The economic impact of the pandemic has put pressure on businesses worldwide to be more digital, fast-paced, and resilient. To aid these fast paced digital transformation, organizations are focusing on Rapid Application Development (RAD). The rekindled interest can be observed with reports on how the RAD market is expected to reach a CAGR of 46.2% by 2026.

RAD methodology or RAD was coined over three decades ago and has been used by businesses for a variety of reasons, including fast software rollouts, quick turnaround times, high flexibility, scalability, and speed. RAD is a cost-effective way to develop applications that can improve operations and address demands put forth by the market today. It can enable organizations to stay on top of fast-moving trends and government regulations. RAD tools also ensure relatively high performance and consistent user experience for all users.

But is RAD methodology a robust enough mechanism for building applications as part of digital transformation initiatives? When should businesses opt for RAD? What parameters should decision-makers consider? We have curated a list of scenarios when businesses can consider RAD to unlock the true potential of digital transformation:

Best scenarios to use RAD tools for digital transformation

Apps that need constant changes

RAD tools are a good choice for app development when the app needs constant updates. These updates can be a result of government-imposed guidelines, market competitiveness, reconfigurations due to process workflows, changing business environments that change from one instance to another. Traditional programming methods have associated costs and time overruns to modify code and bring the updates to the market. RAD tools offer up to 75% time-saving in developing and releasing new features.

Customer-facing applications with high visibility

One of the best scenarios to consider RAD methodology is for businesses developing customer-facing apps with high revenue potential and high visibility. These could be applications in industries with a high degree of disruption where rapid technological innovation is critical to succeed or even remain relevant in the market. Most RAD tools provide next-generation UI, a modern and scalable architecture, and all the enterprise-grade capabilities that greatly improve customer experience and app performance.

Apps that are part of IT modernization projects

Any organization wanting to future-proof its app architecture must consider adopting RAD as part of its modern technology stack. RAD enables organizations to develop apps with integration-based architecture. Additionally, since most LC/NC software/platforms have user-based licenses, as the number of apps built on the platform grows, the cost per application decreases. This is in contrast to numerous teams working in silos and incurring their separate license and hosting costs which result in higher overall costs. For IT departments of businesses wanting technology uniformity and facing significant business user involvement and collaboration, RAD is a useful approach to app development as it simplifies coding for business users without compromising the IT backbone of the company.

Demand for high operational efficiency

RAD can prove useful when an organization’s core business is growing rapidly, and there is an urgent requirement to deploy supporting services and apps to ensure efficient business operations. Applications that can improve operational efficiency and profitability, reduce costs, and increase the bottom line for a company are great candidates to develop using RAD methodology.

Situations Where Rapid Application Development is Not Well-suited

RAD has its advantages, but it may not be the best solution in every case. Following are a few scenarios where traditional application and software development might be better suited than RAD:

  • Engineering-based apps like CAD/CAM apps are not the best candidates for RAD platforms as they are highly script-driven.
  • Organizations planning to keep the bulk of the app architecture in legacy code (e.g., Java or JAR files) intact and are looking to build a minimalistic back-end or front-end around the code so that the developers can continue working with legacy code should refrain from using RAD tools. The cost-to-benefit ratio of doing that will not be favorable and there will be a limited building of core workflows using RAD for delivering value.
  • For organizations planning to build relatively smaller and one-off apps, there is usually limited benefit compared to the license cost of a RAD tool and building a few or small apps on it. The real benefit of RAD platforms is best realized only when the footprint of applications built on them goes across a few departments, functions, and the length and breadth of the organization.

Persistent has helped many organizations accelerate their app development process with up to 60% faster time-to-market than traditional development using smaller and less technically specialized teams. See how Persistent helped Syneos Health accelerate solution delivery with Persistent’s Center of Excellence for Intelligent Automation

To learn more about how Persistent can help you in your digital transformation journey with RAD, visit or talk to our experts today


Preetpal Singh,
SVP – Intelligent Automation at Persistent Systems

Kartik Saravanan,
Solutions Expert