Nocode vs COTS: Breaking down the Pros and Cons

Nocode vs COTS: Breaking down the Pros and Cons

One of the most typical issues firms confront, is whether to purchase commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or construct custom solutions. 

If buying was the apparent choice in the past, the increasing drive for better customer experience and operational efficiency has prompted many firms to prefer software that fully adapts to their organization’s quirks.

Of course, not everything needs to be totally personalized, so despite the trend away from off-the-shelf software, it continues to play an important role in many firms’ digital strategies. In reality, prominent digital organizations are combining buying (or renting) software with producing it as part of a new set of rules for procuring, renewing, and operating digital assets.

While the conflict between low-code platforms and customized softwares might not have the heritage of Coke vs. Pepsi, Apple vs. Samsung, or Star Trek vs. Star Wars, it’s definitely a comparison worth examining for organisations deciding to construct their own custom software solution.

Many teams and employees are fed up with the inconveniences of COTS software.

We’ve got a second option in place for 2021 and beyond.

Defining COTS software and its limitations

COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) software refers to software applications and products that are ready-made and sold in the commercial market. 

It’s like “one-size-fits-all” software because it’s pre-made, and it can’t possibly match every possible customer’s demands completely unless customised, yet most COTS software has limited modification choices.

Sure, a few COTS providers may offer customization beyond what is offered in the product as a paid service, but it will come at a high price. Businesses also pay a significant cost since customisation is required because the software does not always fit the customer’s demands as-is.

IT is constantly overburdened as more individuals work from home, and software developers are in short supply. COTS software is also a dangerous option in the face of widespread digital disruption because enterprises can’t afford to limit their operational capabilities because of what COTS software provides. 

Furthermore, COTS customisation necessitates time, which no organisation can afford to lose.

What is No-Code?

No-code is an ideal solution for many business owners. It’s a recent innovation, as development began around the same time as lowcode. 

Users can create apps and use specific software without any coding knowledge. 

Users need to apply some form of coding logic, but no-code development simplifies the logic and process of making these developments accessible to everyone.

You can use No Code to create many apps like Low Code. Most platforms optimize no-code for business use. Instead of paying professional developers to create apps, companies can get inexperienced coders to develop apps in less time than normally needed.

Users don’t need any prior coding experience to create apps using no-code.

You can quickly construct applications in minutes or hours to automate and manage all your tedious activities. 

Therefore, companies facing difficulties in automation and streamlining IT procedures can consider utilizing no-code software. 

No-code development platforms (NCDPs) are becoming the preferred tool for app development, and companies often choose no-code over COTS. 

NCDP may have some limitations, but providers are increasing their no-code use cases every day. A no-code development platform is an overwhelmingly easy-to-use solution. But is no-code better than COTS?

No-code vs COTS software: Comparison

 

  • Clutter in the IT Department

One COTS for each business case, such as CRM, Help Desk, Accounting Software, Expense Management, and so on, can lead to software clutter, resulting in data redundancy and maintenance concerns.

When used for general-purpose automation, a no-code software platform can be used to automate processes and construct applications for all departments in the firm on a single platform, removing the risk of software clutter and data redundancy.

 

  • Skills

Customization options for COTS products are restricted. 

Any customization that goes beyond what the product offers must be done by the vendor himself. 

Business users and the central IT team are powerless to help. Professional developers are required for such efforts, even if IT is authorized to customize the COTS product.

Building software with no code, on the other hand, takes no skills or even basic programming experience. Apps can be developed and customized by anyone from any department or by the user.

No-code app creation also makes it easier to make changes and upgrades. 

For customization beyond what is provided in the product, COTS apps necessitate the intervention of programmers.

 

  • Time

In most cases, COTS software is set up and deployed in a matter of minutes.

No-code apps can be produced and deployed in a matter of minutes to days, depending on what is being built. 

Many no-code software platforms offer ready-to-use building pieces for fast developing and deploying software. Delays and debugging are also no longer a source of concern.

