The promise that the low-code/no-code platform brings to the table is a tempting one no matter which way you look at it, whether it is used by an individual showcasing their interests, or by big organizations adopting it to suit business needs. This type of platform gives companies the ability to design, create, and deploy entire web-based applications quickly and easily with just a small team of developers. Even people without much development background such as myself are able to create an application tailored to a specific use case with relative ease using these platforms. In my case, I was able to make multiple proof of concept systems for various use cases with a really fast turnaround time considering my overall level of experience, in addition, the training period to be able to use these platforms are markedly shorter compared to the traditional development process.
The convenience of the low-code/no-code is centered around the built-in capacity of the platform’s tools and components to select various screens and elements from a list of templates while also being able to connect and integrate them into each other if necessary. This existence of predefined various UI elements being available on-hand is the key to the speed of development, being able to build screens that users will see and interact with in just a few clicks. The development process for system functionalities in low-code/no-code is easy as well, since most of the processes is handled through the creation of flowchart systems built into the platform itself, allowing for an almost drag-and-drop approach in making websites instead of having to write your own code classes and functions line-by-line. This flowchart system allows for testing and changes to be done easily, as most platforms also highlight where exactly failures were happening and the common fixes for the problems being encountered.
The community around no-code/low-code is also part of its advantages. While most platforms do have the documentation ready on hand for any developers, there are forums specific to this platform where any community member can post and ask help in coming up with solutions to overcome roadblocks they encounter with their projects. It is heartening to see that there are a multitude of willing senior developers ready to answer questions, or at the very least, point to the tools and documentations to help out less experienced users.
But how exactly is low-code/no-code used in real life business scenarios? Most start with efforts to fix and streamline their organization’s processes such as inefficiencies within Business Process Management (BPM), organizing work items between teams, centralizing reports for managers’ viewing needs, and coordinating paperwork that requires inputs from inter-department representatives, among other use cases.
Of course, it is not without its flaws. Low-code/no-code is less powerful than systems created the traditional way such as those written in C# or PHP, the fees associated for company use licenses can also cost a pretty penny, and there is still a need to fiddle around with source code to be able to make use of its functionalities beyond the basics (powerful basics yes, but basic nonetheless), which might be a turnoff to some people. However, it is hard to argue against the the convenience offered by low-code/no-code development as it dramatically decreases time to design and create entire webapps, changes to the look and feel of the website elements being possible with a snap of a finger, the ability to store and retrieve your data without much fuss or setup needed, and even multiple tools made by the helpful community members to fulfill other niche requirements that isn’t already covered by the platform.
All that to say is that even for those without much coding and development experience, low-code/no-code platforms offer a very exciting and powerful alternative to traditional software/web development, making use of multiple libraries and built-in functionalities to develop systems tailor-made for a company’s or department’s particular needs. It won’t be used to create banking systems of course, and it will not be able to create social networking sites or similarly complex systems, but it is more than powerful enough to be seriously considered by most, if not all companies, and nearly all of them are guaranteed to find use in the licenses from the various vendors available, and will benefit from training a small, dedicated team to develop on command.
Brendan Olivares is a Technology Consulting Professional of KPMG R.G. Manabat & Co. (RGM&Co.), the Philippine member firm of KPMG International.
This article is for general information purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice to a specific issue or entity. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent KPMG International or KPMG RGM&Co.
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