Low-Code/No-Code: Accelerating App Development & Innovation

5 min read Michael Carroll on Aug 3, 2023
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Companies in the tech industry have access to hundreds, if not thousands, of coders and professional developers waiting to develop an idea into a full-fledged product. But companies outside the tech sector regularly report talent shortages in technical skills and positions. This challenge has led to workaround options, like no-code and low-code platforms. 

Low-code and no-code approaches emphasize visual development tools and prebuilt components to streamline the development process. They don't need years of experience to operate, and they eliminate the need to manually write thousands of lines of code to develop any new application or tool. 

Low-code/no-code tools accelerate the development cycle and allow companies mired in the talent shortage to produce valuable products for themselves and their customers. The low-code platform market alone is expected to reach almost $95 billion by 2028

If you're producing either internal or customer-facing apps and tools (or both), here's why you should be excited.

Understanding low-code and no-code development from a business perspective

The primary difference between low-code and no-code options is simply the level of coding required to build something. 

Low-code platforms aim to reduce the amount of manual coding involved in development rather than eliminate coding. When building an application, many coding tasks are repetitive. Using visual development tools and drag-and-drop components, developers can streamline repetitive manual coding to focus on higher-level logic and customization.

No-code platforms eliminate traditional coding, allowing anyone to use visual elements and drag-and-drop interfaces to build what they need. Using these prebuilt components, citizen developers and business users can build apps and tools without coding knowledge. This option is often used for simpler development where customization isn't required.

Empowering developers and nontechnical users

Both types of development platforms offer benefits to businesses using them. They reduce the expertise needed to build apps and tools, which has two effects:

  • First, departments don't need to wait as long for IT to build the tools they need to do their jobs. They're empowered to create their own without purchasing unapproved programs outside the purview of IT. 

  • Second, IT teams aren't swamped with requests to build these more straightforward tools and can refocus on higher-order tasks to move the business needle forward.

Low-code and no-code technologies empower nontechnical users to take responsibility for the tools they need and to contribute directly to the app development process. Users leverage visual development tools to streamline the creation of user interfaces, workflows, and business logic while contributing their domain expertise to the project. This fosters greater collaboration and reduces the time spent in each iteration. 

And since many of these tools offer integration with the larger IT ecosystem, companies can ensure they work well with existing tools and even legacy systems. 

Tips for successful low-code/no-code implementation

To make the best use of low-code/no-code platforms, consider the following:

  1. Clearly define your app requirements and objectives before selecting a platform.

  2. Evaluate the ease of use and intuitiveness of the platform's visual development tools.

  3. Assess the available features and customization options to ensure they align with your app's needs.

  4. Consider scalability and extensibility to accommodate future growth and changing requirements.

  5. Evaluate integration capabilities with existing systems and third-party services.

  6. Pay attention to security and compliance features to safeguard sensitive data.

  7. Consider the level of vendor support and the presence of an active community for assistance and knowledge sharing.

  8. Evaluate the cost and licensing structure to ensure it fits within your budget.

  9. Explore trial and demo options to assess the platform's suitability for your specific use case.

How to choose the right low-code or no-code platform

There are a lot of platforms out there, but they aren't all created equal. Here are some factors to consider as part of your checklist to choose the right one.

Ease of use

In theory, all low-code development platforms and no-code platforms make development easy. However, decision-makers should take time to explore what goes on within the application development platform:

  • Does it have the features your team needs for the apps and tools they're building? 

  • Are the visual development tools intuitive and straightforward to manipulate? 

  • Does it enable rapid mobile app creation without requiring extensive coding knowledge (for no-code platforms)?

  • Does it abstract the right repetitive tasks (for low-code platforms)?

Available features and integration capability

Carefully examine the platform's available features to determine if it meets your business needs. This includes database integrations, data visualization, and workflow automation capabilities. 

Don't be swayed by fancy features you don't need. Instead, match the features to the specific business goals you have. Then, go one step further to evaluate the platform's compatibility with your existing systems and the availability of prebuilt connectors or integrations to popular services, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, payment gateways, or communication application programming interfaces (APIs).

Scalability and extensibility

Your organization won't be the same tomorrow, and scale is now a competitive advantage. Look for a platform that can handle scaling up or down so you don't outgrow it or waste resources. Also, look for extensibility options, such as APIs and custom code integrations, to accommodate future growth and advanced customization.

Security and compliance

Even if you plan to build an internal-facing business app, security, and compliance are serious considerations. Prioritize platforms that offer robust security features, including data encryption, user access controls, and compliance with relevant regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Also, consider any industry or region-specific compliance requirements your company faces and determine if the platform conforms.

Cost and licensing

Take the time to deeply understand the platform's pricing structure, including subscription fees, licensing models, or additional charges for advanced features or increased usage. Take advantage of trial or demo versions to explore the platform's capabilities firsthand and evaluate its suitability for your app development needs.

Empowering digital transformation and growth with PubNub

Low-code and no-code platforms have revolutionized how businesses build the tools and power apps they need. They help close the talent gap and empower stakeholders, nontechnical users, and decision-makers to take a direct part in creating, optimizing, and innovating products. It's time to see where no code/low code can take you.

At PubNub, we offer a comprehensive real-time communication platform that seamlessly integrates with low-code/no-code development environments. Our platform provides easy-to-use APIs and software development kits (SDKs) for enabling secure and scalable real-time functionality in your applications. 

With PubNub, you can effortlessly add real-time chat, push notifications, presence detection, and Internet of Things (IoT) device control to your low-code or no-code apps. Explore how PubNub can accelerate digital transformation during your app development process and enhance the user experience by visiting our website.

Contact us to learn how our platform can help you build the necessary tools. Even better, sign up for a free trial to see for yourself what's possible.