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When evaluating Low-Code Development Platforms, what aspect do you think is the most important to look for?

Hi community members,

When evaluating Low-Code Development Platforms, what aspect do you think is the most important to look for?

Share your opinions below!

ITCS user
77 Answers

author avatar

Certainly a critical question. I encourage folks to consider this from a business and process perspective rather than limit themselves to technical issues. In the low-code environment, who will do what? Will a knowledgeable business user be able to analyze data or implement their own solutions without going through the still-dreaded torture of having IT justify and prioritize their request? Will IT organizations restructure themselves to support business organizations as they attempt to become self-sufficient? Think Excel, Word, or, in a few instances, Access. Despite IT's somewhat legitimate concern about the uncontrolled nature of these solutions, they have freed many business users from the shackles of dealing with IT.

Many so-called "low-code" solutions still require IT experts or proprietary table-driven languages that, in essence, are simply coding under a different name. True "low-code" solutions will empower business users and go a long way towards helping IT organizations truly support the businesses they work for. 

author avatar
Top 20Real User

One has to select a low code platform that does not paint you into a corner quickly.  Look for the velocity you can obtain through several _dedicated_ proofs-of-concept with very knowledgeable resources, not just someone in your organisation who shoots from the hip.

As a rule of thumb, any business can benefit GREATLY from low code platforms. If your IT teams have a constant backlog and you are losing out in creating frictionless reach to your customers, your IT is probably not coping, and one needs to supplement your capabilities with low code or be left losing to others.  

When looking for low code: 

1) The usual pricing and licensing model should encourage you to use their tool for more than just the first use case. Any vendor that licenses "function points" discourages using their tech and should not be the first option.

2) Assess the quality and maturity of the vendor's education programs, documentation and support & consulting partners - it makes sense to let them boot you up in a low code way. Please don't trust your current devs with this; they will go through the valley of Disillusionment and then blame it on the tool. Low code tools need a new business-driven culture that needs a different profile from your system-level devs.

3) The low code platform IDE must give one access to the high-level "low code language" with a mature debugger, productive access to styling, easy access to writing new components and widgets, and easy-to-use docs deploy yourself and support for debugging in production.

4) It must be easy to calculate your total cost of ownership. Do this with tight proof of concepts and see if the vendor is flexible in licensing/pricing. If not, look for a nicer vendor.  We want to partner with the vendor, not have an overlord.

5) Identify the right low code model for your problem and match this against the life cycle: low code can be used for almost everything if used as a proof of concept tool and then used as an excellent accelerator to rewrite the use case in cloud-first (if required). But, low code can also be used for large complex apps with huge benefits if architected properly. 

6) Assess how well the low code integration mechanisms work. This is a huge potential win if the low code platform excels with integration, both ways.

7) Low code needs the same focus on software best practices as usual. Assess how the low code candidates support this.

And more. That is a good start.

author avatar

The ease of connecting to multiple applications is the first qualification I do before I start looking at the low code platform features. Without out this you would be saving marginal time on development. 

author avatar
Top 5Real User

First thing that matters is your current and future needs. There were lots of systems I looked into that would have different issues when I looked into scaling out. Sometimes it was number of records, other times it was speed, and other times it was lack of flexibility. After much searching, I chose Zudy Vinyl and they have what we need and more. 

author avatar
Top 5Real User

Off the cuff, if you are considering employee productivity, time to market the Application, reduced need for specialist programming skillsets,  the efficacy of the platform to integrate to any and almost every Backend Data systems seamlessly and not to say the least the development costs incurred are all factors to consider.

If your App is being perused by large Enterprises, security may be something to prioritize with authorization, authentication and data encryption services being offered by the platform to automate DevOps operations.

No Code Development Platforms can also be considered. The No code development platforms are slowly gaining ground in the Enterprise Mobile Apps development space but are still categorized under the LCAP development strategy framework. With such a technology in place,  employing existing NON IT Developers who do not need any programming skillsets even to the extent of what Low Code App development Platforms require, you can still end up churning out Enterprise Graded Applications and go faster to market.

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

Architecture - Configurability, Flexibility, light-weight code generations, and easy Integration adaptors.

the richness of out-of-the box Domain-Specific templates and reusable workflow and design patterns.

Understand Vendor Roadmap well into the future and its relative market share. 

Technical - Cloud-Enabled Services, Integration to Standard IDE, Data Security

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

From my perspective you definitely must answer the following questions:
* ARCHITECTURE: Are you willing to set up a single BPM PLATFORM for your company? If so, does it work with your LEGACY systems? Can those systems also provide processes that you will build with the BPM platform? (e.g. Accounting, ERP, ECM, ....)
* PEOPLE: Do you have the right people to set up a new system? Low-Code does not mean that it is no-code and you still need IT experience. You will find a lot of experienced JAVA developers that will help you to run a low-code platform like CAMUNDA. However it will be hard to find experienced PEGA developers that are fluent in Portuguese. If you do not have the skills within your company - you need to recruit them or contract with implementation partners.
* COSTS: You need to think about licence fees, implementation costs, cloud fees, on-premise fees, training, and other operational costs. Some vendors offer cheap licenses during POC phases which turn out to be very expensive for a higher number of users. Also - if you are dependent on external expertise for a longer period of time, this will be very costly at the end. Make sure that you can handle the development by your company asap. Compare the vendors with open source products.

There will be a lot of other aspects as well, but I think it is a good starting point for an evaluation.

Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft, Pega, Appian and others in Low-Code Development Platforms. Updated: January 2022.
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