Ioan Jacob, is the founder and CEO of FLOWX.AI, a revolutionary AI Application Modernization Platform for enterprise mission-critical applications. It is a modern event-driven platform built on a microservices architecture. It uses the most popular industry standards for process modeling, business rule management and integrates as easily with legacy systems as with the latest APIs and RPAs.
What initially attracted you to computer science?
I've always been captivated by the concept of leverage—the idea of force multiplication. Computer science, to me, represents the ultimate tool in amplifying the most valuable capability of people: the human mind.
It offers an incredibly rapid path from idea to realization—a trait that has propelled the exponential surge in innovation over the last 50 years. This power of rapid transformation and impact is what initially drew me to computer science.
Now, with FLOWX.AI, we’re redefining how mission-critical software can be built—which means we have an opportunity to boost the growth curve itself. Our world runs on enterprise software – banking, utilities, agriculture, defense – enterprise software undergirds our civilization. And there’s so much leverage to bringing the best technology to the enterprise, because that impacts so many lives downstream, and this is why we think we can be so helpful to the world. Today we’re spending trillions of dollars to build, run and maintain that layer of technology.
So, think about it: what if we could make building enterprise software orders of magnitude more efficient?
This would enhance vital services like banking, utilities, or defense—making them more interconnected, user-friendly, and more efficient for people to use. And, maybe even more importantly, with the resources freed up we could considerably accelerate the pace of innovation.
Imagine, for example, a world where government agencies can quickly develop and deploy advanced AI systems to streamline public services, improve healthcare delivery, and address pressing social issues. By optimizing enterprise software development, we can unlock a new era of technological progress and societal advancement.
We're not just part of the tech revolution; we're redefining its boundaries of what’s possible.
You previously Co-Founded Qualitance, a platform that designed technology and products for Fortune 500 companies and startups. What was one of the more interesting projects that you worked on, and what did you learn from this experience?
We were involved in a range of digital transformation projects at Qualitance with both Fortune 500 companies and startups.
This experience brought us to a crucial realization. Despite the rapid evolution in consumer digital products and substantial investments by large corporations, there was a massive gap in building and taking digital solutions to market, especially in mission-critical and core business areas like banking.
This challenge was (and still is) especially pronounced in the financial sector, but is equally prevalent across all enterprise sectors.
We understood the need for digital transformation platforms to provide capabilities on three key dimensions that are today challenging the enterprise:
- Integration – it needs to be able to integrate seamlessly with existing complex technology landscapes – from heritage mainframe architectures to modern systems
- Rapid modern digital product development – being able to respond to market needs and regulatory requirements in almost real-time. There is tremendous competition and the IT and business teams need to build modern digital products that provide excellent user experience quickly and cost effectively,
- Robustness – reliability, scalability, security: because enterprises handle mission critical workloads, these are non-negotiable requirements.
These observations are at the core of building FLOWX.AI. Our focus is on empowering large enterprises to quickly and efficiently develop and modernize digital platforms, while integrating seamlessly capabilities of any existing or new systems.
When did you first realize that the current methods of software development are broken and not scalable?
Complexity in the enterprise world has increased exponentially, and so have costs and the time it takes to get products to market.
This is what I’ve experienced working alongside many talented teams in the enterprise world for more than a decade. I have seen how being able to develop robust and good software remains incredibly expensive—despite the access to amazing talent and the proliferation of technologies designed to solve the problem.
Before FLOWX.AI, the only options for developing digital in the enterprise were either inflexible vertical solutions or massive custom development projects trying to blend together multiple technology platforms.
As a result, teams in the enterprise world are constrained by lack of flexibility to build what they need and are limited by proprietary programming languages and legacy systems. This, coupled with the increase in complexity, is holding the most talented teams back. These teams get sucked into tedious and low-return work that barely, marginally moves the needle. Spiraling IT costs along with diminishing returns is one of the toughest challenges enterprises face. This was particularly evident within large financial services organizations.
I can't emphasize enough how frustrating this is for everyone in the space. It’s depressing for engineers who have to do tedious and unexciting work. It’s keeping business leaders back because they can’t provide their customers with the intuitive, scalable, and connected services they need. So this is what we responded to. We had been working side by side with these people. In fact, we had been these people throughout our careers. So we really understood them and we wanted to fix this problem, to give them back the control of their technology, of their business.
