Not all low-code platforms are as beneficial as they claim – here's how to choose the best ones.
By Derek Gardiner, co-founder and CTO at Comotion Business Solutions
According to MarketsandMarkets, the market for low-code development platforms will grow rapidly, with a 44.5 percent growth rate, from $4.2 billion (R72 billion) in 2020 to $25.8 billion (R444 billion) by 2025, and if these statistics are any indication, the outlook for low-code application development is very promising.
This represents a significant increase in low-code platform adoption and use as more organisations seek to use low-code platforms to meet IT demands driven by digital transformation, rapid application development, and process automation themes.
Low-code fosters an even more collaborative work environment, reduces strain on IT departments, and frees up CIOs to focus on other critical areas such as security and digital innovation. Other benefits that low-code applications provide organisations include:
- Allow for faster development of applications
- Increase productivity by enabling more people within an organisation to participate in the development process
- Improve collaboration through built-in tools
- Reduce costs by reducing the need for specialised developers or consultants
- Improve scalability, making it easy to scale applications
- Improve quality by providing built-in quality assurance and testing tools
Furthermore, there is the rise of citizen developers, or non-professional developers or business users, who use low-code applications to alleviate development bottlenecks in IT departments by developing and releasing sustainable applications through low-code platforms.
With increased growth comes an increase in the number of low-code players entering the market. Choosing a low-code platform is becoming more difficult. Many IT leaders are perplexed as to how they should choose the best low-code platform to meet their requirements.
Selection and criteria
While each low-code application will advertise its respective benefits, organisations should filter low-code offerings by the following 10 criteria.
- User-friendly interface: It should have a simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface that allows non-technical users to create applications with minimal effort.
- Flexibility: An excellent low-code platform should be flexible enough to accommodate different types of applications and use cases and should be able to integrate with existing systems and tools.
- Scalability: It should be able to handle a large number of users and applications and should be able to scale to meet the changing needs of an organisation.
- Security: It should have built-in security features to protect data and applications from unauthorised access and breaches.
- Reusability: It should allow for the creation of reusable components and modules, making it easier to create new applications and update existing ones.
- Customisation: It should provide options to customise the look and feel of the applications and should provide the ability to add custom code when required.
- Support: It should have a strong support network, including documentation, tutorials, and a community of users and developers to help troubleshoot issues and provide guidance.
- Governance: It should provide governance and administration controls to manage access, permissions, and security for the platform
- Integration: It should be able to integrate with other systems and tools, such as databases, APIs, and cloud services, to provide a seamless experience for users.
- Monitoring and analytics: It should have built-in monitoring and analytics capabilities to track usage, performance and identify areas for improvement.
In conclusion, the low-code development market is rapidly expanding and is expected to do so even more in the coming years. Organisations that use this technology will be better able to achieve their objectives and respond to changing business needs.
However, organisations must carefully choose a low-code platform that will perform well in the long run. A good low-code platform should include features such as flexibility, scalability, security, reusability, customisation, support, governance, integration, monitoring, and analytics.
Organisations can ensure that they can fully benefit from the benefits of low-code development and achieve their desired outcomes by taking these factors into account when selecting a low-code platform.