Low-code and no code development platforms have gotten a lot of attention recently. This is due, in large part, to the roadblocks organizations are encountering with their legacy software in an era of digital transformation. It’s becoming clear that new systems are required, but budget issues send businesses in search of cost-effective means of change.
This is where low-code platforms come in. As more vendors bring their offerings to market, it can be tempting to dismiss these as “dumbed down” or amateur app development. This is far from the truth, however.
What actually constitutes a low-code platform? Forrester Research began tracking this rapidly growing software category in 2014, defining low-code platforms as those that “enable rapid delivery of business applications with a minimum of hand-coding and minimal upfront investment in set-up, training, and deployment.”
Rather, users gradually become more sophisticated in their use of the platform, embodying the concept of “revealed power.” With an easy-to-use platform, users can get comfortable with it while doing simple processes – the more comfortable they get, the more sophisticated they can get with the design itself.
The barrier of complexity is removed so that users experience the tool without getting bogged down, and once they’ve successfully and easily built a custom app, the process becomes less intimidating. From there, the potential opportunities are endless. The more a user experiments with the platform, the more they’ll learn and the more they will be able to do with it.
Don’t be mistaken in thinking that low-code platforms are for novices only. Modern professional developers are using them to create much more complex apps. In fact, many of these professional developers once started out as citizen developers themselves. As they’ve advanced into more sophisticated development projects, they’ve kept the low-code platforms as part of their toolboxes. These low-code platforms offer something of a multi-tiered capability – a successful app can be created without knowing coding but, likewise, a successful app of deeper sophistication can be created with code using the same platform.
These tools increase productivity and enable developers to address smaller, rapid-scale projects that they often can’t address with other kinds of development stacks. This can be for various reasons but most often comes down to affordability. When it comes to smaller projects with a shorter shelf life, it’s not always economical to spend a lot of time and money. Maybe your customer only needs an app for a year, or maybe just a few months. In a situation like this, many professional developers find that a low-code platform is the most appropriate choice.
Another benefit of low-code platforms: they can make it easier to incorporate user feedback into apps during development. This is huge for professional developers working with clients who may not know exactly what they are looking for in a solution. Another advantage has to do with easy integration with the other infrastructure and programs that a client has in place already.
Across the globe, developers are finding multiple benefits of a low-code app development tool. They include lower costs, higher speed, and more productivity: getting more done for less expense in a shorter amount of time. And for a busy developer trying to juggle multiple projects of different scale and range, efficiency is key. It makes perfect sense to likewise use different types of development platforms and processes depending on which is the best fit for each.
It’s clear, then, that low-code or no-code doesn’t mean “for dummies.” Rather than limiting citizen and pro developers, platforms like these expand the opportunities of both groups and serve their stakeholders with apps customized to meet their specific business needs.