What was the genesis story behind FLOWX.AI?
We had been working on the platform that ultimately became FLOWX.AI for over a decade. We had this massive feeling that we’re sitting on something incredibly powerful, but we couldn’t quite put our finger on it.
Then, during a meeting with Revolut’s team in London, it hit us. When we learned that Revolut’s business was built on top of Barclays core banking system, we realized that we had on our hands a platform that could enable any bank to develop robust and beautiful mission-critical systems at a speed that was orders of magnitude higher.
Then, our first customer, the largest bank in Southeastern Europe, adopted our technology and started using it as their default digital development platform for a large part of their business— building digital platforms that were facing both customers and employees—from the entire in-branch onboarding for both retail and corporate banking to asset management platforms. Witnessing the speed at which they were able to develop confirmed we were indeed on the verge of a new revolution. With the same team and existing systems, they were able to develop in several weeks what used to take a year or more with FLOWX.AI.
Our innovation is the FlowX AI Core, enabled by a scalable, robust, and open architecture. Our AI Core is the first-ever enterprise AI that can cohesively model technology, business processes and business rules, and user experience. We have been big believers for a long time now in the power of AI to augment and accelerate human potential, and we have brought it to fruition within the core of our platform.
What are some of the current problems with how enterprises are currently viewing code generation?
The challenge with automated code generation is the perception that it is—or that it should be—universally applicable, especially in handling complex systems. While effective for simpler applications, it often falls short in more sophisticated environments. This isn't just a limitation of the technology itself but stems from the intricacies in creating detailed specifications that such systems require. Automated tools, unlike human engineers, lack the nuanced understanding necessary to bridge and fill in specification gaps, adjust complex logic, and manage deep integration and decision-making processes.
Moreover, there's a risk in underestimating the value of human input and expertise. Although automation can speed up certain development processes, it hasn't yet evolved to fully grasp and manage the complexities of advanced systems.
At FLOWX.AI, we have taken a slightly different path. Our approach leverages AI to enhance, not replace, human expertise. We focus on using AI to augment human capabilities, ensuring that the development of complex systems is not just accelerated but also precisely tailored to specific business requirements. This strategy aims to strike a balance, harnessing the speed and efficiency of AI with a “human-in-the-loop” approach, retaining the critical insights and adaptability of human oversight.
Why is replacing coding with no-code or low-code tools not the solution?
The limitations of no-code tools stem from their inherent simplicity which, while user-friendly, fail to meet the specific and complex needs of large-scale enterprises. Low-code also lacks the full power and control of the widespread programming languages—and further, it creates a resourcing constraint, having to find or upskill resources. And what businesses need is the freedom and flexibility to build and innovate. This is why we brought together generative AI with no-code visual design on an open BYOC architecture which can be extended with any programming language.
However, the focus of digital product development goes beyond coding. It encompasses the creation of efficient processes, intuitive products, and seamless user experiences. This holistic approach is vital in addressing the multifaceted challenges of enterprise solution development.
FLOWX.AI was built to meet the end-to-end needs of building digital twins for enterprise businesses. We don’t just focus on coding; we leverage the power of AI to assist in accelerating building complex, bespoke enterprise solutions that consider all aspects of the digital product development lifecycle.
Could you share your views on the benefits of creating a hybrid of low-code and coding?
Creating a hybrid of low-code and coding is very powerful because it offers a unique blend of efficiency, flexibility, and customization. It provides speed, while still enabling complete control over what people build.
This is part of what we offer. Our approach integrates AI, no-code, and coding techniques to build comprehensive digital solutions. I can break this down into four main areas:
- AI-Generated Baseline: Today, the FlowX AI can generate around 60% to 80% of the development process. This AI layer speeds up the creation of fundamental components—process, code, user experience—significantly, reducing initial development time.
- No-Code Visual Development: With visual design interfaces, we allow for quick assembly and modification of applications, enabling rapid prototyping and accelerated iterative development loops. This usually takes completion to 90-95%.
