Low-Code and No-Code Value Proposition
Historically, there’s been two major ways for organizations to introduce applications into their ecosystem: either by buying an off the shelve product, or by building or contracting a team of developers to build a custom solution.
With the increased challenges in finding the necessary skill-set, from a blend of technology and business knowledge, and various reports showing challenges in finding these skilled resources, the ability to provide power users with a deep business knowledge the ability to create solutions without extensive technical knowledge has become an ever increasing need.
We are in an evolutionary process showing an increased number of organizations either expanding their existing platform, or set of newcomers creating new platform to allow for Low-Code and No-Code solution creation. Some of these platform cater to various levels of sophistication, and some require more or less understanding of core development skills.
Let us first have a look at the differences between Low-Code and No-Code, and where each is applicable.
The Low-Code approach
In a Low-Code approach, we are designing and building applications using a simplified user interface that reduces the traditional pro-code requirements. This is an experience that simplifies the traditional coding experience. You should still have a coding background to understand correctly certain concepts and be able to produce a good quality application. It simply reduces complexity and time to market.
The No-Code approach
This approach in many circumstances provide a similar experience to the Low-Code approach, but allows for non-developers to build applications without the need to write a single line of code. It abstracts the coding requirements altogether, but comes with limitations with regards to what the platform allows a user to create with no code. This allows business people to create applications and minimize the need for developers.
The Citizen Developer and the Hybrid Team
Over the last few years we have seen an increase in organizations adopting the Low-Code/No-Code approach, leveraging one or more of the available platforms. In addition, we have providers of these platform building an increased number of features on their respective package offerings. We have gotten to a point where basic to medium complexity applications can be build with a No-Code approach, while medium to complex applications can be built primarily with a Low-Code approach. This is a great things, as more organizations have now access to create solutions that match their business needs.
It is not uncommon to adopt a Hybrid Team approach, where business users and developers are now collaborating even more closely, participating directly in creating applications. Under the guidance and watchful eyes of solution architects that can bring to the table knowledge about coding and Low-Code approaches, teams are now successfully involving business people to create complex solutions that otherwise would have required a developer focused team or partner to implement. A lot of existing team members can and are easily trained to work in such hybrid teams, producing high quality applications in record time.
Further to application creation, we are seeing an increased number of integrations being built using a No-Code/Low-Code approach. Throw on top of that RPA (Robotic Process Automation) services, and you can now integrate even into legacy applications that are not build using a modern architecture. The value is definitely there.
Platforms of interest
As of today, several providers are offering No-Code/Low-Code solutions for their customers. Some of these include:
- ServiceNow Now Platform
- Microsoft Power Platform
- Appian Low-Code Platform
- Salesforce Platforms
- Application Express (APEX)
- Zoho Creator
As for the RPA space, the following are some fo the top solutions:
- UIPath Platform
- Microsoft Power Automate
- Appian RPA
- IBM Robotic Process Automation
- SAP Process Automation
- MuleSoft RPA
- Automation 360
Benefits of Low-Code/No-Code
These are some fo the top benefits for this paradigm:
Ease of use – creation of applications is simplified, does not require complex development knowledge, and allows for better focus on business needs and quick iterations to achieve the desired results.
Lower cost – reduction in time to market, resource skills and re-skilling, and easier maintenance are just some of the cost benefits for this approach.
Agility – this approach allows for multiple iterations at a rapid pace, thus producing a better quality solution that can easily adapt to the audience.
Better user experience – through rapid iterations, an application can now easily be tweaked to reflect user feedback and increase adoption and experience.
Enhanced automation – simplified integrations and the ease of creating standardized processes allows for enhancements to automation.
Abstraction of certain layers – most of these platforms provide services around authentication and security, allowing organizations to reduce extensive efforts in building these features from scratch.
Proof of Concept scenarios – you can now build with minimal effort applications to test your target users, and determine if something is worth building or not.
Have you started leveraging these tools? If not, it’s about time you start integrating these platform into your business, provide faster solutions and be more agile in adapting your applications to the changing landscape of business and markets.