In the IT industry, software application development stands as the most outsourced service. About 60% of companies choose to entrust the development of their apps to outsourcing partners. A recent study has revealed that 87% of respondents have either experienced or anticipate encountering gaps in their in-house IT teams. These gaps may be one of the reasons for the growing adoption of low-code and no-code development. The low-code industry is projected to reach $36.43 billion by 2027.
Low-code and no-code applications, known for their user-friendly and accessible design, have undeniably transformed the development landscape. By removing the intricate complexities of traditional coding and programming, these tools empower individuals, regardless of their technical expertise, to create applications using pre-existing templates and widgets.
However, you may be wondering why businesses would need to outsource this process if it is so simple. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into how outsourcing low-code and no-code development can expedite your business growth. We will also explore the best platforms available for creating the ideal application for your business needs.
What Is Low-Code & No-Code Development: Definition & Differences
Before we can get into how low-code and no-code development can be helpful for your business, it is important to understand what it implies and how it works.
What Is Low-Code Development?
Low-code development is a significant advancement in the software development industry. For a while, software development was only possible through intricate specialized skills and training.
However, unlike traditional coding methods that involve manual coding, low-code provides developers with a model-driven, visual language and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. This visual approach, supported by automation, streamlines the creation of applications, including modern user interfaces, integrations, data management, and logical functionalities.
Moreover, low-code platforms extend the reach of application development, allowing non-technical people, often referred to as “citizen” developers, such as business analysts and project managers, to contribute effectively. This can help alleviate IT department backlogs, reduce shadow IT instances, and strengthen control over business process management workstreams.
Contrary to common belief, low code is not limited to simple projects; it excels in managing and optimizing complex, large-scale business operations, making it a versatile asset in any organization’s technological toolkit.
What Is No-Code Development?
No-code development is a novel approach to software development, designed to empower people who lack technical or programming skills. It allows them to develop and deploy software applications without writing any code. No-code app development provides a user-friendly visual development environment with drag-and-drop functionality and pre-built components.
Unlike traditional programming, where coding skills are a prerequisite, no-code platforms enable users to build complete web and mobile applications by simply dragging and dropping elements. No-code emphasizes configuration over coding, making it accessible for citizen developers to create efficient apps and automate various business processes.
Low-Code vs No-Code: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to low-code vs. no-code development, the differences may appear subtle, but they can significantly impact your development strategy. No-code development takes the user-friendliness of low-code a step further, allowing individuals with no coding background to create applications.
However, it’s important to note that even in no-code, there may be a need for some basic coding knowledge to ensure complete functionality. Low-code still offers significant advantages over manual coding, expediting the development process by bypassing the framework and testing phases. Yet, to put the final additions on the project, someone with at least basic coding skills may be required.
One key aspect to consider is the target audience: low code is designed for professional developers, automating standard coding tasks and freeing up time for innovation. On the other hand, no-code is tailored for business users and those with limited coding skills, offering a solution to automate repetitive tasks and facilitate hybrid teams.
Both approaches have their unique strengths and trade-offs, and the choice between them depends on your specific project requirements and the skillset of your team.
What Are the Best Low-Code/No-Code Platforms?
Now that you understand the differences between low code and no code, here are some of the best low code no code development platforms that you might want to consider based on your business needs.
The 10 Best Low-Code Development Platforms
Zoho Creator is a workflow automation and app-building tool that simplifies business processes. It offers a drag-and-drop interface for quick workflow design and automation.
You can import data from existing apps, model app structures, and analyze data from multiple sources. It provides app integrations, custom UX design, localization, personalization, and strong security.
Moreover, Zoho Creator allows you to deploy multi-device apps and provides developer tools for coding and extending app capabilities.
Appian is the go-to platform for efficient low-code business process management (BPM) solutions, especially for scalable needs. It offers straightforward process automation with a user-friendly interface and visual tools.
It enables easy cross-application referencing for organization-wide data sharing. With native automation technologies encompassing RPA, AI, and more, the platform simplifies enterprise-wide workflow automation, with no data migration required.
It also prioritizes security with certifications like AICPA, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS. Appian delivers real-time reporting, audit management, collaboration tools, and alerts.
Microsoft Power Apps is a versatile suite that simplifies custom app development for businesses, offering connectivity to data from sources such as Microsoft Dataverse, SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and more.
With a user-friendly interface, it allows for effortless app creation and design, along with the consolidation of data into interactive dashboards and reports.
Mendix is a platform that streamlines the development of enterprise-grade solutions using abstraction and automation. It empowers users to create complex software solutions, manage data integrations, and craft versatile mobile applications.
Mendix is all about inclusivity, offering both low-code and no-code Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) that facilitate collaboration among developers with various skillsets.