- Bring-Your-Own-Code (BYOC) for Customization: The remaining bits, which require specific and detailed customizations, are handled through traditional coding BYOC in any programming language. This allows for the creation of highly tailored solutions, ensuring that the final product meets the exact needs and specifications of the customer.
- AI-Assisted Development and Optimization: our AI helps enterprise teams maintain consistency over time as they modify and update functionality and experience, but also suggests improvements—from technology to process and user experience—and monitors and identifies problems in real-time.
The key advantage of this hybrid approach can be seen especially when it comes to making changes and maintaining the software. Teams developing on FlowX.ai can add in just a few weeks new functionality that would typically take years to add to an existing system. That is because we provide features that help users easily make modifications and because our platform encapsulates most of the complexity, handling non-functional requirements such as scalability and security. As a result, any code that needs to be created or modified lies in more isolated components, providing for more control and testability. This setup makes it easier to change, track and audit changes, but also to test things – leading to a massive reduction in effort and maintenance.
Ultimately, combining AI, no-code, and traditional coding, balances speed and ease of use with the ability to create highly customized and complex enterprise solutions because it blends the speed of gen AI with the accessibility of visual design and the full power and control of programming languages.
More importantly, this approach frees up engineers from a lot of tedious tasks and ongoing maintenance, so innovation doesn’t stall.
How will AI augment engineers versus replacing them?
Our belief is AI can not and will not replace engineers, it will augment their capabilities. The fundamental human element in engineering involves sophisticated thinking and problem-solving, areas where human intellect and creativity are irreplaceable. AI is adept at handling about 80% of tasks, particularly those that are repetitive or considered low-value. AI excels at efficiently processing routine work with speed and accuracy, ultimately enabling them to focus on higher-level problems and innovative solutions.
This is a net-positive for engineers. The key moving forward is to figure out how to create a synergistic relationship where each complements the other, leading to a more productive and innovative engineering environment. This approach underscores a future where AI and human intelligence work in tandem, each playing to their strengths to achieve greater outcomes in the field of engineering and beyond.
Can you discuss the innovative application modernization platform that FLOWX.AI has developed?
FLOWX.AI is the first ever unified platform for end-to-end enterprise digital development, with an open architecture that makes it easy to develop and extend further – with any programming language.
At the core of the platform there is an intelligent orchestration layer that can integrate fast any – literally any type – of existing system, through the intelligent integration layer. On top of the orchestration layer teams can develop modern digital products again very fast – through our AI-powered omnichannel user experience layer,
As I mentioned previously, FLOWX.AI brings together AI-assisted development, low-code / no-code as well as full coding capabilities. This combination provides enterprises with a flexible, scalable and robust platform they can use to build and take applications to market.
We built FLOWX.AI in response to lack of innovation in application development. Traditional methods are often too rigid and cost prohibitive. No-code solutions, while promising in theory, have frequently fallen short in meeting the specific and complex demands of modern enterprises. Vertical point solutions are inflexible and hard to customize and develop further – they’re not designed for continuous development.
Our customers are achieving remarkable results. For instance, many of our customers can integrate around 20 systems in just 4-6 weeks and develop, build, and launch complex digital solutions like digital mortgages within 8 to 12 weeks.
Why is this solution able to scale so well?
FLOWX.AI is built on a state-of-the-art, elastically-scalable, event-driven architecture, which relies on microservices and containerization. The use of microservices architecture further enhances scalability by allowing for the independent scaling and updating of different parts of the application without disrupting the entire system.
This fully cloud-native framework ensures agility, resilience, and scalability, crucial for handling the dynamic demands of enterprise-level digital product development. It is also an infrastructure-agnostic architecture, which can be deployed in any cloud / multi-cloud / hybrid cloud setup or on-prem.
It also provides high availability and fault tolerant deployment setups, which are vital for maintaining uninterrupted service in mission-critical applications.
The combination of microservices and containerization in an open architecture positions FLOWX.AI as an ideal platform for enterprises looking to innovate rapidly while maintaining high standards of reliability and security. This architecture not only supports the current technological needs of enterprises but also positions them to effortlessly adapt to future advancements and challenges in the digital landscape.
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