When I was a student, I worked as a kitchen staff in a summer camp. My supervisor was an old man with 25 years of experience as a chef in the US Navy. One morning he gave me a task to clean up a storage room and said: “I want you to clean this storage so good, that you’ll want to spend your honeymoon there”. Apparently, this eloquent figure of speech meant that I had to put a lot of effort to make the storage room perfectly clean.
Luckily enough, not all things in the world require taking too much effort, even when it comes to software development. With low code/no code development entering the tech industry, the software development process isn’t a steep hill to climb any longer. Low code/no code development makes productivity go through the roof: according to Zapier, low code/no code increases productivity by 80%, while 90% of users believe that this technology significantly helps their companies grow faster.
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? However, it’s 100% real and in this article, the JatApp team will dispel all your doubts about low code development, so you can decide whether this tech marvel is for you.
Low code and no code aren’t the same thing
You definitely came across both terms, and it may seem there is no difference between low code and no code development because they mean the same thing. In fact, they don’t.
For starters, we need to explain how low code/no code technology works. The idea behind this tech solution is simplification of code writing. In order to achieve this goal, low code and no code platforms provide teams with prewritten blocks of code that can be assembled into a working product by a plain drag-and-drop.
But there is a catch. Low code development still requires software engineers to write some small chunks of code where necessary, while no code platforms don’t involve coding at all.
As a result, both low code and no code enable non-tech teams to navigate the murky waters of software development, as little to none of programming knowledge is necessary. Using low code/no code development is particularly effective for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups that want to try out different ideas of their product within a short period and then scale as fast as possible.
You’ve probably already fallen in love with low code/no code development, but we don’t want you to take a leap of faith when it comes to this technology, as you should be absolutely sure that this tech solution will enable your SaaS business to surf the wave. That is why we need to discuss low code/no code use cases, so you’ll be able to see whether low code development is really able to unleash the growth of your company.
Low code/no code can be used almost anywhere
Before we touch upon specific use cases, it is crucial to identify the main areas of software development where low code/no code development can be common amongst SaaS businesses.
Even though the market of low code/no code development is yet fragmented, we can separate relatable tools into three large groups:
- Niche tools. These solutions focus on narrow-specific business challenges. For example, such tools can help businesses solve problems like data storage optimization, creation of an environment for faster front-end development, or development of a single feature that improves a particular business process.
- Ecosystem tools. Your business may require a full package of solutions for an unparalleled SaaS development or meeting your other business needs. Low code development platforms offer relatable tools that are particularly effective for large businesses and enterprises.
- Purpose-built application platforms. Many SaaS companies want to develop custom applications. Since such a demand is constant within the industry, there are many platforms that can help your company build a customer-facing app.
As you can see, low code development platforms can provide a full scale of solutions to build a SaaS product. That’s why you can use this technology almost in any instance of SaaS product development. Let’s take a look low code/no code development use cases that are the following:
- Customer-facing apps. Development of a user-friendly web application, website, or e-commerce platform isn’t a challenge any longer, once frontend-focused low code/no code tools are widely available. Good old Wix, WordPress, and Squarespace are the most common examples.
- Automation of internal business processes. In the same vein, building applications for internal use and automated workflows is also one of the main domains of SaaS today. Human resource management systems, accounting data processing, automation of sales campaigns, and so on can be developed with low code solutions. Ecosystem-level platforms can offer you a wide range of tools to create a robust SaaS product aimed at automation and digital transformation of business. Cyclr is an on-point example here.
- Replacement of legacy solutions. Legacy software obviously blows headwinds in the faces of modern businesses, while doing the legwork of refactoring the whole system is time-consuming and costly. Instead, low code development comes in handy as a plain way of upgrading an outdated product.
- Development of separate features. When you need to scale your SaaS solution quickly, development of new features under tough deadlines naturally becomes a challenge. Again, low code development platforms are on a mission to make SaaS feature development less hectic yet on-time. Mendix, OutSystems, and well-known Salesforce are the best platforms for low code feature development.
- Embedded data analytics. Many digital products, mainly SaaS ones, use data analytics and visualization by relying on third-party solutions that aren’t always convenient and cost-effective. Today, low code development platforms for addressing this issue go in full force, once data is literally the air any business breathes. Cumul.io is one of the most promising platforms for this use case.
- Serverless app development. You may not have enough budget to create a full-fledged cloud infrastructure for your product. Instead, you can use a low code composer of serverless applications. Amazon has introduced one recently, just check it, if you find serverless app development can help you excel in creating your product.
- Web3 development. Blockchain as well as other web3 technologies have gained a foothold within the last several years, which is why it’s evident that demand on the relatable products is high enough. In addition, web3 solutions are commonly expensive, and low code solutions coming into play are much welcome by startups that are jet-set to capitalize on blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, and all that decentralization jazz. SettleMint is a perfect representative of low code platforms aimed at web3 development.
- Building models for artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence is indeed a buzzword of the recent years, but with OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 release, the buzz is turning into an itch tickling the entrepreneurial minds. Under these circumstances, any low code solution will be a calming balsam, and such platforms won’t make entrepreneurs wait for long. Predibase just exited stealth mode to show the public its low code platform for working with AI models.
We said ALMOST, so there are some exceptions
So far so good with that low code/no code thing, but we told you that it’s far from being a cure-all. There are cases when low code/no code development is definitely not for your SaaS business:
- A business requires features that are beyond the tool’s framework. When you handpick a low code/no code platform you become a prisoner of its toolset since you won’t be able to use anything beyond it. Perhaps, there are some exceptions, but you’ll still have a Frankenstein app made of prewritten blocks of code roughly glued to external services with weirdly created application programming interfaces (APIs). If you have custom features crucial for your SaaS business, it’s much easier to develop the product the traditional way. You’ll save time, money, and your mental health after all.
- A product should adhere to a specific standard. It’s no wonder that low code and no code platforms aim to help some startups to grow faster, which is why software products that have specific standards to follow are beyond that scope. Building an average marketplace doesn’t require a pile of standards to comply with, while a healthcare app does. Surprisingly, you can combine both, but without any low code/no code development tools.
- A software solution has to be customizable. Many SaaS companies, especially business-to-business (B2B) ones, try to make their products customizable to satisfy the needs of every client they have. And that’s where low code/no code platforms can’t do the trick properly. This technology offers preset solutions without ability to change them in any way, thereby moving a possibility of software customization off the table.
- A company intends to build a unique product. It is by far the most apparent case when low code/no code development is a no-go. You’ll simply have no preset code blocks and models to create the product you would like to or you’ll have to sacrifice a lot of your ideas for the sake of developing your app with low code/no code tools. A typical vitamin vs. painkiller situation, in which you should definitely go for a vitamin of standard code-driven programming.
Low code doesn’t mean no effort
I tried my best cleaning the storage room, but spent my honeymoon in Paris after all. Working with low code/no code tools requires doing your best as well. You’ll surely speed up the development process, but operating low code tools isn’t effortless.
If you need a professional team who will take care of low code/no code development of your SaaS product, you can always count on JatApp. Our company has been assisting various businesses with software development since 2015, and 99% of our clients left positive feedback about working with us.
Feel free to contact us. We will reach out to you and discuss the details of your product idea as soon as possible.