When wanting to implement a digital solution, organisations typically have two choices: purchase off-the-shelf software or develop their own. Now, while off-the-shelf products cost less and is quicker to implement, they’re rarely an exact fit for an organisation’s precise needs. As result, organisations often attempt to alter their workflows and processes to fit around the software.
A bespoke application, in contrast, can be completely tailored to meet the organisation’s precise needs. The downside of this approach, however, is that developing customised software both takes longer and costs more.
Fortunately, low-code and no-code development have emerged as viable alternatives to purchasing licensed software and the traditional application development process. Low-code and no-code development platforms present organisations with a “middle way” between purchasing and developing their required digital solutions. With growing numbers of organisations eager to take advantage of this new development approach, the low-code and no-code market is expected to have a faster growth over the years. Indeed, low-code application platforms are projected to be the largest component of the low-code development technology market, growing 25% to reach nearly $10 billion in 2023.
What is low-code and no-code development?
Low-code and no-code development is an approach to creating applications with little to no coding. Through the use of a growing number of low-code and no-code development platforms and tools, different business units within an organisation can develop the digital solutions they need without significant assistance from their IT department or having to hire an external software development company.
Low-code development requires the most technical ability of the two methodologies, with an individual needing to have some coding skills to develop applications. Low-code development platforms provide users with code segments and UI components, so they don’t have to build an application from scratch. Subsequently, low-code is best suited for “citizen developers”: employees who know how to code, despite it not being an essential part of their job role. In a low-code environment, non-technical users may work intermittently with their IT department at different stages of the development process, to ensure an application is as performant and robust as possible.
No-code development, in contrast, is designed for users with minimal to no coding skills. NC development platforms employ user-friendly visual interfaces, drag-and-drop elements, and other WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) functionality that enables users to develop applications of varying complexity.
What are the benefits of low-code and no-code development?
Faster Development Process
Organisations can develop their desired digital solutions in far less time.
By granting them the ability to build applications in-house, low-code and no-code platforms allow organisations to save on the associated development costs.
A Faster Route to Digital Transformation
The faster an organisation can develop applications, the faster their rate of innovation and the more they’ll boost productivity and efficiency. Subsequently, with a lot of the work they previously had to undertake manually now automated, the organisation’s workforce will have more time to spend on value-adding activities that contribute to the company’s growth.
Reduced Reliance on IT Department
Low-code and no-code grant individual business units the ability to digitally innovate without the support and involvement of their IT department. As a result, departments get the applications they need in less time and less of a burden is placed on the IT department. Subsequently, instead of having to juggle the evolving needs of multiple departments, IT can focus on the overall needs of the organisation and each business unit becomes increasingly self-reliant.
What are the challenges of low-code and no-code platforms?
Organizations may have limited control over the integration capabilities, as they are dependent on the pre-existing integrations provided by the platform. This can pose challenges when trying to seamlessly integrate with other systems or when custom integration is required to meet specific business needs.
Low-code and no-code platforms may either offer a set of bundled features, resulting in underutilization of resources, or lack certain functionalities needed for specific applications and business needs. Thorough evaluation is crucial to ensure alignment with project requirements and avoid potential limitations in functionality.
Low Cost Optimization
organizations may end up paying for the entire suite of features, even if they only utilize a fraction of them. This can lead to unnecessary costs. Additionally, these platforms can charge licensing fees based on the number of users, which can lead to increased costs as organizations grow. It’s important to evaluate the scalability of license fees and ensure they align with long-term growth plans to avoid unnecessary expenses.
How can low-code and no-code development be used by organisations?
Low-code and no-code platforms can be used to streamline business processes and automate workflows. By developing applications that can reach into databases, email accounts, and transactional systems, organisations can decrease the number of manual tasks to be performed by employees, reduce the potential for human error, and improve their overall efficiency and productivity.
Organisations rely on an increasing number of public and private APIs to integrate their IT infrastructure with powerful third-party applications and services. low-code and no-code platforms help organisations significantly improve their API development and management, allowing them to seamlessly integrate the required functionality provided by external tools into their existing IT ecosystem.
Low-code and no-code allow employees with little to no coding ability to easily create analytical and custom reporting applications, such as dashboards and other graphical user interfaces, by simply dragging and dropping pre-coded components.
Web And Mobile Applications
Low-code and no-code platforms can be used to rapidly develop cross-platform websites and applications, including progressive web apps (PWAs), eCommerce apps, and customer and employee portals. As well as the user interfaces, low-code and no-code tools can be used to develop the apps’ backend functionality, such as login systems, inventory management, and automating marketing activities.
With the world modernising at such a rapid rate, organisations across all industries are accelerating their digital transformation efforts. For organisations that want to consistently innovate, constantly strive to become more productive and efficient, remain agile, and retain an edge over their competition, low-code and no-code development solutions could prove crucial. Although they won’t entirely replace the traditional development process, the low-code and no-code approach is an excellent solution for organisations that need to update or build applications quickly.
Moreover, the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a significant role in the development landscape. AI-powered tools and features within low-code and no-code platforms enable even more automation in the application development process. This opens new opportunities for organizations to further enhance their digital solutions and drive innovation.