 

  • Cost

Costs are very high since COTS software development involves weeks or months of development effort from qualified professional developers. 

They can be purchased for a set price plus an annual maintenance fee, or they can be purchased as a SaaS subscription that is paid monthly or annually.

No-code platforms, on the other hand, are far less expensive than COTS software. 

These are often given as a SaaS subscription that is paid on a monthly or annual basis and may be used to solve different business challenges and build multiple solutions with the same subscription.

 

  • Agility

One of the most significant drawbacks of COTS software is its lack of agility. 

There are only a few customising options available. Any customization beyond what is included in the product is either impossible or requires the vendor’s involvement. 

This might lead to a negative customer experience and frustration.

No-code apps are extremely adaptable, allowing for quick modifications without disrupting the user experience. 

In fact, they make it better by allowing users to add features based on their needs and feedback.

 

  • Complexity

There is commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software available to solve complicated business challenges. 

However, the few customising possibilities they offer continue to be a major drawback.

In this situation, though, No-code has been filled with myths. 

Many users assume that no-code development is only appropriate for simple applications. The truth is that there are a variety of advanced no-code platforms available that allow you to create everything from simple to complex enterprise-grade apps. COTS, on the other hand, may have limited capabilities in this area. As a result, you must be cautious during your evaluation.

 

  • Integration

Integration options are available in most common COTS software, but they may be limited.

Integration is possible with no-code platforms thanks to APIs and ready-to-use plugins and adapters.

However, as a customer, you must first verify the integration capability before making a decision.

 

  • Innovation

No-code software platforms give customers the tools they need to create and invent new.

solutions to their problems. They also free up time and provide you the freedom to think and act at the same time.

COTS software, on the other hand, does not allow for much innovation because it cannot be changed by the end users.

 

  • Reusability

No-code development also has the benefit of reusability in the workplace and pre-configured modules and functionality for apps. 

These modules typically contain all the basic and core functionality required by various programmes, and they may be quickly and readily utilized for multiple alternative solutions.

When using COTS software, this is usually not possible.

 

Conclusion

Both custom software and no-code solutions offer their own set of benefits. 

The advantages of each are mostly determined by the needs of the firm that will be employing the software, as well as the organization’s infrastructure. It may be worthwhile for a company with 500 users in a niche with complicated, highly customized software needs to custom-make their own software.

Whereas, a company that requires customized but common business applications (CRM, expense management, inventory monitoring, and so on) may choose the low-tech, DIY aspect of no-code platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

I S NO CODE VIABLE FOR BUSINESS? Breaking The Benefits of No Code…

IS NO CODE VIABLE FOR BUSINESS? Breaking The Benefits of No Code…

With constant innovations in the technological landscape, there can be confusion about new offerings that are becoming popular. One such new offering is low-code no-code development. To non-technical people, no-code can sound like a dream – being able to create applications with no technical knowledge needed? Amazing.

However, no-code might also sound too good to be true. This is where the question comes in – Is No-Code Viable for your Business?

Below is an infographic where we have broken down the top benefits of no-code and what benefits it can bring to enterprises and entrepreneurs. While moving later we have tried to answer the question if no code is viable for businesses? 

If you would like to brush up some basics on what is low code and no code and how are two different. We would recommend heading to this blog post:https://tigersheet.com/blog/low-code-vs-no-code-whats-the-difference-infographic/

Answering the Question: Is no-code viable for enterprises and entrepreneurs?

Yes, no-code is a viable solution for entrepreneurs and enterprises who are looking for solutions that can provide the above benefits. No-code solutions will be faster to market, easy to maintain, and easier to test than solutions created by a full team of developers. 

Is no-code viable? Yes, and it may have different benefits for different users.

No-code solutions can be perfect for entrepreneurs/business users and enterprises:

For entrepreneurs/business users:
No-code can be helpful for entrepreneurs specifically because they will be able to build and test their business ideas much faster. This method is also very cost-effective, leading to quick solutions at a minimal price. 

