Blog 03 April 2020

Has ‘time-to-market’ ever been more important for app development?

by Richard Billington

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IT person and business person working together to improve customer experience

Time-to-market is defined as the time it takes between a product’s conception and the point it’s actually available to buy and be used. When developing software, building new apps using traditional development methods takes time. Each app development process must be completed before the next one begins. Time-to-market slows right down.

We are currently living through unprecedented times. The demands of the Covid-19 pandemic mean organisations are scrambling to make changes to the way they work. Systems and processes must be updated to address the unique situation we’re all facing.

Bringing a nation together
We’ve seen some wonderful examples of collaboration to reduce time-to-market in recent days. Only yesterday, it was widely reported that UCL and the Mercedes F1 team have worked together on a new CPAP device that can help treat many Covid-19 patients, without them needing a ventilator. This then frees up ventilators for the most seriously ill, to help save lives. There have been other examples too including new designs for ventilators and organisations such as O’Neills and Dyson repurposing their manufacturing lines to make protective clothing and equipment for front-line NHS staff.

Low-code app development platforms can help
Designed from the outset to accelerate app delivery and reduce the time-to-market. Organisations have been using the low-code approach to compete more effectively, reduce costs and deliver improved customer service through new apps.

Right now, the ability of the low-code approach to reduce the time-to-market for new app development, specifically to address Covid-19 requirements, is really coming into its own. Contrast this with building new apps using traditional development methods, which in most cases, simply doesn’t allow them to be delivered in time.

We’ve been hearing from customers about the great work they’re doing building new apps on Liberty Create to address Covid-19 requirements and deliver them quickly. Here are a few examples:

Paul Brewer at Adur & Worthing Council has launched a Volunteer Coordination App designed to connect volunteers to people who need help.

Kevin Rowe at Croydon Council has made us aware of a Business Grants App to help businesses access the support that’s been put in place for them through the crisis.

Kate Hurr at Cumbria County Council and her team have built a new Helpline and supporting Case Management System to help the work of their community hubs.

Here at Netcall, our teams have been enhancing solutions to address critical needs for customers during the pandemic. So far, two enhancements have been delivered with more planned:

COVID-19 Emergency Alerts Accelerator. The accelerator is designed to provide a simple way to send SMS alert messages in an emergency situation.

COVID-19 Workforce Monitoring Module. This easy to install module, allows you to add some basic functionality to provide the status of all users with regard to their health, related to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Netcall is offering all these apps to customers on our Community AppShare free of charge to any customer to download and use. If you’d like to contribute to the effort, please let us know.

It’s tremendous to see the power of low-code helping address critical needs during this crisis.


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