decrease build time. Skilled developers can move to where they are needed and pass off less technical work to developers with less experience, all within the same platform. Less-experienced developers can then use these custom-built components, like sophisticated logic and integrations, and even experiment with cutting-edge technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence.

BDC ramps up development

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is the only Canadian bank built exclusively to service entrepreneurs and small businesses. By providing financing and advisory service to start-ups, innovators, and visionaries, BDC helps Canadian businesses grow and succeed.

The IT department at BDC had tried unsuccessfully for years to build a loan origination system that fit BDC’s customers’ specialized needs. Internal and external integrations slowed and complicated previous attempts to develop the tool. In addition, traditional languages and the waterfall development methodology were leading to communication breakdowns. BDC decided to combine Agile and a low-code platform to help bring the lending tool to life.

BDC found the Mendix platform to be the perfect tool to implement rapid development and iterative sprint-based deployments and releases. Promoting a unified visual-based development language increased collaboration between the business. IT reduced the time it took to solve intractable business problems, and increased business value yielded from the project, as well. Hundreds of integration points to systems like FICO and their CRM meant quickly overcoming previous development stumbling blocks. What had stalled out for years was live in production with Mendix within eight months.  

See how BDC used Agile and Low-Code to build innovative banking applications fast

Low-Code brings application delivery savings

The total economic impact of low-code application development platforms is captured well by Forrester. Still, lowering your enterprise’s application development costs will continue well beyond the three-year window projected in the report with Mendix.

See how you can build more applications faster, saving money and resources with Mendix. Download the full report today and then reference our helpful articles or reach out to learn more.