If businesses have learned anything from the past year’s challenges, it’s the importance of digital agility — and the role that low-code platforms can play in it. From hospitals leveraging low-code to meet the pandemic’s extraordinary pressure on healthcare to banks building low-code applications to streamline loan processing amidst higher demand, we’ve seen how these platforms can help teams respond to obstacles with reliable digital solutions.
Now, as companies look beyond our current crisis toward their digital futures, it seems that low-code application platforms, or LCAPS, are here to stay. Research shows that 85% of engineering leads expect low-code to become common in the next few years, and Forrester predicts that 75% of enterprise software will be built with low-code technology in 2021.
Whether you’re looking to speed up traditional software development, empower business-minded users on your team, or get an MVP up and running quickly, low-code technology can help. But as you evaluate the LCAP market, make sure you find a solution that suits your needs — and avoid these five common pitfalls while doing it.
1. Vendor Lock-In
Traditional LCAPs strive to make themselves one-stop shops for the vast majority of your software development wishlist.
- They abstract programming into a visual, drag-and-drop interface.
- They make it easier to build the tools your business needs to serve customers, support employees, and grow your product offerings.
With that said, over-reliance on your LCAP vendor can put you in a tough spot down the road.
- What happens if you’d like to migrate the applications you’ve built to another platform?
- What if you’d like to take it off of an LCAP entirely?
- If your vendor doesn’t support either, the only solution may be to start all over again from scratch somewhere else.
2. Black-Box Proprietary Code
One of the main selling points of low-code technology is its empowerment of citizen developers — users with little or no coding experience.
- LCAPs open up application development by reducing or eliminating the need to code directly.
- But all apps are built on code in some capacity.
- Sooner or later, you’ll need to make pro-code interventions in your application.
Unfortunately, many LCAP providers make this difficult.
- If you need to improve integrations or resolve any bugs, you might find that your vendor doesn’t let you manipulate their proprietary code.
- This means you’ll always be up against that black box as you try to improve your product.
3. Ownership Concerns
LCAPs can be an asset for companies of widely different sizes.
- Enterprise teams looking to automate business processes can leverage ready-made decision-making modules.
- Startups trying to build their MVP can develop their apps quickly and begin securing funding ASAP.
However, there are some issues that particular businesses can run into with low-code tools.
- Low-code vendors tend to be unclear about who owns what when it comes to apps built using their platforms.
- This can cause critical issues for smaller ventures that need to have something to sell that’s entirely their own.
4. Limited Scalability
Most LCAPs excel at creating limited apps for limited problems, such as:
- Streamlining customer interactions
- Automating rote decision-making
- Filling gaps in your tech stack quickly
However, if you need to build a more ambitious project or if a smaller app built on a low-code platform needs to scale rapidly, you could run into problems with many platforms.
- Many LCAPs aren’t designed to grow as quickly as you might require.
- Low-code tools might begin to break down, causing more issues than they initially solved.
- This could put your business in a difficult position with internal and external users alike.
5. Difficult Customization
Often, low-code vendors specialize in some particular niche. LCAPs might target:
- Businesses in finance or healthcare
- Companies looking to invest in AI/ML capabilities
- Enterprise-grade tools over SMBs and startups
While these solutions can be ideal if they happen to fit your exact needs, it can be hard to customize cookie-cutter platforms if they don’t match your profile.
- Vendors might not let you make pro-code changes to their platform, which means your app might not be able to serve your business properly if that’s the case.
- If you need to customize an app that you’ve already built with changes your vendor doesn’t support, you might need to scrap your product and start all over.
An Expert-Managed Low-Code Solution from VentureDevs
Low-code tools have the potential to be transformative. With the right solution, you can get to market faster, serve your customers more responsively, and adapt to economic challenges with greater agility than possible with traditional software development. However, all of this depends on finding a vendor that will suit your needs, grow with your business, and put you in charge of your own products.
Those solutions are few and far between, so we decided to make our own. Our expert-managed low-code solution adapts to your business — not the other way around. With our library of low-code modules and a team of award-winning software development talent ranked third internationally, we bring your business the speed and cost-effectiveness of LCAPs while building your applications ourselves.
If you’re interested in a low-code solution that truly requires no coding experience, that will scale with your business, and that you can own outright, reach out to our team today. We’d love to build something together.