How to Choose a Low Code Development Platform
Did you know that the low code market has grown by 23 percent since last year and raised $11.3 billion in profits? Experts at Gartner believe that the market will expand by $13.8 billion this year. It may even reach $30 billion within the next five years. In short, low-code development platforms and their usage within enterprises are currently booming. They can help IT teams or software developers deliver a variety of applications. Some of the common uses of a low-code platform include:
- Streamlining workflows
- Modernizing legacy applications
- Automating data integration
- Supporting data visualizations
- Delivering customer experiences
- Building mobile apps
Typically, the primary selling point of low-code application platforms and tools is that they accelerate the whole process of designing and building apps. Even less technical developers can successfully design and create applications using low-code faster compared to native SDKs (software development toolkits). Plus, digital transformation can help professional developers produce applications more efficiently and cost-effectively.
Additionally, seeking the assistance of professional low-code development firms can offset your labor costs.
If you’re looking for a reliable enterprise low-code application platform, you’ve come to the right place. This article includes everything you need to know about low code development platforms and how to choose one.
What is a Low-Code Platform?
More than 99 percent of business stakeholders and IT professionals admit that their business can benefit from low-code platforms.
Typically, a low-code development platform refers to an application that can provide a ‘Graphical User Interface’ for IT programming. It creates the code faster, reducing traditional programming efforts. Moreover, the tools minimize hand-coding efforts, which contribute to the code’s fast development and cost effectiveness.
The platform successfully helps with efficient coding, quick setup, management, and deployment. Appian, for instance, is a low-code development platform that allows software developers to build custom applications in a structured, easy-to-understand environment. The Appian platform introduces a variety of capabilities immediately out of the box.
What are the Benefits of Low-Code Development?
Low-code delivers value to your organization by: 1) enabling non-technical users in your company to create an app themselves or 2) simplifying the development for coders by reducing repetitive and non-value-added tasks.
If you‘re still unsure why you should opt for rapid application development, here are some benefits worth considering:
- Improved agility
- Higher productivity
- Decreased operational and build costs
- Effective risk management
- Faster transformation
A recent study by Frevvo dug into the options for low-code development platforms and came to various conclusions. It found that they speed up digital transformation by 70 percent and reduce the dependency on technical skills by 40 percent.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Low-Code Application Development Platform
Identify Use Cases across the Enterprise
As ‘low-code and no-code capabilities’ have gained popularity over the years, many businesses have to upgrade or update applications rapidly. This is the reason you might find plenty of low-code options with various development approaches and capabilities.
Remember that a low-code development platform must help your company accelerate or improve application development. However, it is essential to evaluate it against different application types your business needs for end-user experiences, workflow capabilities, and data requirements. Low-code platforms deliver the most value when they are used across the enterprise and not just one use case.
Therefore, make sure you consider various app dev cases when testing and researching low-code platforms. You need to determine what the platform can or cannot do, along with its strengths, weaknesses, and scope.
Determine Who will Design Applications
Some low-code platforms are closer to “No-code” than others. No-code developers offer some visual tools to construct user interfaces, integrations, and workflows, but are more limited in their ability to extend and adapt.
Even if a development platform designates itself as a low-code, technical configuration will be required to ensure a custom, effective fit for your business. Many organizations offer specialized consulting services geared towards specific platforms to support these efforts if your team needs supplemental input from a more experienced developer.
Identifying who designs, develops, and maintains apps is essential. Some platforms are just tools for tech experts and target individuals with specific development skills.
Others, however, are citizen development platforms to empower analysts and subject experts to design and support applications. Keep in mind that your target developers must have an interest in learning about the platform and developing applications.
It is important to engage them in the selection process or take them on board to support business priorities.
Evaluate Integration Requirements
Not all organizations can afford to design or develop low-code apps in silos. Integrating applications with enterprise systems, cloud and data center databases, APIs, and third-party data sources are necessary.
If your company is developing machine learning or loT data pipeline models, you might need to integrate reliable low-code platforms. Though almost all platforms provide APIs, their usage, company-specific performance, and support development vary significantly.
The last thing a business wants is to create a low-code app that requires complex integration and constant maintenance.
Review DevOps, Hosting, and Governance Options
Low-code platforms come with hosting flexibility. Some platforms offer self-hosting options to deploy in your own data center. Other platforms may only offer cloud hosting options, and would be considered to be synonymous with SaaS. Some platforms may offer both options.
Not all low-code development platforms are equal. This is particularly observable in DevOps capabilities such as:
- Version applications or integrate with version control systems
- Enable an agile/efficient development process with multiple connections to instruments that manage road maps
- Support the development lifecycle on dev and test
- Enable data snapshots; replications; mirrors or extract, load processes to sustain data science and disaster recovery and data science
- Integrate with continuous integration, continuous testing, deployment or IT service management and change management processes
Consider Pricing Models
Low-code development platforms serve different businesses and have various pricing models. You may find some end-user pricing, meaning you have to pay a higher amount if you have more application users. Some companies price the platforms by metrics, scale, and development of applications or seats.
Some may offer numerous products that users can purchase separately, but most work with capability-based cost tiers. So, when you have many platforms offering easy onramps to proof-of-concept development, you must understand the ultimate cost of production operation and maintenance.
All in all, a low-cost development platform allows developers and non-technical users to design or produce apps at a lower cost. They can also produce these apps faster than conventional programming. There is no one-size-fits-all product, however. It is essential to choose the best low-code tool for your organization to fit your specific needs for use case coverage, developer profiles, integrations, DevOps, and cost models.
Vision Point Systems empowers your tech team with customized tools built on a powerful low-code development platform. We specialize in building and optimizing applications that can run and manage critical business communications and processes through our professional partnership with Appian.
Call or visit our website to learn more about the low-code development apps we can help you develop.
Author: Jim Schweitzer