Low-Code Development – Considerations & Challenges

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Before starting low-code development, enterprises should consider a few things before implementing it and understand the challenges of a low-code platform.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated application deployment like never before. Not just the general public, but even enterprises are adopting smart solutions moving on from monolithic legacy software in order to meet customer demand.

Many enterprises find this transformation challenging and time-consuming as applications take time and need money to be developed. This has increased time to market for application deployment and has even caused several enterprises to fall way back when compared to competitors who have modernized existing solutions.

On one hand, enterprises that depend on digital transformations to deliver efficient customer services are booming in the connected world. While on the other hand, the inability to respond quickly and integrate innovative technologies at a faster pace has affected application rollout adversely. Therefore, no matter the domain, it is crucial that enterprises make rapid updations and deep integration into diverse ecosystems to meet customer expectations.

For enterprises that are attempting to become more scalable and accelerate their process execution, a low-code development service seems to be an efficient approach to speed up application deployment. Low code platforms improve enterprise IT’s capability to react to industry demands, reduces time-to-market and expedites digital transformation.

As the name indicates, low-code development requires very less programming or coding knowledge to develop applications. Since the codes required are low, enterprises can accelerate application development with the help of declarative and visual tools that define what the app should do. Unlike traditional app development, low code application does not require manually written codes that are time-consuming to write and also to test before deployment.

Alternatively, with low code, developers use intuitive visual interfaces that provide seamless drag-and-drop features to devise visual models of an application business logic. With low-code technology integration, accumulation and deployment of the code are also done automatically.

What are Low Code Development Services?

Low-code development services are presented on the cloud models through Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). It enables the development and deployment of fully functional software applications employing exceptional graphical user interfaces and visual abstractions requiring minimal or no procedural code.

Therefore, with the principal purpose of dealing with the lack of highly skilled professional software developers, low code platforms allow employees with no particular programming background to contribute to software development processes. The platform provides the employees with resources, codes, etc to develop an application seamlessly just as a developer would do.

By using low-code platforms, enterprises can develop their software application without leveraging highly skilled developers that must be involved in the full-stack development of completely functional applications. Thus, developers can concentrate on the business logic of the application rather than administering time-consuming code generation related to setting up infrastructures, managing data, and enhancing the robustness of the system.

Error fixing and test automation services are also made simple, due to the reduced number of codes present in the application. This makes deployment faster and the application more maintainable when compared to other traditional applications. Procedural code can also be predefined in these platforms to accomplish additional customization of the application on one’s inclinations.

What should enterprises consider before implementing low code development services?

Cost and time spent to learn the platform: the time spent on the development, testing and deployment of an application may vary from one low-code platform to another. To be proficient in such processes, users must spend time learning all the related aspects of that platform. Also, CEO’s and enterprise decision makers have to review the possible training expenses that have to be implemented to teach employees on learning the concepts and modules of the low-code platform that will be purchased.

Since low code development platforms are leveraged to reduce time to market and resource expense, price is considered one of the most critical criteria, particularly for small or medium-scale companies (SMBs). The Price of the platform can be estimated as the price of using the platform for one developer per month. Moreover, there are other factors that contribute to the increase in price of a low code platform. Such factors are:

  • The amount of applications that need to be delivered
  • Where data is going to be stored, i.e., in on-premise databases, in cloud environments, or in hybrid configurations.

Increase in productivity: The adoption possibilities of low-code development platforms have to be assessed by considering the potential number of developed applications with respect to the time spent to learn the platform, the price incurred in training and to buy the licenses to use the considered platform.

Enterprise Challenges in implementing Low Code Development Platforms

Even though enterprises will leverage low code development services to develop benchmark applications, there are still some challenges that users and developers are likely to face along the course of development.

Some of the most common challenges that enterprises will face are interoperability issues among different low-code platforms, extensibility limitations, steep learning curves, and scalability issues.

Here are some challenges that transcend most of the low-code development platforms utilized by enterprises nowadays. The major concern is that enterprises will not be able to analyze the potential challenge that might also occur concerning code optimization for security and compliance risks because they will not be able to profoundly assess these features due to the lack or limited visibility.

1Low-code platforms’ interoperability

This characteristic ensures interaction and exchange of information and data among several low-code platforms, e.g., to distribute the architectural design, implementation, or developing services. Such a feature is also imperative to mitigate concerns related to vendor lock-ins. Regrettably, most low-code platforms are exclusive and closed services. There is a shortage of standards in this domain by hindering the development and collaboration among different engineers and developers. Thus, they are incapable of learning from one another, and the reuse of already defined architectural designs, and data implementations are still hampered.

2Extensibility

The ability to implement new functionalities not offered by the considered platform is arduous in such proprietary platforms or even impracticable. Due to a lack of standards, some of them demand extensive coding to add further capabilities, which have to adhere to the architectural and design constraints of the platform being extended.

3Learning curve

Most of the platforms have less spontaneous graphical interfaces. For some of them, drag-and-drop capabilities are limited, and they do not present enough instruction elements, including example applications and online tutorials to study the platform. Consequently, platform selection can be affected. The selection of some platforms nevertheless demands knowledge in software development, thus restricting their adoption from non-developers who are supposed to be the principal users of these platforms.

4Scalability

Low code platforms should be preferably based on cloud technology and must be capable of managing intense calculations and managing big data, which get generated at high velocity, variety, and volume. Nevertheless, due to the lack of open standards for such platforms, it is very challenging to evaluate, study and contribute to the scalability of these low code platforms.

Conclusion

For enterprises actively undergoing digital transformation, Low code development services can become crucial to an extent. An enterprise must identify efficient low code development service providers that are capable of integrating services and critical technologies for successful application development.

With this strategy, enterprises can be prepared to meet the challenges posed by the digital transformation era and remain competitive in the coming days. Most of all, enterprises must build an environment that facilitates agility and flexibility to the internal workflows and customer-facing operations.

By leveraging intelligent low-code technologies,  enterprises can empower application development and create unique growth opportunities for businesses as well as the general public.

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