In this fast-paced technological world, traditional development has become time-consuming and requires a lot of investment, such as skilled and experienced software professionals for coding. However, many digital trends have risen that contain streamlined interfaces that can be built visually with minimal to no coding. Forrester has forecasted that the spending value on low-code platforms is expected to increase to $21.2 billion by 2022. Low-code and no-code platforms have started to flourish because businesses nowadays are trying to simplify and automate their processes.
What is low-code?
Low-code is a software development approach where you can create an application with little coding. Visually driven Integrated development environments (IDEs) are used in low-code automation tools for rapid application development. The low-code approach allows users, even with minimal knowledge of coding, to create an app via the graphical user interface (GUI). Its key built-in drag-and-drop feature can help you in building applications just by dragging and dropping various elements like texts, buttons, images, videos, maps, icons, and more. All you need is an idea to create an application, and it can be done via low-code application platforms like A8Flow. You can even skip some development cycles to test it straight away with real users.
Related article: What is Low-Code Automation? Everything You Need to Know
Advantages of Low-code Platform
Current business situations are rapidly evolving and businesses need to keep up with this pace. They need to adopt new emerging trends to stay ahead of their competitors. Most of the time, the traditional approach to application development to build applications is monotonous. With the rapid application development tool, your systems can meet any requirements with minimal risk. Using low-code app builders, companies can reach their full potential in business process management using process automation and machine learning.
Research by 451 says that when using low-code software development, duration has decreased to 50 – 90%. Your business can stay ahead of its competitors as the high speed at which software development occurs offers shorter release cycles. The software can also be easily altered to your requirements as a result of shorter release cycles.
As low-code development platforms have prebuilt elements, it saves developers time to a great extent as they don’t have to write code from scratch. Not only technical but also business teams can use the low-code platform to build an application. As the time spent on software development is reduced, businesses can concentrate on more pressing tasks and projects. Drag-and-drop interfaces have made developers create applications easily without any need for writing code. Within minutes, simple applications can be developed. At the same time, complex applications might require a couple of hours. Most of the low-code application development tools follow a template, where you can start a project with already tested templates. This removes the need for program logic testing usually required while developing applications.
Democratize Application Development
The very nature of low-code methodology allows citizen developers to build applications. Most business users have zero to minimal programming knowledge. They don’t know to code an entire application from the basics. However, they are knowledgeable in facilitating their business processes. Low-code automation platform helps in creating composite applications, as the platform offers simple, easy-to-use built-in tools.
Every low-code platform has separate tools for planning, building, cooperation, seamless integration, and delivery. Their simple drag-and-drop feature and a range of templates will allow the citizen developers to build workflows and integrate with existing processes.
If your business needs to start a new project, you don’t have to wait for the software professionals to complete the project. Implementing low code will save you time and your employees can attend to other tasks. Compared to the traditional approach, it costs way lesser for your business. The web application is constantly evolving and new and efficient methodologies are being created. This creates a skill gap. You will need to spend more to employ someone who will be knowledgeable in the said area and the companies are usually stuck with outdated systems and technologies. An enterprise has raised $20.52 million in total benefits within three years and $8.1 million in the application delivery process, a Forrester economic study says.
Incorporating a low-code platform in your business will minimize the skills gap. Your existing employees can start to use this software. As the low-code platform supports best security practices and industry standards, built-in features like data integration, the latest security algorithms, and cross-platform support have become possible. This way, your business can run smoothly while your processes are heavily protected and customized.
One of the key benefits of using low-code is its flexibility. It can deploy a full-stack solution within weeks; in some instances, it may just take days. This makes low-code platforms ideal for cloud hosting. This makes software delivery quicker.
Ease of Deployment
When using a traditional software development approach using coding, you are bound to stumble upon specific bugs and mishaps during the launch date. However, if you use low-code, all the changes can be reverted and modified to a stable version with just a single click. This will clear any issue the application faced before.
Low-code automation platform comes with a varied range of built-in styles, screen templates with layouts, components, widgets, logic, and UI patterns. They act as building blocks that offer intuitive user interfaces and better user experiences. These prebuilt features have been specially designed and tested. They can be deployed and worked across a range of devices like tablets, desktops, and mobiles. Innovative features and updates can be created due to its cross-platform functionality and single-click deployments.
CI/CD and DevOps are also supported in the low-code development platform. It can integrate easily with external tools to support DevOps, project management, CI/CD pipelines, and testing.
Disadvantages of Low-code Platform
The limitations that the developers face while building custom software are native language capabilities and software. As the number of functions that can be used in a low-code development platform is limited, you don’t have a lot of options to customize your application the way you want. If you need a functionality that is not available in the low-code platform, then the software development team will have to write a custom code. Integrating this custom code will sometimes be most costly than the customized solution that was built from scratch. Certain vendors will provide you access to the code. So, it is vital to recognize the customization limits before choosing a low-code platform for your business.
Security and Risks
Low-code automation solutions have specific built-in security protocols. However, they fail to provide the same level of security as standalone development technologies. Low-code projects greatly depend on their automation platform providers to correct any security issues that might arise. If these low-code platform providers are closed down, then there will be no regular security updates. This will lead to businesses not being able to fix their security risks. Your business might be vulnerable to security breaches if the liquidated platform providers act as hosts, leading to exposure of data and security systems.
The biggest fear that exists around low-code automation platforms is vendor lock-in. Most businesses assume that once they choose a vendor, they can’t revert their decision. This causes you to depend on an individual vendor. But this entirely depends upon the vendor they have chosen. Certain low-code automation platforms provide a clean and standardized code that can be worked with other vendors. It is essential to read the vendor’s policy before purchasing the tool’s license. Don’t forget to take a look at the generated code so that it can be changed easily. Some vendors won’t allow you to initiate changes in your application once you have stopped using them.
Promotes Shadow IT
Sometimes, during reviews or for various reasons, IT departments will face a situation where a department or an individual is using an unapproved low-code automation tool. It creates unnecessary risks and wastes resources. It can be controlled by continuously looking out for warning signs, like receiving tickets for unfamiliar software. This situation can be prevented if your employees are educated about the risks of shadow IT.
The complication of Business Logic
Certain low-code automation tools are ideal for automating simple processes or creating prototypes. In certain situations, business logic gets complicated once the prototyping phase is completed. So, to build a project, you will need a highly skilled professional team. However, not all low-code platforms are perfect, like A8Flow, where you can rely on them completely.
Businesses around the world have started to implement low-code automation platforms to digitize their businesses. When combined with a traditional approach, it offers quicker and more efficient application development. Every new technology has its own advantages and disadvantages. Adopting new technology for your business should entirely depend on your business’s goals and needs.
Looking to incorporate a low-code automation platform for your business? Contact us and schedule a demo now.