5 Common Misconceptions About Low-Code / No-Code Platforms
By: Siddharth Wadehra, QuickReach Head of Research
Low-code / no-code platforms seem to be the flavor of the season. The current business environment is threatening the very existence of a number of small- to mid-sized companies across all industries and have pushed the impetus towards digitization and evaluating digital means of serving customers. Many of these companies, strapped for both time and financial resources, are turning towards low-code and no-code platforms to bootstrap their digital transformation ambitions. With the dawn of this new digital economy, competing would mean connecting data, people, and processes at digital speed.
Operating at digital speed means creating app capabilities users need to function smoothly across multiple devices. Low-code / no-code is a new approach to building unique business applications fast. With a low-code / no-code application development platform, one does not code an application line by line. Instead, it enables the user to draw the applications like a flowchart, making the process quick and intuitive. Low-code/ no-code enables developers of varied experience levels to create applications for web and mobile using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphic user interface.
Gartner predicts that low-code application development would gather more than 65% of all app development functions by the year 2024 and about 66% of bigger companies using four low-code platforms. This meteoric rise of the low-code / no-code application development platforms, however, have given rise to a number of misconceptions.
This article intends to shed light on some of the common myths associated with low-code / no-code application development which are as follows:
Misconception 1: Low-code / no-code platforms are ONLY for citizen developers
The reason why no-code platforms came into existence is to allow business experts build digital solutions to address department-specific problems. The core pain-point these platforms look to solve is to allow non-technical users to put something out in the digital marketplace that solves the issue more affordably and without taking too much time. Having said that, the benefits for development and technical teams which these platforms brings cannot be negated as well. IT teams could now be focused on developing enterprise-grade, mission-critical applications rapidly and affordably.
Misconception 2: Low-code / no-code platforms are for SIMPLE and SMALL applications.
Using low-code / no-code to produce a working application of any idea, whether it’s a simple employee time card management app to inventory control processes app, is a key advantage and beneficial to both business members and IT staff. It means employees can rapidly expand the feature scope and customize as needed or add features to the first round of applications. It also allows for application expansion as the business grows thus debunking the myth that low-code / no-code platforms only allow simple and small applications.
Misconception 3: Low-code /no-code DOES NOT enable collaboration
Using low-code/no-code applications enable greater collaboration between business managers, customers, and internal teams. With custom software development, engineering teams get an idea and write code to build a solution. Contrary to the misconception, using low-code / no-code application development platforms allow the stakeholder with the idea to be an active part of the development process in having a say on how the application would look and feel. Moreover, platforms would have the flexibility to collaborate and add/modify features to suit the evolving consumer behavior. Some of the smarter low-code / no-code application platforms allow for integrated project management, collaboration, and feedback tools share the domain specific knowledge of the business and professional developers to communicate requirements, iterate on applications as a team, and respond to customers with agility.
Misconception 4: There is NO need for programming
Most low-code / no-code application platforms allow for drag-and-drop functionality to develop applications allowing for citizen developers to build solutions based on business needs. In fact, most platforms have built-in templates which could allow out-of-box use for the business scenario. While the above is true, customization and integration need the expertise of developers. Any customization to the out-of-box application would have the development team at the backend changing variables allowing them to build tests, identify issues and deliver secure and scalable applications which can be seamlessly integrated with existing systems.
Misconception 5: Low-code / no-code platforms IMPACT FLEXIBILITY of the applications
Contrary to this misconception, low-code / no-code platforms enhance the flexibility of the applications. It makes developing iterative versions of the apps adapting them to suit new requirements relatively easy. Layers of possible customization provide the ability to create a ready-to-use application using low-code / no-code software, and later revisit the app to expand it or even to add more functionality on top. As the platform evolves, more powerful features can be added to give more flexibility and capabilities. With API integrations and intelligent bots, these applications would also seamlessly integrate with existing legacy infrastructure. Most low-code / no-code platforms today would also allow the incorporation of next-gen technologies like IoT, blockchain, artificial intelligence without needing specialized skills.
Misconception 6: Low-code / no-code applications are NOT scalable
Low-code / no-code applications allow you to add more users as your organization grows. Providing access to users based on job roles can be a difficult task when the number of users involved is huge. With a low-code / no-code platform, providing access to the application is usually easy. The organization can control what end users can do at both broad and granular levels and assign roles and permissions based on the employees’ positions in the organization.
In fact, some of the smarter low-code / no-code platforms boast of both ‘run time’ and ‘development time’ scalability. Run time scalability is the ability to increase the capacity of deployed low-code / no-code applications and to provide fast user experiences, both for large numbers of users and compute-intensive operations. Dev time scalability, on the other, hand allows for the use of low-code / no-code for multiple use cases, projects, and developers and to deliver long term, successful management of large, interconnected portfolios of applications.
Steer: Your Customer-Centric No-Code platform
Low-code / No-code platforms are no longer a myth. Companies are fast adopting low-code platforms to bootstrap their digital transformation initiatives. Low-code / no-code platforms are becoming stronger by the day and with their expanding capabilities, it is becoming easier to streamline development cycles and build applications to solve growing business requirements.
While we have touched on most of the common misconceptions, there is some truth to the fact that this templatized approach to app development might limit the customer experience and probably platforms have not made this aspect a priority. With elements of design thinking and empathy built into a platform like Steer, it promises a fresh perspective to all business managers rolling out applications for their prospective users.