Alpha Software Blog

When is Low-Code No-Code Development Right for You?

A recent article from Harvard Business Review outlines some of the best scenarios for using low-code and no-code app development.

Low Code/No Code development (LC/NC) is growing by leaps and bounds --- Gartner forecasts that the market for low-code platforms will grow by 21 percent this year. It also says low-code development platforms will be responsible for more than 65 percent of all application development by 2023.

harvard business review on low-code softwareThat doesn’t necessarily mean, though, that every development task should be done using low code/no-code platforms. There are many times when they’re perfect for businesses. But there are also occasions in which they’re not the right tools for the job.

So how can you know when to use it, and when you should instead use other tools? The Harvard Business Review has published an excellent article, “When Low-Code/No-Code Development Works — and When It Doesn’t,” that offers great advice.

The article gives this high-level advice for deciding when to use low-code/no-code, and when to use other methods: “LC/NC software does require some level of IT involvement when they touch mission-critical or enterprise-wide systems. As companies look to LC/NC solutions, they need to be aware that these platforms — while offering cost saving, time and error reduction, and other improvement opportunities — still require some level of technical expertise to scale, maintain, integrate, and govern.”

low code no code development is ideal forIdeal for Task-Based Apps

It notes that “Small business transactional systems are perhaps the most common” use of low-code/no-code. So, it adds, are “building small-scale automation capabilities.” But the article warns, “Automation of large-scale enterprise processes and workflows should generally be done by professional developers.”

Ideal for Analytics Apps

It goes on to say that low-code/no-code are ideal “for analytics, particularly visual analytics” and adds it can be used for “predictive analytics and machine learning software that take the analyst or data scientist through an automated series of steps to create models that fit a training dataset.”

Ideal for Web Apps

It also recommends low-code/no-code for developing web sites, mobile apps, and automating website personalization, email marketing and digital ad trafficking.

Large Enterprise Applications are Not the Best Fit

The article says that for large, enterprise applications, low-code/no-code is not an ideal fit. It does add, though, that even for large applications, low-code/no-code can play a role. Citizen developers can build apps that don’t necessarily scale, but then hand them over to IT for further work.

collaborative developmentA Collaborative Development Model Works Best

Here’s how it says that would ideally work: “The best situation may often be a hybrid citizen/professional development model, in which the user develops 80% of the model, and hands it off to the developer for polishing. Or the user may develop the initial application using a graphic interface tool, and then give it to a developer to program it in Python or some other more scalable language. In either case, the developer can record that the system exists, ensure that it works correctly, and connect it to any needed data or transactional system. We’ve seen organizations where one system developer supports ten or more citizen developers.”

The Best Software for You

Build low code or no code apps with Alpha Software

With Alpha Software, you don't have to choose between vendors. The company offers a single platform with two development environments:

The Alpha TransForm no-code app builder helps business users craft data collection apps in minutes. The apps work on any smartphone and include the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for helping frontline workers collect data faster. The company offers a 30-day free trial. . Learn more about Alpha TransForm and try it free for 30 days.

Alpha Anywhere low code app development software allows developers to dramatically speed the creation of web or mobile apps. Offline capability is built-in, plus apps can easily access and integrate with any database or web service. Apps can also include built-in role-based security. Build low-code apps for free with Alpha Anywhere Community Edition.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.