Low Code v/s Custom Software: Which is a better choice & when?

In this post we will talk about low code and custom software development methodology. We will learn what is low code and custom software development and which one to choose? 

Let's begin by a famous statement made by an eminent American software engineer GradyBooch: “The task of the software development team is to engineer the illusion of simplicity.”

This statement is completely true in today's dynamic environment where every industry is software-driven and wants quick as well as effective results. This is the reason why most of the entrepreneurs choose experienced custom software development companies to build tailor-made solutions to streamline all their complex processes. But as the technological world is unpredictable, since the past few years the phenomenon of low code software development is trending everywhere. Let's explore how custom software development and low code development are different from each other. Also, we will try to figure out which is a better choice for your business and when?

What is Low Code development?

Low Code Development as the name suggests is the approach to designing and develop software solutions quickly. It advocates to eliminate the need for hand coding as much as possible. In simple terms, it's a method that allows the end user to be the developer for building their own software such as an app or a digital portal. 

What is Custom Software development?

Custom software development is a traditional methodology. Entrepreneurs hire a third-party development team to build customized solutions tailored to suit their specific business requirements. This process is much like building a custom house where the end user plays no direct role in the development process.

Difference between Low code and Custom software development

1. Basics

Custom software development is based on customer requirements and tailoring solutions in a way to suit these specific needs. But, low code development makes the end user the developer. They develop their own modules by using drag and drop as well as many other functionalities.

In addition, custom software development has a less difficult learning curve as the users are equally involved. But low code development has a higher and a steep learning curve.

2. Timeline management

Custom software development has become much faster due to advanced technologies such as DevOps and agile. If properly planned, you can get solutions delivered at a very fast rate. Also, the third party integrations are planned and hence they take less time.

Low code development is also fast and promises to deliver solutions within a short time span. But, here more time is required for third-party integrations as they fall beyond the modular coding.

3. Budget

Customized solutions are a bit expensive and ideal for businesses with varying sizes where the budget is predefined.

Low code solutions are also not that costly in most of the generic scenarios. But they can be expensive in case if there are modifications that need a lot of updates and integrations

4. Flexibility and customization

It is easy to tailor the solutions as per user requirements in custom software development. Also, these solutions are highly flexible since modifications can be made in accordance with the specific user needs.

With low code, it is difficult to customize the solutions as per business needs since most of the components are pre-built. These software solutions are less flexible than the customized ones.

5. Security and consistency

Customized solutions are highly stable and you can have full control over them since they are in the hands of dedicated and sincere professionals.

But, with low code solutions, it becomes challenging to understand the intricacies of the pre-written code. Also, security is a sensitive territory since the stakeholders may keep changing based on ownership.

6. Legacy integration and migration

With custom software development, since the solution is custom-built, there are well-defined components that require migration and integration from legacy systems.

But in low code, it's extremely tough to migrate and integrate third-party systems since there are pre-built components.

7. Support and maintenance 

With custom solutions, it's extremely easy to manage the updates and the revisions since there is a professional team looking after it.

But, this task can be challenging with low code solutions as there are several pre-built components that are hard to modify.

When to choose which approach?

It is advisable to go for customized solutions when you are experiencing the below conditions:

  • Numerous entities involved with the business such as multiple functionalities,departments, segments, geographies, etc.
  • Require a high level of customization while designing business workflows. And it's challenging to cope up with the pre-built solutions.
  • Have a huge number of employees and a vast infrastructure to cater to.
  • A great emphasis on the security, flexibility, and reliability of the business information involved.
  • High demand for legacy migration and third-party integration.
  • Sole purpose of the management is to align the business objectives with the software solution.

You can pick low code development when you are facing the below conditions:

  • Limited IT resources and it's difficult to discover devoted resources who can contribute.
  • Have a limited number of employees and a small infrastructure to cater to.
  • Limited budget and it's extremely difficult to customize each requirement in accordance with your specific needs.
  • Looking for small modifications in your business processes that are not much complex. Also, the need for third-party integration and data transfer is limited.

Based on your specific business requirements, you can choose one of these two for your next project. On one hand, custom software solutions are highly scalable and reliable. But on the other hand, low code development is a relatively new concept with its own set of perks and hurdles. Take a final call, it's not that tough as it seems to be!

This great article is contributed by Aviraj Makhija. He is a senior SEO Analyst at Arkenea. Feel free to drop your queries and suggestions below in comment box.

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