The platform excels in agile project management, visual modeling tools, and AI-assisted development, while also supporting model API & SDK, Cloud Foundry integration, one-click cloud deployment, and comprehensive application lifecycle management.
OutSystems offers a streamlined approach to application design that accommodates a wide range of business needs. Its user interface simplifies app creation, while the platform easily integrates with your existing systems, allowing you to develop APIs for added flexibility.
OutSystems is a complete solution, enabling the swift development, deployment, and adaptation of your web and mobile apps.
Among its features are real-time monitoring and performance reporting, API-driven scalability, rapid mobile app deployment, DevOps automation, access control, and permission management.
Google AppSheet simplifies mobile app creation with a low-code, cloud-based platform. It enables users to design professional mobile apps for tasks like data collection, inventory management, and project tracking.
AppSheet utilizes Google’s AI and ML to automate business processes, making it easy for citizen developers to use. The platform ensures compatibility across desktops, mobile, and tablet devices while connecting to a variety of data sources, from Google Sheets to Salesforce.
Additionally, it offers native functionalities for managing notifications and capturing images. Security is also a top priority, with the platform having GDPR and SOC2 Type 2 certification. AppSheet apps also work offline, making it ideal for field use without consistent internet access.
Quick Base, a versatile no-code platform, is known for handling projects of any complexity. It’s designed to foster collaboration between IT and business teams, bringing together individuals without coding knowledge. The platform’s clean and straightforward interface simplifies end-to-end process automation and data collection from various points within the business.
Quick Base boasts automated workflows, continuous deployment with Sandbox capabilities, extension of data and processes from core business systems, and real-time actionable insights.
Furthermore, it provides role-based permissions and audit logs, along with Application Lifecycle Management (AML) Sandbox, IP filtering, Single Sign-On (SSO), and two-step authentication for robust security and efficient project management.
TrackVia is novel platform in the world of low-code solutions, offering a versatile alternative to traditional spreadsheets, legacy databases, and complex enterprise systems.
Businesses can quickly digitize and streamline their critical operational workflows, process management systems, business analytics, and field operations with low-code web and mobile applications through the TrackVia platform.
Salesforce App Cloud is a powerful collection of development tools designed to enable developers to swiftly create applications that seamlessly run on the Salesforce platform. According to Salesforce, App Cloud empowers developers to shift their focus from infrastructure to building innovative solutions.
The platform’s highlights include an extensive marketplace offering pre-built apps and components, reusable objects and elements, drag-and-drop tools and tools for crafting complex automated logic, mobile and tablet app design capabilities.
Formerly known as Nintex Workflow Cloud, Nintex Automation Cloud is a cloud-based platform for automating, managing, and optimizing business workflows. It simplifies the creation of robust workflow applications with a drag-and-drop interface.
Nintex Automation Cloud offers features like forms automation, web services integration, custom connectors, and object support with permission management. It also enables third-party integration with applications such as SharePoint, Office365, and Salesforce.
The 10 Best No-Code Development Platforms
DuploCloud is a no-code DevOps platform, combining DevOps, security tools, and cloud APIs to achieve complete cloud environment automation. By introducing DevSecOps bots as an enterprise service, it simplifies infrastructure provisioning while enhancing accessibility.
This solution streamlines DevOps automation and compliance, reducing the need for in-depth hiring. Supported by DuploCloud’s DevOps experts, it facilitates platform migration and minimizes downtime.
The No-code platform empowers developers to effortlessly translate application specifications into cloud configurations. With over five hundred pre-programmed cloud configurations, DuploCloud automates infrastructure setup, maintaining robust security and compliance standards.
Betty Blocks is a cloud-based application development solution that offers a no-code, drag-and-drop interface for building business applications. With its user-friendly interface designer, users can easily configure application elements like text, headers, forms, and tables.
Betty Blocks offers a unique visual modeling feature, enabling users to create application workflows visually. Collaborative development is also simplified as users can share application processes with others on the platform.
The applications built using Betty Blocks are compatible with mobile devices, tablets, and desktops, and they all have a consistent back-office interface. The platform is compliant with ISO 27001 security standards and supports seamless integration with popular third-party web services like Slack, Oracle, Dropbox, Salesforce, and more.
Claris FileMaker is a user-friendly app development platform, enabling users to create apps for mobile, cloud, and on-premise use without coding skills. It provides built-in templates for various needs and supports both on-premise and cloud deployment.
Users can customize apps to match their brand. Reporting and charting tools simplify data analysis, and it offers seamless connections to data sources. Data security is also a priority with 256-bit encryption. Users access support via an online forum and phone assistance, making it a versatile and secure app development solution.
Adalo is a no-code platform that empowers users to create native mobile and web apps through its intuitive drag-and-drop interface. It offers publishing to iOS and Android app stores, a range of features including databases and payments, seamless app integrations, and a library of over 50 UI components.
