Rapid software development is forcing companies to change their business models and operations. It is quite a hurdle to ensure your company has all the required software capabilities in such a highly competitive environment. There's a shortcut to bringing technologies in business to a new level. One of them is using pre-made frameworks, such as low-code or no-code solutions.
We already have experience in such techniques, and we want to share how to adopt low-code/no-code. This article pulls together essential details to help businesses better understand how to start working with low-code solutions. Sometimes, simple solutions are the game-changers. We invite you to discover them with us.
What are low-code and no-code approaches?
Low-code and no-code development platforms represent visual software development environments. It provides drag and drop components, which could be connected in different varieties to create the mobile or web apps you require.
Let's imagine we have a team of developers. The most qualified of them are the most in-demand and in short-supply. Tech giants are hunting the best talents, creating a lack of specialists in the labor market. This situation leads to the idea of creating flexible platforms that could be adapted without code or with a minimal amount of development.
Low-code and no-code approaches allow developers to build programs without writing large amounts of code. They also enable business analysts, office administrators, small business owners, and others who are not software developers to create and test apps. Theoretically, anyone can design apps and web platforms with little or no knowledge of the programming languages, machine code, or development of customizable platform components.
How low-code and no-code differ
While low-code solutions usually require some initial installation, deployment and minimal coding skills, no-code platforms are quick to set and require no coding for the most basic functionality. No-code platforms are suitable for building business apps with limited IT resources and technically savvy people.
On the other hand, low-code development platforms suit skilled developers who want to create long-term custom applications with high customization needs.
When is development without code useful?
Demand for low-code and no-code solutions has increased. According to Gartner's research, it is expected that 70% of new applications will be developed with the use of low-code and no-code frameworks by 2025.
The low-code approach benefits businesses in many ways. It could be applied when the initial investment is limited, deadlines are close and when flexibility is a must when development time for projects should be reduced so that business problems can be resolved quickly.
Low-code and no-code platforms enable businesses to create apps quickly and then layer customization and add features on top of them. With these options, enterprise users may develop their apps without writing a line of code or while keeping code to a minimum for optional customization.
Let's take a look at the main benefits of applying low-code:
1. Advanced functionality
Automation of manual document-related functions increases speed and quality while reducing expenses. Low-code and no-code platforms simplify development with ready-made elements for incorporating applications into core systems. Mostly no-code include workflow automation.
Workflow tools allow business analysts to build the processes and simple milestones needed for expected customer and worker activities. These tools have convenient visual UI to prototype, APIs and pre-built integrations for various use cases. Also, workflow integrates with in-house and third-party systems.
2. MVP and prototyping
Low-code and no-code solutions allow businesses to unlock value by connecting emerging technologies such as the IoT, AI, machine learning, and even blockchain with previous tools. This approach enables creation of an MVP version, testing and iterating until the fully operating application or platform.
In this way, you can rapidly test the basic ideas. MVP is a functional version of the product with enough features to try and receive valuable data with minimum time and money invested at this stage.
3. Clever scaling
Organizations frequently have large suites of tools and systems. This is typically the case for global corporations that have expanded and diversified their businesses by acquiring other companies and establishing operations in new areas by fast-developing applications without considering global IT growth strategies.
Low-code approach enables the rapid development of specific applications and connects them with older programs by building additional layers. Businesses can use low-code tools as tactical solutions to integrate various components to ensure that a company continues to operate while determining whether or not they need to replace potential platforms in the long run.
Most common uses of low-code
Low-code and no-code development platforms may be used to build apps for a wide range of commercial and technical purposes because they don't require much programming or customization. Additionally, these platforms can be used to build corporate systems like CRM or LMS for employee management or management of educational institutions.
They may also be used to upgrade outdated systems, support businesses with digital transformations, cloud migration, and the adoption of cutting-edge technologies like the Internet of Things and AI. Companies can automate paper-based activities and management.
How to use low-code tools correctly
Low-code software development has many advantages, but it also has certain drawbacks. Citizen developers tend to build programs that don't operate or scale smoothly. Also, people may leave the organization, leaving no one to transform or maintain the system they created.
IT organizations need to handle system development, including selecting low code tools the organization will support. A hybrid citizen/professional development approach, in which the citizen builds the lion's share of the platform or app and hands it over to the developer for polishing, is usually the best strategy.
Alternatively, the user might create the initial application with a graphical interface tool and then hand it over to a developer who would write it in Python or another more scalable language. The developer can record that the system exists, ensure it works correctly, and connect it to any needed data or transactional system. It is common when one system developer supports plenty of citizen developers.
Complex tasks have been progressively simplified by using technology and visual tools. Creating your product, application, game or website without knowing how to program it at all is possible. Low-code fits customers that aren't ready to dig deeply into complex technologies and development processes. Some IT solutions should be quick and straightforward. Using low-code and no-code technology helps to reduce development time for projects and resolves business problems quickly.