Traditionally, being able to program in multiple languages was a necessary skill for anyone looking to build digital products or enter the tech industry. But over the past few years, a new class of software, known as low-code and no-code, has emerged. It’s drastically lowered the barrier to entry for people who want to create software without needing to learn to code.
No-code and low-code platforms allow SMEs to quickly develop and deploy digital solutions without needing to invest in costly and time-consuming custom coding. These platforms are particularly well suited for fast-moving businesses that need to respond quickly to market changes or opportunities.
This article will explore what no-code and low-code platforms are, how they work, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
What is No-Code?
No-code refers to the concept of building digital products or business systems without writing any code. Many no-code platforms provide visual drag-and-drop interfaces for creating everything from simple websites to complex business applications.
No-code platforms usually come with a wide range of pre-built components that can be used to rapidly assemble a working prototype or finished product. Many no-code platforms also include built-in hosting, user management, collaboration tools, and integrations with other popular services. This means you can get your new technology ‘live’ and being useful to your business quickly.
What is Low-Code?
Low-code platforms are designed to make it possible for those with only a little programming knowledge to create digital products and business systems by writing code with a ‘helping hand’..
The main difference between low-code and traditional coding is that low-code platforms provide a visual interface to assemble code blocks rather than requiring users to write everything from scratch. This makes it possible for people with limited coding experience to create working prototypes or finished products without investing a lot of time in learning how to code.
What are the benefits of using No-Code or Low-Code platforms?
There are many advantages to using no-code or low-code platforms.
First of all, these platforms drastically reduce the time and money it takes to develop software. Because you don’t need to undergo a hiring process to get expensive developers involved, or spend months coding everything from scratch, you can get your product to market much faster and at a fraction of the cost.
Second, no-code and low-code platforms are easier to use than traditional coding languages. In the case of no-code platforms, this means that you don’t need any prior coding experience to create a working prototype or finished product. When it comes to low-code platforms, you usually need some experience or training to use them effectively, but the learning curve is still lower than in traditional coding languages.
Third, because no-code and low-code platforms come with a wide range of pre-built components, they make it possible to assemble software more quickly than traditional methods. The speed and ease of use provided by these platforms allow businesses to be more nimble and respond effectively to changes in the marketplace or customer needs.
Finally, no-code and low-code platforms are often updated regularly with new features and capabilities. This means that you can be confident you will retain access to the latest and greatest technology, which can help you stay ahead of the competition.
How can SMEs use No-Code or Low-Code platforms?
There are several ways that SMEs can use no-code or low-code platforms, depending on their specific needs and goals.
For example, if you’re looking to create a simple website or landing page, you can use a no-code platform like Webflow or Squarespace. If you need something more complex, such as a new business application to support your operations, you can use a low-code platform like Visual LANSA or Retool.
No matter your needs, there’s sure to be a no-code or low-code platform that can help you achieve your goals.
Top tips for getting started with no and low code software
You'll hear a lot in the software development community that there's no such thing as a free lunch. The same can be said of no and low code software platforms - they can save you time and money, but only if you know how to use them correctly.
With that in mind, here are our top tips for getting started with no and low code software.
1. Define your business goals
The first step is to define your business goals clearly. What are you trying to achieve? How will a no or low-code platform help you to achieve these goals? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start to look for a platform that will meet your needs.
2. Do your research
The ability to climb into your customer's mind and understand their needs is critical for any business, but especially when you're starting out. Once you know what your customer wants, you can begin to look for a platform that will meet their needs.
There are a lot of no and low-code software platforms on the market, so it's essential to do your research and find one that's right for you. An excellent place to start is by reading reviews and talking to other businesses who have used such platforms before.
3. Get training
Once you've found a platform that meets your needs, it's essential to get training for yourself and your team. There will always be a learning curve, no matter how user-friendly a platform is.
By getting access to the right training, you'll be able to make the most of the platform and avoid any common pitfalls.
4. Automate, automate, automate
Always be looking for ways to automate tasks that are repetitive or time-consuming however simple they are. For example, if you're sending out the same email repeatedly, look for a way to automate the process. Or, if you're manually inputting data into a spreadsheet, see if there's a way to automate that task using inbuilt tools found on the platform you choose.
You can pull many levers in business to create growth and increase efficiency - utilising both no and low code platforms is just one method. However with the market projected to grow five fold from $13bn to $65bn by 2027 getting in now is a good strategy if you want to get ahead of competition.
But there is still a barrier to entry to make sure you pick the right tech and have a clear strategy for how to get the most out of it. As such, seeking the help of an experienced team can be the best way to get started on your no or low-code journey.
At LMR Labs, we have a team of experts who can help you get back more time through various processes. Contact us today to learn more.