Low-code/no-code – the pros and cons

The pros and cons of low-code no-code

Low-code/no-code are the new buzzwords in app development – so what is all the fuss about? According to a recent report by Statista, the global low-code platform market revenue is forecast to reach approximately 65 billion U.S. dollars in 2027 and further to this no code development is estimated to be worth $21.2 billion by 2022. 

Understanding the difference between these disruptive technologies can be confusing for those with limited technical knowledge, therefore we have shared some simple definitions below:

Low-code development is the way to build apps faster and more efficiently by reducing the need to code. It is the modern way to develop apps and works by dragging and dropping visual blocks of existing code that users can assemble into a workflow to create applications.

Low-code development is significantly more visual than custom development and automates every step of the development life cycle by reducing the complexity and therefore increases the speed to deliver an application. Low-code requires some technical knowledge and is more suited towards developers or junior developers at least.

No-code development however is designed purely for citizen developers (a citizen developer may have some technical knowledge but not formally trained as a professional developer). No code is suitable for simple applications and the platforms are easier to use. 

No-code development platforms can be very limited and are not suited to develop enterprise-grade applications. Beginners and professionals can build mobile apps using no code platforms without ever writing a single line of code.”

Low-code/no-code development – what is driving the demand?

Digital transformation is critical to the success of modern businesses and the demand for digital services is increasing not only as a response to the ongoing business changes caused by COVID-19 but due to consumer expectation.

Digital expectations post covid are higher than ever and Appnovation’s latest consumer research shows that 89% of millennials expect brands to use technology to shape their customer experiences, no matter the type of business they’re dealing with. 

This expectation coupled with the need for a resilient business model has driven the demand for fast tracked development alternatives. The workforce has reduced dramatically and the need for automated systems to support remote workers has elevated.

Furthermore, there are now nearly 6 million apps between the App Store and Google Play and the opportunity and appetite for entrepreneurs and startups to embark on their first app development project is increasing year on year. 

No code prototyping tools now allow the everyday person to create mobile app prototypes as a potential stepping stone to gaining investment for their app builds.

low-code/no-code

Low-code/no-code – what are the pros and cons?

Pros

Using low-code/no-code platforms to create software solutions for businesses comes at a reduced cost and a faster rate and offers the ability for companies to automate quickly. Speed is crucial in today’s world of business and by opting for low-code/no-code platforms, companies can streamline the app development process and the speed at which applications can be built is reduced to hours instead of months.

Low-code/no-code platforms come with pre-built templates which means they also have pre designed UI and UX. This can in some cases eliminate the need for a design team and allow the everyday user to create a stunning interface and user experience.

The resources are the companies own employees and so development teams are entirely focussed on in-house projects rather than agencies building applications for multiple organisations. There is a lower risk with a low code or no code development as the platforms come with pre written code.

Citizen developed applications are built with a better understanding of the requirements and workflows of the business. This will empower the workforce and strengthen the digital culture within an organisation.

No code platforms specifically require minimal training so it is possible for anyone within the company to develop a very simple application in a short timeframe. This can lead to collaboration between teams, reduce the workload for IT departments and therefore boost productivity.

Cons

Low-code platforms still require some level of development and coding knowledge and will require training.

Low-code/no-code platforms do not offer the flexibility and adaptability for more complex software applications and are often too restrictive to achieve the required results. No code platforms work by locking blocks of code that users can manoeuvre. This architecture is more restrictive than custom code. This also means that the scalability for larger organisations is limited.

The workforce can often be resistant to change, particularly with new technologies; internal departments are not generally used to building their own digital platforms and as a result, heads of department may face a lack of enthusiasm and reluctance.

If a company is locked in to one vendor they are completely reliant on that vendor to continue to keep up with the latest innovation and technology, this is called vendor lock in. If that vendor were to shut down their company, the only alternative would be to migrate to a new vendor which would leave a company in significant technical debt. The code of the current solution could then also potentially become obsolete

Although low-code platforms have built in security procedures, there are security limitations as they can’t provide the same level of security as custom development. An organisation will never have full control over data security and access to the source code which can leave a company vulnerable.

Final Thoughts

Technology giant Gartner predicts that by 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will have adopted a low-code or no-code as one of their strategic application platforms and that low-code will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity by 2024

Low-code/no-code can be a game changer depending on an organization’s business strategy and goals as it allows teams to adapt to the demands of the business in a shorter time frame. It also gives citizen developers and junior developers the tools to develop applications they wouldn’t normally be qualified to and therefore opens up new business opportunities.

Low-code/no-code does have a place in the world of app development but that doesnt mean the need for traditional expert developers has been eliminated as yet. We can be sure however that these technologies are changing society and business as we know it and reshaping our digital future.