By 2027, global revenue from low-code development will reach $65 billion, which may rise to $187 Billion by 2030. Enhanced functionality and performance have made low-code development tools crucial for digital transformation. The benefits include increased agility, lower development costs, a faster time to market, simplified app development, and streamlined collaboration.
The low code platform is an application development method that enables users of all skill levels to build, test, and deploy applications on a graphical user interface with little written code. With a myriad set of exciting features, low-code tools appeal to both citizen developers and IT developers. But implementing the platform without prior insight can make you doomed to fail.
For an easier digital transformation journey, here are 5 things you need to know before adopting a low-code platform.
5 things to consider before adopting a low-code platform
Within 2-5 years, low-code platforms (citizen integrator tools) will reach mainstream use, but if you’re unaware of the challenges associated with them, your efforts will be in vain.
Direct access to code
For any low-code platform, limitations are inevitable because the environment doesn’t completely replace coding. Direct access to underlying code reduces the limitations and helps IT developers overcome them. Access to code also increases modification possibilities, such as third-party integration and helps you customize the platform to fit your business precisely.
A platform with hidden code is problematic if the platform doesn’t support the functionality IT developers need or if something in the tool goes wrong. IT developers are more comfortable with solutions that offer direct code access and use popular or standard languages.
They can use best practices to explore the code, understand what’s going on, debug problems or enhance the platform’s functionality. A fully open-source low-code platform gives you complete control of the software stack.
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Extensibility and interoperability
The platform’s degree of interoperability and extensibility determines how well it can integrate with your existing system, other components, and tools. It influences how far you can extend the platform capabilities if you cannot build the apps you need in the low-code tool.
Users often discover specific platform limitations after using it for a while. Understand the tool’s limitations and whether it’s possible to add custom code or a third-party tool, depending on your needs.
Also, know what you’ll do if the solution doesn’t have a feature you require or doesn’t do something you want. Some business process management software vendors are open to feature requests and adding features to their platforms.
Understand security features
Security has become a primary concern for all businesses because it minimizes cyber threats and vulnerabilities, protects your company’s assets, and defends your business’s critical information from hackers. Best practices like data encryption services, authorization, and authentication mechanisms keep your data safe, especially in cloud platforms.
To prioritize security, select low-code tools with strict user access permissions that allow IT personnel to limit who can view and edit code. Choose a platform with control and compliance features like 2FA, ISO 27001, SOC2, and in-platform data encryption, so you can manage user privileges and authorizations.
User privileges help organizations personalize security and features for individual users or user roles and limit user capabilities or hide user options.
Know the long-term costs
26% of company leaders believe low code platforms are their most critical automation investment. But if you’re not aware of the underlying costs, this may not be your reality. Low-code licensing structures and costs vary from vendor to vendor, from one platform to another, tools within the platform, and business needs.
Most vendors charge depending on application run times, features used, database records, number of developers, end users, and applications created and distributed. Fully understanding the pricing model and what factors increase fees can help you keep costs down. Establish if your business requires premium capabilities and whether to purchase the platform by application or user.
Consider a client-centric “Shared Success” approach to pricing, as it’s more innovative and tailored to fit your organization’s exact needs. It’s also designed to scale as your number of users or applications increases. You’re charged for only what you use, without unnecessary costs.
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Consider end users
Low code’s focal point is to offload a large portion of IT work, greatly reduce their burden and boost their capabilities. Select platforms that enable agile application development and integrate easily across platforms to support collaborative team development. These enable citizen developers to participate in app development and empower cross-team collaboration.
Real-time collaboration between stakeholders streamlines development processes, making them less complicated. It also allows teams to improve feedback cycles, save time and effort, minimize defects, and make quick changes, increasing efficiency. Also, choose a tool that works on various devices in diverse locations and enables you to create apps that run on different operating systems.
All low-code platforms have a graphical user interface with prebuilt development templates and drag-and-drop elements. But, the ease of use varies dramatically from platform to platform, so find a trade-off between the complexity of apps to build and the ease of use. Avoid low-code platforms with a steep learning curve because they may significantly lower adoption rates, especially among citizen developers.
Make an informed decision about low code
A low-code platform can help you simplify app development, deliver apps faster, and improve collaboration, but it’s essential to adopt one that best fits your style of work. Even for organizations with agile, experienced, and high-functioning teams, low-code adoption can be difficult. To maximize low-code benefits, remember these challenges and develop a strategic plan to iron them out.