Are you looking for a way to build complex business solutions simpler and faster? You might want to take a look at the low-code/no-code development approach. 84% of large enterprises have already turned to low-code for its inherent ability to reduce strain on IT resources.
Going low-code won’t just free up your IT team, though. It can also benefit your entire business operation!
That said, not everyone fully understands and appreciates the many benefits of no-code development. If you are in that bracket, this blog is for you.
Increase time to market, enjoy hyper-efficiency and realize immense cost benefits. Keep reading to discover the many benefits of low code development.
First Things First, What is Low-Code Development?
If you’re a Microsoft Power Platform user, the chances are that you’re already deep into the low-code movement, albeit unknowingly. PowerApps, in particular, empowers business owners to create and deliver powerful enterprise applications with little or no programming skills.
This brings us to the actual definition of “low-code.” Simply put, low-code is a visual approach to the software development process that optimizes the entire development process with the goal of accelerating delivery. Through a highly intuitive, visual “drag and drop” interface, low-code platforms like PowerApps facilitate the creation of software or applications without requiring the presence of an expert developer during the process.
However, if you are like many business owners, you likely have questions about the “low-code vs. no-code” debate. Let’s settle that once and for all.
Low-Code vs. No-Code
It’s almost impossible to acknowledge the full benefits of no-code development without first understanding the underlying concept.
“Low-code” and “no-code” are two very similar concepts. After all, both approaches were created as an alternative to traditional application development, and they both make it easier for your business to empower citizen developers to build new apps.
There are some key differentiators, though. While the low-code approach requires at least some basic understanding of programming, the no-code approach allows business users to create apps without prior coding knowledge. It’s particularly ideal for creating specific, simple apps that do not require integration with other apps. On the other hand, the low-code approach allows developers to create more complex apps.
Put differently, low-code platforms are intended for developers, while no-code platforms inherently target business users.
However, recent advances in app development technology have made these two concepts almost inseparable. No-code will likely follow suit whenever low-code gets thrown up in a conversation.
Microsoft PowerApps, for instance, has rolled the two approaches into a single, all-action platform that’s as robust as they come. Currently boasting over a million active monthly users, the meteoric rise of PowerApps only goes to show that the low-code/no-code movement is well and truly underway.
Undeniable Benefits of Low-Code and No-Code Development
At this point in the article, you can already anticipate the benefits of low-code platforms. While they’re admittedly many, it’s only fair if we can dive deeper so you’re convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Benefit 1: Immense Cost Savings
On paper, the equation of creating a powerful custom app is pretty simple. You want to hire exceptional developers while minimizing the cost incurred. While that sounds great on paper, the truth is that top-notch developers are hard to come by, and even if you’re lucky enough to get one, the associated costs are, quite frankly, mind-boggling. In fact, according to recent research, hiring a full-time developer can cost your organization upwards of $28,584.
Fortunately, increased cost savings is one of the greatest benefits of low code software. That’s because such tools reduce many of the complex aspects of the app development process into a simple and intuitive “drag-and-drop” operation. Going by the statistic above, that’s a whopping $28,584 worth of cost savings!
If you factor in the maintenance costs you stand to incur when you’re building without low-code, the aforementioned cost savings could certainly be higher. Just imagine all of the operational and business goals you could achieve with such savings.
Benefit 2: Hyper-Efficiency
When stripped down to its barebones, the question of greater operational efficiency is really about saving time. Thankfully, that’s one of the biggest benefits of low code software.
According to 451 Research, low-code platforms can cut 50%-90% of development time when compared to a coding language. The time saved here is invaluable to you and your time. Rather than relying heavily on those trained technically in formal programming skills, more people on your team can now focus on more mission-critical tasks at hand.
As good as your development team is, they likely spend a handful of hours creating beautiful, highly-interactive user interfaces and linking form fields. By streamlining all of this, low-code platforms like PowerApps make development hyper-efficient and a real value-add to your workflows.
Benefit 3: Supercharge the Customer Experience
The modern customer rarely settles for the bare minimum. One minor blip on your side, and they’re off in a flash. In short, they’re constantly chasing perfection, and a customer experience that falls short more often than not is a huge turn-off.
One of the most obvious benefits of low-code no-code is that it empowers organizations to build applications faster and more efficiently, a real bonus on the customer’s side.
In fact, some low-code platforms enable citizen developers to build and launch customer-facing applications up to 80% faster. Admittedly, automating core business processes with a traditional approach can consume roughly nine to twelve months; but with a low and no-code approach, organizations can achieve the same within a span of a few weeks.
PowerApps, for instance, allows you to link all of your data sources from within your CRM through a library of connectors and the Common Data Service (CDS). While this is certainly beneficial to your employees in terms of updating information in your database in real-time and from any location, it’s particularly impactful to the customer experience.
If and when appropriate, your citizen developers can build an app to predetermine questions to ask customers and prospects at an event, making sure they don’t miss any crucial information that might help with their event follow-up. Of course, this is just one of many PowerApps’ use-cases, but it’s one that points to the platform’s overall proficiency in streamlining the customer experience.
Benefit 4: Stronger Collaboration
One of the most underrated benefits of low-code no-code is the confidence it creates in your software and processes.
As you know, traditional software development is an inherently siloed process. At best, development teams struggle to keep other business teams apprised of what they’re doing. And at worst, teams knowingly withhold information out of a sense of proactiveness.
A “siloed process” then ensues. What this means is that the development team goes into insolation with an idea, only to re-emerge months later with a complete product. This keeps everyone else in the dark and undervalues the value of close collaboration in the development process. That’s exactly what low-code aims to change.
