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Key Criteria for Evaluating Low-Code/No-Code Solutions v1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Summary

Low code and no code describe the latest generation of meta-language, GUI-driven development tools, which enable applications to be built visually, without in-depth technical knowledge of programming or integration. Evolving from PaaS and middleware platforms, these tools help developers deliver cloud-scale capabilities fast, without having to worry about the complex array of online services, data sources, and platforms on which they depend.

These tools can meet the needs of both office-facing and more technical areas, such as IoT and robotic process automation, and can integrate with a wide variety of underlying tools—via API, for example—to construct applications and workflows simply and quickly. More advanced tools recognize the challenges of application delivery, building in capabilities like version control and quality management.

The products in this space range from low-cost tools with limited functionality to complex and costly solutions that require professional developers to maintain. Some tools aim to solve internal business problems on mobile devices, while others can scale to handle volumes of public content, commerce, and integration across multiple platforms and disparate content.

The solutions include those that work only in the public cloud as well as those that support both public and private (or on-premise) environments. The smaller the IT staff supporting the business problem, the more valuable the cloud solutions become. Using professional development staff to rapidly build and maintain an application is ideal, but when solutions are built and maintained by business users, low- and no-code tools can be a big help. Over the coming years, some no-code solutions will be able to take on more of the use cases and complexities of the low-code solutions.

With a few exceptions, the vendors of low-code and no-code platforms act as a kind of outsourcing resource. They take on the commodity functions and services and maintain them, freeing internal staff to focus on what provides a company’s unique business value. This is critical, particularly in terms of service level agreements because whereas an outage of many hours may be acceptable for internal business cases, a higher level of uptime may be required for critical external business functions.

Low-code and no-code tools are evolving in a dynamic environment, so their capabilities are maturing quickly, with time-to-business value being crucial to their success. Solutions today are increasingly reliant on AI, even as they put the customer in the driver’s seat, providing a springboard to future innovation, success, and support for business transformation.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Vendor Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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