Prebuilt actions simplify tasks like page navigation and data access, while the Zapier integration connects with over 1,500 services. Adalo’s built-in database streamlines data management and user authentication, while analytics track user engagement.
Wix.com is a user-friendly website-building platform that empowers individuals to create their own websites with ease. With intuitive drag-and-drop tools and a selection of over 500 ready-made templates, Wix eliminates the need for specialist skills or the expense of hiring a web developer. It streamlines the web development process, offering creative freedom to design the website you envision.
Caspio is a top low-code app development platform that streamlines the creation of secure and scalable online database apps. Its intuitive visual development tools enable the design of advanced cloud applications without coding.
Caspio operates on SQL Server and AWS, ensuring high performance and security. It supports multiple languages, international currencies, and diverse time zones. Robust security features, integrations with AWS S3, OneDrive, Google Drive, PayPal, and Stripe, as well as robust customization options make Caspio a versatile choice.
For aspiring game developers, Buildbox is the ultimate game engine, particularly if you’re venturing into Android game development. This user-friendly platform is tailor-made for beginners, requiring no coding or scripting skills.
With Buildbox’s intuitive drag-and-drop functionality, you can effortlessly create both 2D and 3D mobile games. The vibrant user community adds to the appeal, offering valuable support and inspiration for your game development journey.
IFTTT, short for “If This Then That,” is a versatile web-based service that empowers users to craft simple yet effective “if this, then that” statements, known as “applets.” Each applet comprises a trigger (the “if this” part) and an action (the “then that” part), and these can encompass various events from different web services like social media platforms, email providers, or smart home devices.
IFTTT is the go-to choice for automating tasks and interlinking web services, designed for users of all technical backgrounds.
Shopify is a no-code eCommerce platform that empowers users to create online stores without any coding knowledge. The platform simplifies the process of building an online store, offering a diverse selection of 70+ store themes and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for customization.
Shopify sites are mobile optimized with no product listing limits. There are flexible payment options available, with Shopify Payments or your preferred processor (additional fees may apply). You can also embed buy buttons on external sites and social media platforms.
Formstack offers a powerful, all-in-one platform that simplifies and accelerates daily workflow automation. Using the platform’s intuitive no-code, visual workflow builder, everyone can seamlessly integrate data capture, document generation, eSignatures, and more into their workflows.
This holistic approach empowers managers to optimize business processes, making effective use of forms, documents, and digital signatures within an automated, drag-and-drop workflow builder.
Benefits of Outsourcing Low-Code & No-Code Development
So what benefits could a business achieve by outsourcing low-code/no-code development? Here are a few reasons why you should consider outsourcing:
- Faster Time to Market
Outsourcing low-code and no-code development can result in a faster time to market for your applications. Delegating the task to a team of experts accelerates the entire development process. This approach allows you to focus on your core business activities while ensuring that your app is built on a robust foundation from the outset.
It also provides the opportunity for your in-house team to review the app’s performance and provide valuable feedback without disrupting their daily tasks. In addition, outsourcing facilitates swift and efficient app modifications when necessary, contributing to faster iterations. With experts managing the development, you can keep your long-term mission in mind and continue the steady growth of your business.
- Access to a Diversified Skill Set
While your in-house team may consist of professionals with various talents, executing projects efficiently can be costly. Expenses for licenses, subscriptions, and equipment maintenance can strain your resources. Low-code app development agencies offer a cost-effective solution with their highly skilled professionals.
They promptly manage your IT tasks with exceptional performance, collaborating seamlessly. This approach levels the playing field and proves ideal for addressing short-term business needs.
- Reduced Costs and Increased ROI
In-house software developers’ salaries can add up, alongside recruitment expenses, holiday pay, workstation setups, and infrastructure overheads. External outsourcing helps provide access to expert talent without the burden of full-time specialists.
Competitive pricing is one of its major advantages, as it trims overhead costs while still delivering high-quality outcomes. This approach allows you to bypass expensive local hiring, instead going for cost-effective experts who deliver results on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The decision to outsource low-code and no-code development has its pros and cons. As we’ve explored in this comprehensive guide, entrusting your app project to expert agencies can give you several advantages, including faster development, increased efficiency, reduced time consumption, and lower costs. Most importantly, it can lead to a higher-quality application.
However, the decision to outsource comes down to your specific circumstances. In the end, it boils down to a few key questions. Do you want a top-quality app, or do you want to learn how to make one yourself?
You could also consider if you’re short on time or have budget constraints. The answers to these questions will help you decide if outsourcing your no-code app development is the right choice for your business.
It’s about weighing the costs, risks, and benefits to make a decision that fits your needs and goals.