Evolution of Low-code
Software development has been transitioning from projects to products during the past decade. The products are also growing into platforms to grow faster, connect consumers, and open other revenue streams.
Many of these platforms related to workflow management systems are increasingly growing low-code, helping their customers leverage the building blocks to develop customized solutions. Salesforce, Microsoft, Outsystems, Mendix – there are many examples. With a great vision and good execution, these platforms are growing more sophisticated with time and are adapting faster to the changing needs of their customers.
Many falsely assume that no expertise is needed to build a software product using low-code. Anyone with experience in building low-code solutions would vouch that it takes a lot more than coding to build a product. Furthermore, innovators require collaborations to build scalable, sustainable, and successful solutions, including the ones built using low-code.
Advantages of Low-code
Programming languages have evolved a lot. From the early binary code languages to assembly languages to high-level languages to programmable GUIs, we have come a long way. Yet the evolution doesn’t stop. Many more new languages and advanced versions of existing languages will continue to be released.
The programming languages that are easy to use, learn, and support building secure and scalable software solutions will gain popularity and acceptance. For the very same reasons, low-code platforms are growing popular. It is not a surprise that the biggest software product businesses like Microsoft, Salesforce, PEGA offer low-code solutions, and so do relatively newer businesses like Mendix, Outsystems, etc.
Both traditional programming languages like Java, C++ and Low-code platforms like Mendix, Outsystems, ZOHO, Appian, PowerApps are building blocks of software solutions. However, they are quite different in the expertise needed and the way developers use them. With roots in product engineering, low-code is especially useful in extending platforms with customized applications. Further, it revolutionized software development by empowering cross-functional teams and not just IT teams to build software solutions.
Here’s why Low-code Platforms are Growing More Popular
- Anyone with the required business knowledge and minimal coding expertise can build them. It is especially helpful to decrease the burden on developers and to avoid communication problems between business knowledge experts and coding experts
- It’s perfect for those impatient innovators who want to see their ideas take shape faster and catch up with their minds and markets. Using low code, they can create their PoC (Proof of Concept) faster and can speed up the development of further versions.
- Low code is appropriate for modern work processes like Agile, DevOps, etc., and further democratizes software development. It is well established that Agile and Continuous Development (CD)/ Continuous Innovation (CI) processes and low-code development are more suitable to meet the fast-changing needs of customers.
- As more generic solutions are being released as platforms, customizations for various industries and businesses are being developed as low-code extensions. The community of low-code extensions contributes and shares knowledge on the platforms. This enriches the digital community by avoiding redundant solutions and enables faster and more sophisticated innovations.
- During the inchoate phases of low-code, it was considered more suitable for smaller and simple extensions. However, low-code has come a long way since then. It is now suitable for building solutions of any size, including enterprise-grade solutions
- Low-code solutions are easily scalable. Further, they can be scaled by the community using and contributing to the platform. The network effect helps in coming up with new and more appropriate business models.
- Many low-code platforms support advanced technologies like AI. With features like integrated console, drag-and-drop interfaces, and visual development, they help in building advanced AI apps and solutions faster and easier.
- Most robust low-code platforms can be accessed from various devices and by cross-functional teams. The accessibility enables smooth monitoring and reporting of projects throughout their lifecycle.
- Low code is suitable for customizing a base solution for various business needs. Using low-code even someone outside IT teams or several cross-functional collaborating teams can build solutions like omnichannel customer experience platforms or optimization apps. These solutions can vary in complexity, from quite simple extensions to complete AI-based solutions.
Can Anyone (literally anyone) Build Software Products using Low-code Platforms?
Despite making product engineering easy and enjoyable, low-code platforms are not magical. Alas, they don’t inject ideas and business knowledge, or intuitive dreams into anyone who tries them out. Many Startups, businesses on the path of digital transformation, and ISVs collaborate with product engineering companies to build their software products based on low-code platforms.
Why should you Collaborate to Build Low-code Solutions?
- Collaborations meet all your needs, not just coding ones. Coding is a small part of software development, with other important aspects being design, business and customer knowledge, technical expertise, etc. It is well established that experts with in-depth knowledge of digital platforms, software products, their evolution, and recent changes can prepare businesses to thrive despite disruptions. In fact, such knowledge is essential to create disruptive products and platforms too. Collaborations provide you access to such knowledge and experience.
- Aids Faster Development. In cases where innovators have good domain knowledge and not-so-deep coding knowledge, low-code is quite suitable to give shape to their ideas. However, collaborations help them in increasing the degree of their learning curve and in entering their market with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) much faster.
- Collaborations provide an additional perspective. They help innovators in charting the growth of their products. Such strategic planning is as important as the idea itself, perhaps even more. For example, advanced customizations can’t always be built on low code, but on other suitable programming languages. Knowledge of software programming is also essential to avoid low-code breaking point, the point beyond which the platform fails to support advanced features in your solution. Collaborations provide innovators with the required programming knowledge to avoid such pitfalls.
Low-code is great; it enables building Minimum Viable Products or Proof of Concepts in the least possible time. However, they will not replace programming languages. It doesn’t mean that low code will not thrive or is unsuitable for advanced solutions. In fact, it is just the opposite.
Nevertheless, low code development also requires meticulous product engineering, business knowledge, and continuous upgradation to stay relevant and sustained in the highly competitive software business ecosystem. This makes product development a very taxing and time-consuming task. It is hence suggested that businesses, especially ISVs and Startups, collaborate with product engineering experts to concentrate better on other important aspects of their business. Such collaborations will prove advantageous and offer returns on investments very soon.
coMakeIT has vast experience in building low-code software products for ISVs and other product engineering companies. We in fact value our customer’s businesses as much as they value their own. The fact that some of our customers have been with us since our inception and have grown with us speaks about our high product engineering abilities. To learn more about how we can build the most appropriate low-code solutions for you, please visit our product engineering portfolio.