Low-Code Platforms (as well as no-code platforms) have seen a huge spike in demand recently, particularly these past two years. While no-code brought the concept of citizen development to the main stage – and it quickly became a darling of the most innovative companies in the world because of how fast and easy it can be used to build simple apps – low-code remained as a go-to tool for in-house or outsourced software development teams of companies undergoing digital transformation.
Like no-code platforms, low-code platforms promise to help IT/dev teams clear their backlogs much faster than if they build everything from the ground up.
As an enterprise with a roster of in-house or outsourced developers, how exactly can you use low-code platforms to support your digital transformation initiatives?
Let’s see what low-code platforms are really good for, and how you should they would fit into your digital transformation strategy.
In case you aren’t aware, here are the benefits of no-code platforms:
It’s faster than ground-up development. What would’ve been built in months using traditional methods can be done in weeks
Your productivity or efficiency/developer resource is much higher. Your team can do more with less time, helping you clear out your backlog which has probably grown a lot given the rise in demand for apps and solutions
Easier integration & deployment
Support for the entire development lifecycle
But of course, they also have their downsides:
Limitations on more complex business logic. Most platforms are still good for mid-level complexity, and some are only good for prototyping purposes and not for production-grade software
Functionalities may be limited, which means the level at which your application can be customized may also be limited. They can, however, cater to more advanced/complex requirements than what no-code platforms can support.
Your team still needs a technical background (as opposed to no-code platforms)
You can’t access and don’t own the source code – which can be a big issue if you’re doing a true digital transformation where IP ownership is key. Even if the vendor is able to provide you with the source code, it may not even be human-readable for you to enhance further.
As with no-code platforms, you have little-to-no control over security and hosting
What exactly are low-code platforms good for?
First: Low-code platforms can cater to more custom UI/UX
While some no-code platforms can do drag-and-drop UI configurations, they are still limited to templates or basic customizations that might not work when you’re building fully custom software. This is directly correlated to the next point, which is more on the functionality of what you’re trying to build.
Second: Low-code platforms are good for more complex user flows and logic that no-code platforms cannot pull off
As mentioned in our previous article, no-code platforms are best for digitizing internal processes. They are not always the best replacement or alternative to low-code platforms. Low-code platforms come to play a role in building software that involves more complex business rules that contribute to an overall customer experience, which brings us to the next point below.
Third: Low-code platforms are generally good for customer-facing custom solutions
While most internal processes are standard and can be handled by no-code platforms, when it comes to creating attractive and engaging experiences for customers, you need something more customized and unique to your business. Like an e-commerce or self-service portal for B2B customers that have a more complex process. This would definitely call for the use of a low-code platform because you need to insert/apply custom code that caters to the more sophisticated needs of B2B customers. In fact, in an industry survey, they found that 50% of respondents said they utilized low-code to build partner- and customer-facing web apps or portals.
So how can low-code platforms fit into your digital transformation strategy?
When you do your digital roadmap (which, by the way, we can help you with), there are some solutions that are purely an internal process digitization effort. This means a no-code platform (like QuickReach) can be used to address your need.
In other cases, you might need fully-custom software where a no-code platform might fall short of meeting your needs. That’s when you use a low-code development platform (like Xamun) to do the trick.
Then there would be cases where you actually need both, where there’s a custom front-end solution (like for customers) built using a low-code platform but then all the internal processes that go with it are digitized using a no-code platform.
Choosing between low-code or no-code is not the point of this article. In fact, you can use both depending on what you need to build. Both may have a place in your digital transformation strategy. It’s all about knowing what you need to build, knowing which platform to use, and knowing when to use them.
Xamun: The Next-Generation Low-Code Platform for Custom Software
While there’s a wide range of low-code platforms out there, and as mentioned above, they still have a number of disadvantages that could be the tipping point for you to favor ground-up development. But at BlastAsia, after doing traditional ground-up development for over 20 years now, we realized that there IS a better way to build custom software. In addition to being capable of producing more custom software compared to no-code platforms, here are some of the reasons why Xamun is a better alternative to traditional low-code platforms in the market:
Well-documented, & human-readable source code output
The source code will be easy to work with, ensuring that enhanced or new features can be added easily by our team or your own team
Fixed & predictable costs
No recurring fees like in most no-code/low-code platforms and no time-and-material cost like in most ground-up development
You own the intellectual property and code
Unlike in no-code/low-code platforms, you will take ownership of the resulting IP that you build using Xamun. We can deploy and maintain your app for you or simply hand over the code to your team. There are two ways to build your software Xamun: build it yourself or build it with our team. Right now, we can support the latter but by Q4 2022 or Q1 2023, we will be able to let you build everything on your own.