When we think of software development, we immediately imagine a set of complex, technical tasks reserved exclusively for seasoned developers. However, over the past few years, a revolutionary approach has slowly emerged that could well overturn these beliefs and change the game: Low Code.
With Low Code, creating applications has become more accessible than ever, enabling all users to design software solutions without requiring advanced programming skills. Want to find out more about this major progress and discover how Low Code can accelerate your digital transformation? Good thing we’re letting you in on all our best-kept secrets!
What is Low Code and how does it work?
We’re hearing more and more about “No Code”, or “Low Code”. But what exactly is it? The idea is relatively simple. No Code enables employees to easily implement projects or applications, without technical knowledge and with the help of easy-to-use tools. Its main advantage: letting employees concentrate on their core business! In concrete terms, in this case, code is replaced by interfaces that can be used by anyone, with little or no training required.
But what about Low Code? Well, it’s a bit of an in-between! It’s a range of tools that enable you to create digital solutions with minimal coding. Whether it’s for scripts, custom code components or complete platforms, Low Code is an approach that enhances business agility by saving development departments time and making them more agile. In a nutshell, Low Code enables users to turn their ideas into reality quicker and easier, through the help of intuitive tools.
Zooming in on the basics of Low Code
Low Code 3.0 is often referred to as the current iteration, but Low Code itself has been around for a long time.
When we think of Low Code 1.0, we’re referring to shadow IT. This term refers to every usage, tool and application created in the shadows by employees themselves, often from departments other than IT. Although these Excel files, Access and other tools were becoming reference points for certain departments, this practice represented a threat to companies. These numerous applications were often unsecured and outside the control of the IT department, and could therefore generate huge risks for the company: loss of visibility and control, regulatory non-compliance, data leakage…
Low Code 2.0, on the other hand, corresponds to the arrival of a host of small players on the market, offering tools and solutions addressing specific problems. These tools, generally well adapted, unfortunately generated higher management costs for companies, as well as new security problems and high IT complexity. For all these reasons, there was a real lack of confidence in these Low Code solutions.
What about Low Code 3.0? This refers to the centralization of platforms and tools, making solutions scalable. This is based on secure and integrated best practices, enabling these solutions to become part of an enterprise’s vision strategy (e.g. Microsoft’s Power Platform).
No Code vs Low Code: what’s the difference?
Although they share the same goal, the two approaches also have their share of differences.
No Code, being aimed at users with no programming knowledge whatsoever, corresponds to easy-to-use and user-friendly interfaces, often allowing you to drag-and-drop elements to design applications. On the other hand, they are not very flexible.
Low Code offers more flexibility by enabling greater customization of applications. Requiring more programming knowledge than No Code solutions, it mostly simplifies development processes, saving developers time and allowing them to concentrate on more complex aspects of development.
The choice between the two approaches therefore depends on the user’s knowledge and the project’s need for customization.
Advantages and disadvantages of Low Code
Low Code offers a wide range of advantages:
- Speed: creating applications is much faster. Why? By simplifying the development process, it enables development teams to concentrate on more complex tasks, or to empower business teams with less technical knowledge.
- Collaboration and vision: we encourage collaboration between IT development departments and business users. Low Code tools and their more affordable visual interfaces enable business users to better communicate their needs.
- Agility: using existing components, Low Code enables you to create more modular applications, which can be modified and updated more quickly, to adapt to market and changing needs.
- Cost reduction: by reducing the time spent on time-consuming, automatable tasks, as well as development time, we inevitably reduce costs. In addition, we can better allocate resources on a project by reducing dependency on development teams.
While there are many advantages, there are also a few challenges:
- Limited customization: in essence, Low Code uses pre-built tools. This limits application customization, despite a certain degree of flexibility.
- Dependence on suppliers: using tools or code pre-designed by suppliers inevitably creates a certain dependence on them. Migrating from one tool to another can be a challenge.
- Training: by opening up applications creation to users with no programming knowledge, and even though Low Code tools are relatively accessible, it must be expected to have to train these users on fundamental concepts and allow time for familiarization with these tools.
Low Code trends and growth areas
Low Code development tools are becoming very popular, and this is likely to continue! Companies are increasingly interested in these tools because of their agility and ability to respond more quickly to market needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly accelerated this trend, as many companies needed to automate and digitize their processes very quickly.
3 current trends in Low Code
- The rise of “Citizen Developers”: These advanced users are able to create digital applications and solutions autonomously using Low Code tools.
- Hyperautomation: Companies are increasingly seeking to automate their business processes.
- Increase in “Composable Business” initiatives: What are we talking about? Companies that are increasingly adopting a modular approach, where the use of interchangeable APIs and SaaS (Software as a Service) applications enables the creation of ever more agile solutions. Low Code fits in perfectly with this approach, as it enables the rapid creation of scalable and easily adaptable applications.
The future of Low Code: what’s on the horizon?
The future looks bright for Low Code platforms. The emergence of Citizen Developers, which seems to be bringing new dynamics to the market, the integration of artificial intelligence to enhance authoring tools, and improved collaboration between developers and business users are just some of the many areas of progress for the Low Code wave.
There is also great untapped potential for adoption in new business sectors. The finance and IT sectors were among the first to adopt the Low Code approach, but a large number of sectors are set to embark on a digital transformation, with the help of these tools (healthcare, education, logistics, industry, etc.).
Finally, in a post-COVID context, a great need to make employees autonomous and independent has emerged with the development of remote working. Here too, Low Code offers the right tools, enabling companies to make the digital shift more quickly.
Low Code is an approach that is gaining in popularity, offering a host of benefits to businesses. It enables applications to be created quicker by simplifying development processes, but also promotes collaboration between business teams and developers. The modularity provided by Low Code makes for much sought-after agility and enables changes to be made more quickly, but we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that not everything is perfect!
Businesses are increasingly looking to automate their processes, and the trend for these tools is rising sharply, with demand for fast, agile solutions set to continue increasing in the future. Digital transformation is not about to stop, and Low Code will undoubtedly be an integral part of the adventure.
Would you like to unleash your creative potential and embark on this digital transformation? Our experts are here to support you! Contact us today to discuss your needs.