A recent podcast published by Forrester revealed that companies are now under immense pressure to produce new products and services but at a lower cost. They often rely on new generation software and services to get there.
Low code and no-code platforms are a popular option over enterprise-grade applications for companies looking forward to scaling quickly. Since the infrastructure and building blocks are already pre-built in low code/no-code platforms, they tremendously speed the application development process. However, choosing a low code/no-code platform that meets the long-term needs of organizations can be challenging.
Given the myriad options available and an oversupply of information, the decision process can become challenging. That is why we decided to bring the most basic yet important questions you should consider asking vendors when choosing an LCNC platform for your business.
If you need to learn more about the features of the low-code market and the benefits you can get, take a pause and study one of the articles in our LCNC series “Low Code/No-Code Movement: Top Disruptive Trends to Look Forward in 2020 and Beyond.”
Now, let’s get down to the topic at hand.
1)What type of applications does the platform create? How customizable is the platform?
You need to know whether the applications created on the platform are stand-alone or if they need a subscription to run. Ideally, you want to create applications that can run independently without dependencies on the tool, to ensure they will work even if you move away from the platform.
It is equally important to question the levels of customizability that the apps developed on the platform will offer.
- Will you be able to change, edit, add or remove steps in the workflow?
- Will you be able to add or remove fields easily?
- How fast can you do these customizations and deploy them for use?
Also, check on the possibility of white labeling if it’s important for you.
2) What skills are needed by employees of my company to use the platform
The business case for low-code/no-code software usually boils down to time and money savings. They let you deliver applications in less time, using fewer resources. They reduce the need for coding knowledge in the development process.
However, these benefits only apply if the platform has a low learning curve and doesn’t require additional technical skills.
Therefore, the question: What skills are needed to use the platform? How long will it take to get up and running? What technical knowledge will our developers (or citizen developers) need? These are all important questions to consider when calculating the ROI of the software.
3) Does the platform provide enough ready-made templates?
Be sure to check this out if your goal is to automate business processes. The fact is that ready-made templates and components significantly increase productivity, provide flexibility, and a comfortable development process.
4) How secure is the platform?
This is another important one from the questions CIOs must ask low-code no-code vendors. There has been a lot of debate about application security in low code and no code app development. But, the best ones do not take this for granted and incorporate security controls at every step. So, make sure you ask the vendor to go into the details. Ask about user authentication, secure data transmission, content privacy, user access control, encryption of data, and anti-theft measures.
5) Does the platform make it easier to create, share, and consume APIs? What are its integration capabilities?
Chances are, you don’t want to create apps that operate independently of your existing systems. Integration is a critical part of any low-code/no-code tool.
This question will give you an insight into whether you can use open APIs to integrate seamlessly and if you can integrate the apps you develop on the platform with other apps on the platform or 3rd party systems. At the end of the day, you don’t want another piece of software working in a silo.
6) Can I use other products in tandem with the platform? Are there any limitations to the types of applications I can create?
The main criterion when selecting an LCNC platform is its flexibility and openness, hence it is equally vital to understand what limitations does the platform offer. You shouldn’t get locked-in or dependent on the platform. A “lock-in” further includes different aspects, from the creation of standalone applications, data access, and control, to open-source or proprietary code generated. When examining the platform, you need to approach the answer to this question from several angles.
7) Are there any hidden costs in the licensing structure? What is the pricing?
One of the main aspects when selecting an LCNC platform is pricing. There is no standard, one-size-fits-all licensing structure, and hidden costs could increase your budgeted cost. To be certain you know what you pay for, you need to know the type of charge by vendors such as the fee for end-user seats, developer seats, run-time, distribution, and maintenance fee. Some platforms also provide standard email support included in the cost.
8) What does the customer support service entail? Is training provided?
It is very important that the low-code platform provides proper technical support. Read reviews about the platform. Here they often mention the quality of the platform’s support. Your employees will learn how to develop applications on this platform. That’s why it’s vital that the platform provides training programs.
When choosing a low-code/no-code vendor, it’s important to:
- Pay attention to how it has proven itself and whether it has a developed network of partners and integrators.
- Follow trends in the industry and see what’s suggested about the years to come. Reports from Gartner and Forrester can also be an irreplaceable help.
- Explore cutting-edge reports, reviewing authoritative feedback, and taking advantage of the trial period to work with the platform can help. When choosing a suitable low-code development platform, consider the needs of your business. A functionality that is ideal for one company may be useless in another.
These are just a few questions to ask about low-code platforms, but the list could be much longer.
Tigersheet is a no-code platform that helps managers automate business tasks by creating applications at drastically reduced costs and lightning speed. Start your free trial now and experience the difference yourself.