One of the trends that has been growing over the years is the concept of Low-Code. Put simply, Low-Code minimises the amount of coding required and is a more visual way of building an app or website but gives the flexibility for more personal requirements.
What is Low-Code?
According to a Gartner report, Low-Code will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity by 2024. On a practical basis, it’s an approach to development that focuses on visual tools and a model-driven processes. Instead of focusing on the textual code that somebody might input, it’s much more about structuring a data model and then building an application or website around it. The main objective is to reduce the amount of coding required so that the app development is accelerated.
On a wider point, the concept of Low-Code and its ease of access means that it is democratising access to development, making it easier for a wider business team to quickly deliver application functionality. Microsoft actually distinguishes the two types of developers as ‘professional developers’ and ‘citizen developers’ (not sure what the developers think about that). Low-Code really increases the ability of a business to deliver formalised functionality.
A great example that I consider to be Low-Code, is Microsoft Excel as it doesn’t require a developer to help capture and store data to report on. Start-ups and smaller departments will heavily use Excel as a form of Low-Code.
Where can Low-Code be used?
The strength of the Low-Code platform is often found in business applications, back-office systems, mobile apps that support data capture and reporting. There are also capabilities around web portals and providing different views on that data for an end user, whether that’s an end business user or a customer user. It is dependent upon the capabilities of the platform and what that platform is focused on.
There are downsides to Low-Code and Excel is a great example of this. Your data can be duplicated in emails and different file copies, which can be really frustrating as well as a potential security or GDPR issue. A few other examples include:
- Cost – as a business or department grows, or usage of a system grows Low-Code systems often cost as per user per month.
- Vendor lock-in – working in Low-Code, you’re typically on one platform and you’re paying for that platform usage month on month. It’s not easy to transition those costs to a different vendor because you’re very much focused on one platform.
Examples of other Low-Code platforms
Salesforce as a platform is a great example of Low-Code, it’s not software it’s a platform. It’s been going for years, and they have expanded their reach beyond CRM to be a full Low-Code platform. Outsystems is another major vendor in this space who have their own Low-Code platform where you can build apps, applications and business processes.
Microsoft are also in this space with their Power Platform suite which includes Power BI and Power Automate. Power Apps is part of this platform and is the central part of the offering in terms of Low-Code. It integrates with other Microsoft platforms. For users of Office 365, it’s easy to deliver the Power Apps functionality, integrating into that single sign-on and having access to existing file systems and other data sources.
The Benefits of Low-Code
Getting an app or website created using Low-Code means that you can get to market quickly and so prove your business model. You can sell services without committing to a larger investment and can pivot quickly if needed because the systems can be tweaked quicker than a custom solution. Being able to deliver quickly and deliver cheaply is great for start-ups who can then invest larger sums into a fully custom software solution that closer fits their niche, when their business has traction.
Interested in finding out more? We previously looked into the differences comparing commercial off the shelf, Low-Code/ No-Code and Custom Software. Which is similar to Cake-Mix!
Looking to learn more about a Low-Code solution for your business? Get in contact today.