How Low-Code Application Development is Changing SMB Business Process
March 16, 2021
Some of the biggest challenges SMBs encounter when making important business decisions are limitations on time, resources and money. This can greatly impact their ability to expand and grow, especially when it comes to more complex areas such as developing a web presence or finding a system that mirrors their unique business processes.
As 2020 brought forth a shift for many companies to a more virtual presence, so too did the demand for professional developers skyrocket. It’s now at a point where the demand for developers exceeds the supply of those available, leaving some smaller companies who can’t afford to offer the most competitive rates in the lurch.
Luckily, these limitations are becoming less of an issue as Low-Code development is continuing to expand into more business spaces. This allows SMBs to continue their development without the need for traditional programmers.
What is Low-Code?
According to Mendix, a leading low-code development firm, “Low-code is a visual approach to software development. Low-code abstracts and automates every step of the application lifecycle to enable rapid delivery of a variety of software solutions. It breaks the traditional silos of business and IT to promote continuous collaboration.”
In layperson’s terms, this means instead of needing to understand a complex programming language to create apps, you can use a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create your process using only the elements you need in the order you need them. In essence, with Low-Code you can create an app to solve for many of your business processes without needing any programming experience.
How can Low-Code development help your Business?
By opening up an avenue for anyone to quickly and easily develop a range of applications to solve for their business requirements, this allows many more companies to find solutions to their problems without needing a traditional IT department.
Gartner predicts by 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will be using low code as a strategic application platform. We believe that SMBs are also going to benefit greatly from the popularization of low-code development, because they are often the businesses that need customized solutions the most, but lack the time or resources to be able to create them.
Low-Code is very powerful and carries several key benefits, but it isn’t without its drawbacks. Below we’ll explore a few pros and cons of Low-Code development as it stands today.
Benefits of Low-Code Development
Easy to develop without the help of IT
There are now a plethora of low-code tools that individuals and teams can use to develop traditional and mobile apps, which can integrate with other solutions in their IT stack.
Examples such as Zoho CRM and SalesForce are industry leading CRM applications that can provide a robust toolset for small, medium and large sized businesses who want to build without needing an IT Team to do so.
Helps quickly and easily automate processes
Mendix mentions that “this year, we’ll increasingly see workflow enablement embedded in the fabric of every tailored application built by low-code developers.” This is because low-code development lends itself very well to automating basic processes.
Whether you are keeping track of financial calculations through Excel macros or following specific processes to onboard new clients or lead prospects through your sales pipeline, these things can be automated and streamlined through low code apps such as Zoho CRM’s blueprints feature.
Limitations of Low-Code Development
You still need to understand the process and know your data
In order to get the most out of the Low-Code development, you still need to understand your business process and what you want the system to do. The development tools can’t read minds (yet), so being able to clearly map out the functions you want to do and the order you need them to happen, along with any variables that might change, is imperative.
It’s also important to be able to understand what data you have, because it’s possible you might not currently have enough data in your system to be able to accomplish what you want to do. This further emphasizes the need to analyze the process you wish to create and understand all aspects of it before going too deep into development.
You may still need some coding experience for more complex business logic
Low-Code is excellent at handling development of simple, repetitive tasks and solving for issues where there isn’t a lot of variance in how things are done. Where Low-Code runs into problems is when your business logic is more complex, contains a lot of variation and needs to be adjusted based on unique criteria specific to your business.
The drag-and-drop editors available for most Low-Code tools can’t necessarily account for some of these options, which then may require you to go a level deeper, into the actual code itself. While this option is available for many tools such as Zoho CRM through their Deluge scripting language, this would require someone to have a deeper understanding of that programming language to know how to make the appropriate customizations.
Low-Code Development has the potential to be game-changing for SMBs because it gives them the ability to create DIY apps for simple processes and tasks without the need for an IT Team. As Low-Code continues to evolve, the applicability of that format will continue to expand into more systems and applications businesses use every day.
Positive Results™ is a training development and cloud solutions company that works with SMBs to analyze their business processes and provide solutions to solve for any gaps we find.
As a partner of many leading cloud solutions, we embrace low-code development because it can save time and money for clients, and provides a lower barrier to entry when training your team on how to use the apps we develop so you can function efficiently and independently. If you need assistance in understanding how Low-Code development can help your business, please reach out to us. We’re happy to help.
If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:
Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions