So low-code technology is allowing us to build applications without having to learn a programming language. That sounds amazing, right? Because let's be honest, software architecture and development is really hard. So when should you use low-code or no-code? And what are the key consideration to remember before you get into it?
Welcome to this new edition of Digital Blitz, your short brief on everything, UX, Tech and Compliance. I'm Sylvain Reiter and I'm here to help you deliver better experiences for your team and your customers.
What is LowCode / NoCode
When we speak about low-code or no-code platform, they basically help us reduce the complexity of connecting different systems. It unlocks a lot of potential and opportunities to innovate. And that's really important to keep up with the speed of digital transformation, where everything is moving so fast online these days.
As a disclaimer, I see very little differences when I say no-code or low-code. For me, No-code is just a low-code platform with additional layers of abstraction, where they've replaced the custom code with pre-built components... but they do pretty much the same thing.
Platforms like Zapier or Integromat allow you to interconnect thousands of different apps with a drag and drop interface, where you just have to pick your data source, map the fields, and it transfers the data across. You don't have to worry about the API, the authentication, the hosting deployment... It's all taken care of.
On those platforms, you can still write custom code for more advanced features, or processes. The developers will always have a job I'm not worried about that!
Main use cases
I think we've reached a certain level of maturity with those platforms, and I can see three main use cases.
Corporate proof of concepts
The first one is to build proof of concepts in a corporate environment. Where there is a large team and a lot of dependencies between the departments, building a proof of concept with low-code technology before investing in the full implementation is a good idea. The speed of innovation can really be a competitive advantage. And as soon as things try to become a bit more complex, there is a risk that the low-code or no-code platform starts to break down on security or performance.
Automate business processes
So where I see a more useful use case in enterprise is to automate business processes. It can increase the efficiencies of the team: when you try to connect multiple systems, you want to remove all the manual processes and reduce human errors. The simple way of explaining how it can be used is connecting a contact form on the website. When it's submitted, the record goes directly in your newsletters, sends a notification to the team on Slack, enters the records in our CRM, and then generate nice reports of performance on Google data studio, for example. We could even add the extra steps of sending an NDA via DocuSign, and then storing signed agreement in Dropbox.
We can automate all of that just with a few clicks and we don't have to write ourselves the seven different APIs to interconnect each tool, or we don't have to wait for the next release cycle from the dev team. The low-code platform provides the glue in the middle that allows all this data to flow seamlessly.
Non-techy launching products
And the last big market opportunity is the ability to launch products or new services by a less technical audience. The boom of the creators economy, this movement where marketers and designers build their own businesses with it. The tools are building an ecosystem of different apps integration, so you can really run your entire business with Excel or Google Sheet or AirTable as your database... but you still need some technical understanding to map the data and do the quality assurance to make sure everything is in the right format. So it's not that easy.
UX and security considerations
And as you know, on this channel, we need to look at the UX and the compliance as well as the tech. So the main point that I want you to remember is that you really need to pick the right tool for each job.
Remember that low-code or no-code tech platforms sometime have limited customisation options, so it's not always the most polished user experience.
Even more importantly, you really need to consider security in terms of what types of data is being shared or what could be exposed, where the data is being processed and stored... because it can open a lot of compliance issues if you're not careful.
So if you're considering implementing low-code in your business, or if you need help to scale your existing integration, get in touch.
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Until next time, stay safe and see you soon.