  • The entrepreneur will also not have to take on the risk of hiring and managing a team of developers working on creating a solution. 
  • Through no-code, the business user will have the capability to create a program or application that embodies their vision and perfectly fulfills their goals. 
  • Apart from building the MVP with no-code, entrepreneurs can also use no-code to automate their business processes across departments.

For enterprises: No-code platforms can help small and medium enterprises automate processes across different departments on a single platform. Over a period of time, these enterprises can possibly build custom ERPs on no-code platforms. In large enterprises, where an ERP already exists, a no-code platform can help automate processes that the current ERP does not handle and then integrate these new processes with the core ERP.

Summary

No-code development is one of the best tools that an entrepreneur or enterprise could use to transform their idea into an actual digital application or program.

With its numerous benefits, no-code development is the way to go for faster turnaround time, faster time-to-market, better flexibility, and finding innovative solutions to specific problems. Hopefully, this article helped you answer the question ‘is no-code viable for me’?

Tigersheet is a no-code platform that can help you build bespoke applications using our intuitive visual drag-and-drop builder. Experience the benefits and viability of no-code development right now with our free trial!

 


8 Tough Questions to Ask Vendors Before Choosing a LCNC Platform

8 Tough Questions to Ask Vendors Before Choosing an LCNC Platform

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.

Conclusion

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.




Low-Code-No-Code-Terms

Low Code-No Code Jargon: 10 Key Industry Terms Explained for Everyone! (Not Just for Developers)

If you have ever run a few searches in the domain of organizational digitization, there are high chances that you would have come across low code and no-code platforms. While the technology is booming and seems quite interesting, it can be a bit overwhelming place to start without context and a brief understanding of some of the key low-code no-code terms surrounding this technology.

For those who are curious readers, tech-buffs, or technology enthusiasts without any prior technical background, comprehending the no-code/low-code industry shouldn’t be like cracking a cipher.  On this note, we bring here 10 common terms you should know to help you navigate the no-code/low-code space at ease:

NO-CODE

“No code” or “no-code platforms” are application development platforms that can be built and customized with zero programming experience. No-code platforms often feature intuitive, drag-n-drop interfaces that allow non-coders to quickly build and run business applications. No code and “low code” are often featured together in articles, but refer to platforms with different technical competency requirements.

Read more: Demystifying the Difference: Low Code vs. No Code and How to Decide Which One Is Right for You?

LOW-CODE

“Low code” or “low-code platforms” are application development platforms that require or offer the ability to build new code into the platform as part of creating business applications. These platforms are especially suitable for people who want to go beyond out-of-the-box solutions to create more complex, sophisticated business processes. Both technical-minded business users and developers can utilize a low-code platform (although programming language requirements may vary by platform). Many no-code platforms have built-in low-code capabilities, making them accessible to both non-technical and technical users.

Read More: Dispelling 5 Misconceptions Around Low Code: It’s Time to Let Them Go!

AGILE/AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Agile development is a set of processes for creating software that includes being creative and flexible in software development. This means that the code is kept simple, is tested often, and, instead of waiting for everything to be finished, incremental but functional parts of the software are released as soon as they are ready. These modules are functional and will be able to help users do some work

Why Agile Development is Important in IT?

Businesses today have different needs, and because of the ever-changing demands coming from new technologies and customers, you need to be very flexible in addressing these needs and demands. Agile development allows you to bring a quality and functional product more quickly. And because agile development puts more focus on individuals and their ideas rather than tools and processes, it creates a better understanding between IT and business leaders.

CITIZEN DEVELOPERS

“Citizen developer” is relatively a novice term coined by Gartner, a global research firm that specializes in technology-related research. According to Gartner, “A citizen developer is a user who creates new business applications for consumption by others using development and runtime environments sanctioned by corporate IT.” Specifically for the no-code/low-code sphere, citizen developers are the business users creating business apps for themselves or their company.

More to Know:

“In a general sense, this developer is not a professional developer who is paid to code applications, but an “amateur.”