Instead of technical and non-technical departments working in silos, no-code app development brings disjointed teams together and lays the groundwork for common goals and language. All it takes to kick-start the process is a simple meeting with every stakeholder involved. After the first brainstorming session, everything else will naturally fall into place after that. And because you don’t have to have mad programming skills to build the app, anyone can sit at the computer and create it-in real-time.
This level of close collaboration benefits your business in two major ways. First, it means non-programmers can get more done with low-code apps. Second, it means veteran programmers can do far more because it is less time-consuming.
Whether you are designing desktop apps, browser apps, or mobile apps, the collaborative benefits of low-code development platforms abound.
Benefit 5: Faster Time-to-Market
Today more than ever, technology plays an increasingly important role in the business realm. Business owners don’t just crave powerful custom solutions; they want them deployed faster than ever.
The problem is that developers aren’t actual magicians. They can’t spin up sophisticated apps in mere minutes.
If you’ve found yourself in that scenario before, you can rest easy in the knowledge that faster time-to-market is just one of the benefits of low code platforms. Your team can deliver enterprise-grade applications in as little as 2-3 days with these platforms! In fact, if Forrester’s estimations are anything to go by, low code can make software development as much as ten times faster than traditional methods. Imagine the efficiency gains here!
While you’ll still have to spend the same amount of time on defining project requirements and business goals, low-code’s drag-and-drop functionality, prebuilt templates, and data models all help to significantly reduce your app’s time-to-market.
Time-to-market might seem like a trivial factor in the grand scheme of things, but it’s not. Delivering your application before your competitors is a huge marketing advantage and can help you develop a reputation as an industry leader.
Benefit 6: Innovate at Scale
We can’t possibly mention low-code without throwing innovation right into the mix.
Imagine how quickly you could hit growth targets, expand to new markets, or finish scope-intensive projects if your IT team could build innovative apps swiftly and flexibly. Well, stop imagining; that’s now a reality in the world of no-code/low-code.
A low code platform can do the one thing that traditional development approaches don’t: simplifying application development. Simplification means that your IT team worries less about technical nuances and focuses more on high-value development details. These could include key user-related aspects like design, usability, and functionality, which are the differentiating factors that provide value.
However, innovation isn’t strictly hinged on how fast your IT team develops custom apps. This benefit extends to other departments as well.
When everyone across the board knows exactly what it takes to build a custom app, they’ll be more willing to exchange ideas. You need this knowledge to develop a truly valuable application. As the saying goes, alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much.
Benefit 7: Optimize Development
We’ve talked a lot about the intricacies of app development. As you know, app development has a well-earned reputation of being inefficient and a genuine time suck.
That’s because traditional, code-intensive platforms don’t necessarily alleviate the “too many cooks in the kitchen” problem. In other words, they pull people deeper into the development process rather than freeing them up. But would you believe low-code platforms actually empower people to get more work done and not dwell on “low-value” development tasks?
This all ties back to the “drag-and-drop” functionality we mentioned before. Most of the coding can be done by dragging and dropping, something that one person can accomplish without breaking a sweat.
While other people might chip in along the way to handle things like quality assurance and product rollout, the bulk of your team will never have to get involved with the nitty-gritty. This optimizes the entirety of your development cycle while freeing up key personnel to accomplish critical tasks.
Benefit 8: Increased Flexibility
There’s some level of satisfaction that comes with doing the same thing over and over again perfectly. Well, that’s exactly what low-code platforms empower your team to do-chase perfection.
Your team of programmers might be pros in their own right. Some might even have the innate ability to scan code and pinpoint errors at the drop of a hat. But if there’s one thing they can’t do, it’s working with the same efficiency and output every day.
With low-code platforms, your team doesn’t just write accurate code; they write accurate, succinct, error-free code consistently. That’s because smart algorithms and AI are powering these platforms, and as you well know, AI-powered solutions rarely make a mistake. And when you’re able to automate and refine coding processes through AI, you immediately usher in a quite unique benefit: increased flexibility.
Greater flexibility means more time on your hands. It means little to zero manual errors. It means added business value since you and your team are able to pivot quickly and confidently.
Put together; these flexibility gains can put your business on the map sooner than you expect. Even more importantly, they can help you adopt an almost-perfect development process, one that’ll make your customers chant your product’s name for years to come.
Discover Endless Low-Code Development Benefits with the Power Platform
One thing is unmistakably clear from this article: low-code development presents a slew of undeniable benefits. These benefits abound, from increased time-to-market to greater flexibility to hyper-efficiency, and they shouldn’t be taken lightly. But do you know of an actual platform that can help put to bed your development woes once and for all?
Look no further; the Microsoft Power Platform was made for exactly that. Fronted by the ever-reliable PowerApps, the Power Platform bundles together its low code/ no-code development tools as part of its robust, ever-evolving business framework.
What this means for you is a faster, reliable, cost-effective way to develop custom business solutions. Built on Azure, the Power Platform is elastic, secure, and highly scalable and is, as we speak, the best customer-centric development platform on the planet. One last question: do you know who can help you actualize your low-code development dreams?
That’s us here at IncWorx Consulting. For two decades and counting, we’ve helped many small and midsize companies to tap into the endless benefits of Microsoft Power Platform, Azure, SharePoint, and Office 365. And we can’t wait to add your business to this rich list. To find out if we’re a match for you and your team, give us a call today.
And, if you’d like additional insights related to Microsoft and its powerful suite of business technology tools, feel free to check out our blog.