Low-code technologies are transforming how organizations approach application development. Since low-code platforms require less programming experience than custom-built business solutions, they allow users to leverage their development resources better, creating applications faster and at a lower initial cost than traditional development.
Although low-code tools are popular (its market value is expected to grow 23% this year alone), by no means is it a universal solution for all app development needs. To avoid major headaches down the line, organizations should carefully consider when to use low-code development. They must ensure that the selected platform will not limit potential opportunities for the app in the future.
Why is Low-Code Development Good for Business?
With traditional development, the involvement of highly trained IT professionals is required at all steps of the development process. IT professionals must also collaborate closely with non-IT professionals. This requires a significant amount of time to coordinate activities and address challenges. According to recent research from Gartner, a staggering number of non-IT employees (41%) are responsible for customizing or building data and technology solutions. But all too often, this results in an overburdened and under-resourced IT team tasked with both development and maintenance.
Low-code platforms help ease the burden on IT staff by allowing non-IT professionals to handle specific tasks and responsibilities with simplified programming tools that significantly expedite the process. Low-code technology does this by condensing manual code into functions visually represented to users as a series of drag-and-drop options or buttons. This eliminates the need for users to work with underlying manual code directly.
The more features a low-code platform offers, the more functionality and flexibility it lends to users. Since low-code requires less development experience, non-IT professionals have a much higher degree of control and room for more direct involvement in the process of building applications. Additionally, low-code development is a faster and potentially less expensive option than traditional development.
Ultimately, low-code delivers increased flexibility and accessibility, allowing organizations to maximize the efficiency and quality of their products and services.
When to Use Low-Code Development
Certain types of projects work better with low-code development than others. When considering involving a low-code development platform on your next project, consider your top project requirements and considerations. Projects with these six priorities are generally the best candidates for low-code development:
1. Prototype Creation
Prototype development stages are often much more straightforward than later stages of application creation. For that reason, using a versatile low-code platform helps create prototypes faster and ensures compatibility with all devices and platforms.
According to data from Statista, low-code development can be 40-60% faster than traditional development, substantially speeding up time to market for applications.
3. Process Automation
Low-code platforms cater to common use cases, one of which is process automation. If you’re working to modernize updated business workflows within your organization, developing your solution through a low-code platform is a great start.
4. Legacy System Management
With so many new, highly efficient technological solutions available, organizations still relying heavily on outdated legacy systems are at a growing disadvantage. By harnessing low-code technologies, these organizations can modernize their processes by integrating new solutions with existing legacy systems. This will require collaboration with IT and a development team, though.
5. No Internal IT Team
If you don’t have an internal development team, low-code development becomes an even better option; it eliminates the need to hire IT professionals to assist with development tasks that your internal non-IT teams can handle.
Low-code development is also great for collaboration when you need internal assistance and would like to conserve your IT expertise.
When Not to Use Low-Code Development
There are a few cases where low-code development is an option but involves risks that stand a chance of outweighing its benefits.
1. High Complexity Applications
Even with the best low-code platform and most knowledgeable non-IT professionals, high complexity applications are likely to demand so much attention from IT teams that low-code development may not be the best choice. These types of systems often include a high volume of records or highly-integrated systems.
Although low-code platforms are always improving, the manual coding experience required for highly complex applications is much better suited for traditional development processes.
2. When Lacking IT Buy-in
Low-code is often used to address technical issues quickly without IT approval. But in order to avoid the risks of shadow IT, it’s important to get buy-in from key stakeholders, including IT teams, and ensure that all security concerns have been addressed.
3. On-Premise Requirements
Most leading tools in the low-code space are cloud-based. If your IT team requires on-premise tools, you may have fewer options to choose from and, then even further, few features to leverage within those tools.
4. Cost Considerations
Most low-code development options are subscription-based – each user pays for a license on a monthly or annual basis. Traditional development, on the other hand, often focuses on a larger up-front investment for a custom application but no recurring fees to follow. Your budget could end up making the final decision between the two options.
Advance Your Business with a Low-Code Partner
Although low-code development significantly reduces the burden on professional developers, it’s important to partner with someone with a development background to aid in the process. Selecting the wrong low-code platform can create significant obstacles down the line. When considering the long-term needs of applications with higher degrees of specialization and customization, make sure to leverage low-code development on a versatile platform.
To maximize the benefits of low-code development while carefully navigating the risks, consider working with a partner. Our experts take an individualized approach; we walk clients through their low-code options and help them build scope for the perfect solution. By putting clients’ needs and project requirements first, we help organizations reduce their time to market, sharpen their competitive edge, and boost product quality through the use of low-code technology. Learn more about our services and solutions.