One of the biggest trends in the web industry is the rise of no-code or low-code solutions.
Companies all around the world are currently involved in making it possible for anyone to build a web platform, mobile app, or online niche marketplace with minimal coding training.
Small and medium-sized businesses, enterprise organizations, and even mature startups can all benefit from this new category of software.
So, what is a no-code solution?
If you aren’t familiar with the term yet, don’t worry—that’s what we’re here for.
In this article, we’ll explore all the benefits and potential drawbacks of no-code solutions, what’s the difference between low-code and no-code, and who it’s best suited for.
- What is a no-code solution?
- Who should use no-code platforms?
- Difference between low-code and no-code development
- Benefits of no-code development
- Challenges of no-code development
What is a no-code solution?
No-code solutions enable programmers and non-techie people to build apps, platforms, or marketplaces with a user-friendly GUI (Graphical User Interface). That often includes drag-and-drop elements and ready-to-use templates.
Unlike traditional software development, no-code development doesn’t involve writing code.
The no-code movement is based on the belief that everyone should be able to build software without any barriers, regardless of their background.
Who should use no-code platforms?
No-code platforms are great for businesses that need easy-to-use solutions that require little to no customization.
Some of the most common use cases for no-code platforms include:
- Customer engagement: Create omnichannel customer-facing marketplaces or apps to make customer interactions with your business a more pleasant experience.
- Remote collaboration: Build a virtual work environment for your entire team to share files, communicate, and collaborate.
- Operations management: Keep your operational processes and remote workflows running smoothly with little to no manual input using no-code integrations and apps.
- Lifecycle management: Manage employees and handle requests and audits more efficiently by streamlining your corporate tasks.
- Reporting and analytics: create customized reports that are designed with your business requirements taken into consideration.
- Automation: Automate customer-facing interactions with vertical workflows.
- Rapid prototype and testing: Test software prototypes for larger projects quickly without overspending.
Difference between low-code and no-code development
The terms low-code and no-code development are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different.
The core distinction between low-code and no-code development is their use cases.
No-code platforms are designed to help non-programmers create non-critical apps that perform basic functions.
On the other hand, low-code platforms are primarily intended for creating business-critical apps that are fundamental for the organization.
While low-code platforms can be used for the same purpose as no-code platforms, the opposite isn’t true.
The main focus of low-code platforms is to help organizations plan digital transformation strategies and create cross-app integrations to optimize processes and workflows.
Benefits of no-code development
Now, let’s take a look at some of the perks of no-code development.
Eliminates the learning curve and lowers the cost
No-code development platforms utilize simple user interfaces that anyone can use with little to no training.
Making non-programmers capable of creating software and apps can help save companies a lot of money since they won’t have to hire dedicated IT specialists.
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Improves time efficiency and enhances agility
Custom development can be pretty time-consuming.
It may take months (or even years) for a software development team to finalize a product, let alone the time needed for revisions and updates.
By accelerating the development process with visual modeling tools, employees can quickly adapt to fluctuating market conditions and shifts in customer preferences.
With custom development, there’s usually a communication gap between business and remote dev teams.
Typically, the business team creates a list of requirements for the solution to be developed and sends it to the IT team.
Then, the involvement of the business team becomes non-existent. This is because business leaders often lack the technical background needed to communicate with developers.
No-code solutions reduce that problem because most of the platforms are quite easy to use.
Eliminate shadow IT
Since businesses need their software products ready as quickly as possible, they tend to opt for third-party SaaS solutions, resulting in shadow IT.
Shadow IT is the use of IT systems that aren’t created or approved by an organization’s IT department. This usually results in multiple compliance and security issues.
Since no-code platform development is faster, organizations are able to develop solutions in collaboration with the IT team, eliminating the concerns that Shadow IT raises.
Offset the limited supply of qualified developers
In the IT industry, the demand for software development professionals far exceeds the supply. This makes it harder for businesses to find the right talent to hire.
No-code platforms give businesses an alternative that they can use for a faster time to market.
Challenges of no-code development
Besides all the positive aspects, no-code development brings some limitations and concerns too. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Some no-code platforms provide little control over the app, raising multiple security concerns.
The limited level of control means that you’re putting your organization’s data at risk.
For example, if the no-code platform was acquired, or hit by a cyber attack, your processes and data will be exposed.
That’s not the case with custom development, where the developer has full control over the app.
The source code is not yours
With no-code development, you don’t own the source code, meaning that you’ll likely have to deal with vendor lock-in.
This prevents you from making a smooth migration from the no-code platform to other no-code platforms.
Even if you manage to migrate successfully, it’ll probably cost your organization a lot of money. Not to mention, the lack of access to the source code means that maintaining your application is almost entirely dependent on your provider.
To recap, no-code software development has accelerated the software development process and helped businesses cut costs.
By enabling non-programmers to create tailored software solutions quickly without having any prior coding experience, businesses no longer need to build custom apps from scratch to automate basic functions.
Online tutors, coaching marketplace owners, consulting platforms, and all kinds of professional service marketplaces can all benefit from a no-code solution.
And while it doesn’t offer the same level of customization and flexibility as custom development, the future for no-code development is definitely promising.
Rafi Pryntz-Nadworny has extensive experience in marketing operations in small to large companies. He founded Idea Strider to help others prototype their startup ideas. He is a senior procrastinator with over a decade of knowledge of productivity, innovation, and motivation techniques.