Digital platforms have provided businesses with a whole new dimension of business expansion opportunities. All of a sudden, a small business startup from a small town can reach the world with a digital platform like a website or mobile application. These platforms have also enabled us to work faster, increasing efficiency and productivity through various automations and processes at the tap of a button.
Accordingly, we use apps all the time. There are millions of apps out there, and yet the growing use-cases of apps still continue to grow. So people now look to low-code development platforms as a way to gain access to services they need most. It’s no wonder why low-code development is now set to become a $39.79 billion industry by the time 2027 rolls in.
But what is low-code development and what are the advantages of using an open-source option? You’ll learn that and more in this article.
What is open-source and what is low-code?
So two terminologies that you should be familiar with before anything else — open-source and low-code development. Open-source simply refers to solutions that anyone can access online without maintenance or subscription costs. They’re a bit more rudimentary, but they work well at a fundamental level. Low-code development refers to the process of creating a website, program, or app with little to no coding involved.
In recent times, many universities have switched to teaching low coding development. That’s because times are changing and tech experts are finding more efficient ways to create solutions and platforms. Accordingly, many companies and vendors are starting to take advantage of these solutions because of the ease of use and efficiency. A low-code platform gives people from all practices and walks of life a faster way to develop software for internal or external use — meaning their staff or their customers can now use them. With low-code development processes, companies can create things like:
- Customer portals
- Employee management dashboards
- CRMs and ERPs
- Sales dashboards
- Informational websites
- Sales promotion apps for e-commerce businesses
- Supply chain management solutions for logistics companies
- Patient management solutions for hospitals and medical facilities
- And many more
Accessing an open-source platform seems like an efficient way to leverage tools that can bring better results with minimal infrastructure cost. Moreover, open-source platforms are a way for communities of coders, developers, and business owners to share best practices, creating a place for people to learn from each other and share what they know.
Reasons to use a low-code platform
So why is it a good idea to use low-code open-source development platforms? Here are the top benefits:
1. Improved customer experience
At the core of any business’s success is an improved user experience, and having the ability to launch simple solutions fast enables that. Up to 74% of consumers are likely to rate a product or service entirely on the basis of interface experience. In consequence, custom-made interfaces provide more leverage as it gives customers a more custom experience when interacting with your brand via your platforms.
One good example of this is in the e-learning category. Using low-code platforms and cloud-based services, teaching companies can now create custom LMS software to create a better learning experience. By doing so, an e-learning company that sells courses or training can increase sales and customer lifetime value by creating a better platform for their students.
2. Speed and security
Using the top open-source low-code platforms helps accelerate platform roll-out. Let’s say you need an app for your customers to access as a portal for client updates, wikis, and support. A little over a decade ago, a company would have to spend months developing that platform and securing it with gated access via manual coding and development so only clients can get the content.
Today, low-code open-source templates for such platforms are now available so that businesses can build off an existing canned solution. Many of these solutions are also drag-and-drop, so anyone can easily create a site with a visual preview of what it will look like upon launch. By using low-code solutions, businesses will find it much easier to launch a minimum viable product.
3. Cost efficiency
Paying a developer or a team of developers to create a mobile application would cost companies thousands of dollars to even a few hundred thousand to create, depending on the use-case scenario. In addition, it would also cost another few thousand to maintain. Now, companies can create something for their company at a small fraction of that cost.
Now, that’s only a rule of thumb, but businesses can use these economical options for simple use-cases a large majority of the time. Sometimes, all companies need are straightforward solutions that will provide some level of functionality. Having to build something completely from scratch would be absolute overkill in these cases. Now, vendors have the option of using a simpler and cheaper option in open-source low-code platforms.
For instance, software developers and businesses can now launch a customer relationship management platform once their business starts getting an influx of leads that will better suit their needs. There is undoubtedly no shortage of CRM tools in the market today, but one’s needs might change quickly if you’re in a fast-accelerating industry.
By having a highly customizable platform built to your contextual needs, your team no longer feels the inertia that comes with not wanting to switch around different providers when your use-case changes. You can now just adjust your platform to suit your current requirements.
5. Increased Productivity
Being able to launch a service like a patient management system will allow a medical facility to serve more patients with a greater level of productivity. Medical clerks can now organize appointments, records, and cases with much more ease and accuracy. No more having to sift through piles of paperwork or double-booking patients in the same time slot.
This use case is but one of the many examples of how the best low-code platforms can enable workplace productivity. Now, companies can develop apps in just a few days rather than weeks or months. Teams can also create project management software, communication platforms, company knowledge hubs, and so on to make their lives easier. In the process, they become more enabled to do their best work with the tools provided to them.
6. Developer upskill
With low-code/no-code platforms, developers are not at a disadvantage. If anything, they are at an advantage as they’re now able to roll out solutions faster and with less effort. Some intricate solutions will go beyond a non-technical entrepreneur or executive’s capacity, so having an on-demand programmer or developer is still needed in most cases.
The rise of low-code development has ushered in a lot of new career opportunities in the tech industry.
The US labor office foresees a 22.2 % job demand growth for developers from 2020 to 2030 with a median salary of $110,140.
Adopting Low-Code Open Source Platforms
More software vendors are recognizing the benefits of open source low-code development platforms. Moreover, they’re starting to see how these solutions provide more efficient ways to service teams and clients with a fast and reliable digital solution. With low-code solutions, developers and companies can innovate faster and more securely without having to burn through a whole lot of cash in the process. Customers and employees will inadvertently benefit from these solutions, and the bottom-line of businesses will grow in the process.