What is low-code development?
For modern businesses, the ability to pivot and adapt to a rapidly shifting world of work has become essential. How your company responds to these changes—and how quickly you respond—can make or break your long-term success. As it becomes more of a necessity, your company needs to rapidly embrace digital transformation to meet customers’ growing demands and keep up with the competition.
Your business can implement this change in many ways, and using low-code development is an increasingly popular approach for businesses to adapt to constantly changing conditions.
What’s the appeal? With a low-code development platform, companies can quickly create and deliver business applications without having to rely on a large amount of manual programming or user training. This not only saves time and makes companies more efficient and productive, but it also allows you to focus on the apps that require the most attention, like customer experience and automation apps.
Simply put, low code is a smart way to put power back into your hands. Specifically, it’s a method of software and application development that allows your workers to create enterprise-grade business apps using drag-and-drop functionality and visual guidance—with very little or no coding experience or knowledge.
The appeal of this approach is that almost anyone can develop an app. Citizen developers—employees in your organisation who don’t necessarily have technical or programming expertise—can quickly and efficiently build applications on low-code platforms.
Enabling anyone to create applications using this simplified application development method frees up your professional developers and IT teams to devote their time to creating more complex, business-critical apps. And when these developers use low-code platforms, it helps them work faster because they don’t have to write code line by line.
If you’re searching for an application development method that uses visual modelling, you might also consider using a no-code application platform. Low code and no code share some similarities, including their key purpose. Both platforms were created as an alternative to traditional application development, and they both make it easier for your business to enable citizen developers to build new apps.
There are some key differentiators, though. With low-code platforms, developers need at least a basic understanding of programming, while no-code platforms take a drag-and-drop approach and don’t require any coding knowledge. No code is ideal for building smaller apps, and its capabilities can be limited. Low code, on the other hand, tends to allow developers to create more sophisticated apps.
Low-code development platforms
Low-code development platforms have many benefits for your business, such as providing tools to boost organisational agility and empowering employees to quickly build professional-grade apps that solve business challenges.
Low-code development platforms can help your business in many ways:
- Save time by enabling almost anyone in your company to develop apps rather than waiting for development teams to do it.
- Boost productivity by freeing up your developers’ schedules so they can focus on building apps that require coding, and ultimately, helping teams work more efficiently.
- Reduce costs by allowing your business to use existing staff as citizen developers rather than hiring new developers. This enables your professional developers to create more apps in less time.
- Become more flexible by using low-code platforms to easily change apps without having to spend a lot of time writing code.
Low-code application development does come with challenges, however. While low code doesn’t require a lot of manual coding, your IT teams aren’t completely off the hook—they still must make themselves available to guide both citizen and professional developers along the way.
Low-code development can also make it harder for your company to see what your employees are building, which can create security issues. With on-premises low-code platforms, it’s often difficult for IT to have any visibility into development projects. However, that issue can be solved by moving to the cloud, which allows you to apply rule-based permissions.
What can businesses build with low-code app development platforms?
Here are just a few practical use cases about what you can create with a low-code platform:
- Customer experience apps. With the rise of digital transformation, today’s customers expect easy-to-use, well-functioning mobile apps. Low code allows you to modernise existing apps and significantly speed up new application development.
- Line-of-business apps. When apps are outdated, can no longer support current processes, and aren’t providing an ideal user experience, a low-code platform can help migrate these apps and simplify process automation.
- Automation and efficiency apps. These apps give you the tools you need to automate tasks and reduce your dependence on manual, paper-based processes.
Key considerations for choosing the right low-code development platform
Before embarking on your first low-code development project, it’s important to pause and take time to think about platform options. Here are some key questions to keep in mind:
- Is the platform secure enough to use for B2B or B2C projects?
- Does it offer built-in security features for apps?
- Is it scalable? If you need to add more users later, is that easy to do?
- Does it allow you to create apps for different types of devices?