March 22, 2021

In this age of the informed customer and innovative competition, addressing the shifting needs of consumers is very crucial. Businesses that can adapt to change, and keep pace with it, will sustain. In a bid to acquire new customers and retain the existing ones, businesses are incorporating disruptive changes in their business models and enhancing customer experience. New age digital products and services are either developed by the in-house IT departments or external vendors. However, both these channels suffer from inadequacies that may nullify the gains sought.

This paves the way for low-code platforms.

Low code platforms provide an interface for creating application using visual designers, workflow /process designers, Prebuilt components and various automated capabilities for application deployment, quality checks,

Instead of manual programming. Low Code Platform accelerate application development for a wide range of use cases providing ease of development for both skilled and citizen (non-coder or business) developers.

The Advantages

Low-code platforms help in the development of applications by leveraging low or semi-skilled developers, the workflow of a business, using a drag -and -drop interface, with little manual coding intervention. Low-code platforms help businesses become agile and enable alignment with the changing needs of the business environment and the clients’ needs. Moreover, the popularity of low-code platforms has been augmented by the prevalence of multiple platforms or devices that can host such applications.

Low- code platforms have successfully secured a niche position for themselves by scoring higher on certain counts in comparison to traditional hand coding, such as:

  • Hand coding has been replaced with pre-designed forms, templates, and drag-and-drop interfaces with embedded codes. Low-code platforms help businesses translate ideas into working prototypes much faster, thereby saving time, propelling innovation, and quick testing of new ideas. They can hit the ground running.
  • Low-code platforms eliminate the prospect of writing extensive lines of codes and reduce the propensity of coding errors. Overheads are reduced drastically since semi-skilled developers replace the skilled ones.
  • Efficient applications lead to increased productivity, and reduced timelines and errors.
  • Increase in productivity lowers the costs of development and deployment.
  • Many low-code platforms are scalable. After the prototype yields the desired results, it can be rolled out into production very quickly.

Key Considerations

Low-code platforms may offer multiple benefits. However, it is imperative for businesses to examine the following key features of the platform and consider its suitability for meeting the defined business objectives:

  • Low-code platforms are developed through a visual depiction of the workflow. It is necessary to ascertain if the model depicting the workflow is congruent with the business processes.
  • The drag-and-drop interface must be aesthetically designed, clear, and user-friendly to facilitate seamless implementation.
  • They must support the business domain. Most low-code platforms cater to specific domains only.
  • Given the range of mobile devices available, the functionality of the applications across platforms must be verified.
  • Adequate attention must be paid to factors, such as scalability and security of the platform, keeping future requirements in mind.

The Pitfalls

Despite their advantages, low-code platforms exhibit certain inadequacies that are difficult to overcome. Some of them are:

  • The varying skill levels of developers in a low-code environment may impair the process if they falter in evaluating the platform, gauging the fitment, and deploying and troubleshooting it.
  • Lack of proper evaluation of the platform may lead to integration issues when attempts are made to mesh the prototype with the legacy system.
  • Considering the specificity of low-code platforms, they should be considered only if they address the business gap comprehensively. The assessment of this fitment may not be reliably performed by semi-skilled developers.
  • Low- code platforms may not be the ideal choice while devising critical or complex applications.
  • Low- code platforms may be fraught with security and scalability issues.
  • Low- code platforms may generate a code that is sometimes proprietary to the platform and requires subscription to run applications.

Conclusion

Braving the challenges of fierce competition, debilitating pandemic, vagaries of nature, and ruthless economic cycles, businesses will have to adapt to survive using innovation, and adoption of facets such as the speed of execution, cost control, and customer retention. These circumstances augur well for low-code platforms.

It is safe to surmise that low-code platforms will be the game changers of the future, as they continue to evolve. While it is evident that the inherent benefits of low- code platforms will gain more foothold in times to come, it cannot yet replace traditional hand coding completely.

For any queries related to low-code applications development, write to us @mastercraft.sales@tcs.com

Sunita leads Pre-sales and Solutions for TCS MasterCraft™ TransformPlus, a suite of products and solutions which help businesses in automated modernization and rapid application development. She has over 16 years of work experience and is currently focused on legacy modernization and digital application development engagements using model- driven development (MDD)techniques, automated code generation, and low-code drivers. She has completed Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science and Engineering from University College of Engineering, Burla.