Citizen developers usually have no formal training or even an educational background in computer science.  Surprisingly, these developers often work in a management or supervisory role — not in the professional developer job role that we would think. Many have limited experience and knowledge outside self-taught application and coding used for specific platforms, but they are savvy computer users.

Over time the meaning has changed and is used in a much broader context. For example, some may use the phrase citizen developer to mean any person (with or without formal developer education and job training) who creates the apps outside traditional workplace IT channels.

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

While Gartner did not coin the term digital transformation, their heavy influence in the space of no-code and low-code software has greatly influenced its meaning.

‘Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.’

Digital transformation runs anywhere from the corner shop using mobile payment methods to a new website for an organization that tracks the usage of the customers. It doesn’t need to be of a certain standard, but it is the process in which the focus is turned towards making the customer’s journey easier and how value can be delivered more efficiently. There is space for digital transformation in each business unit of an enterprise and each step of a supply chain, all to make collaboration and efficiency of an organization better. No-code and low-code platforms help encourage making these changes as they make the shift easier, faster, and more affordable.

More to Know: A key element of digital transformation is understanding the potential of your technology. Again, that doesn’t mean asking “How much faster can we do things the same way?” It means asking “What is our technology really capable of, and how can we adapt our business and processes to make the most of our technology investments?”

A Real-Life Example: Before Netflix, people chose movies to rent by going to stores and combing through shelves of tapes and discs in search of something that looked good. Now, libraries of digital content are served upon personal devices, complete with recommendations and reviews based on user preferences.

Streaming subscription-based content directly to people’s TVs, computers, and mobile devices was an obvious disruption to the brick-and-mortar video rental business. Embracing streaming also led to Netflix looking at what else it could do with the available technology. That led to innovations like a content recommendation system driven by artificial intelligence.

BUSINESS PROCESS AUTOMATION (BPA)

It is a technology that streamlines business processes thus eliminating the need to perform repetitive manual tasks. This helps the workforce to restructure time to more important issues when routine work is completed in much lesser time through automation.

Read more: 5 Tedious Business Tasks & Processes You Must Automate in 2020

ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION(RPA)

RPA is an application that automates business processes through structured inputs and logic. It takes care of the routine and repetitive tasks that are usually time-consuming and monotonous e.g. generating insurance premium receipts every time an insurance premium is paid against an insurance policy. With RPA in place, you will be able to focus on other important tasks in the business process.

However, RPA is not a deep-rooted answer. It is a basic fix for repetitive tasks and low-level events that require the use of a mouse or keyboard functions. It only works to get things done faster and save human effort.

CLOUD DEPLOYMENT

Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The data is stored on cloud (public, private, or hybrid) and the vendor takes care of the security and uptime. Businesses do not need to spend on additional infrastructure, resources, or data privacy within their own premises. It is a service that takes care of it all in one shot. You also do not need physical space because everything is on the cloud.

One of the highlights here is that you can get cloud computing solutions specific to your business needs. You won’t be paying extra for space or services that you do not use.

Also Read: The Power of SaaS: How Subscription Software can help you reduce costs and drive value

Why is No-Code/Low-code Development Important?

The digital curve is inevitable in any business. Every organization is feeling the need to up their efficiency and shift to the digital way of life. No-code and low-code platforms allow business users in these functions to unlock the hidden potential, automate processes, and build applications without overburdening the IT department.

Low code/No-Code platform is the future of application development for one simple reason- It is a faster, easier, and more efficient use of time.

It doesn’t matter whether developers are on-board with this change or not- it is inevitable because it’s the path of least resistance, and as the demand for low code platforms continues to grow, businesses & developers will find themselves rising to meet it.

Want to Learn More?

Be sure to check out some of the other blogs on Tigersheet if you want to learn more about what you can accomplish using no-code and low-code platforms. If you are ready to take the next step forward in No Code, feel free to take a free trial of Tigersheet here. We have a multitude of features and an ample support system that will help you through the process.

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