With a slew of emerging technologies taking over the software development landscape, it’s evolving to make way for more innovative processes. Businesses of all sizes today have plenty of choices on the kind of software they want to integrate into their internal operations.
Speaking of development processes, the low code/no code approach is trending in the field of software development for quite some time now. The question is, is this method of development suitable for your business? Or do you think custom software development is still a better option?
We’ll address all these questions to help business owners make the right decision.
What is Custom or Bespoke Software Development?
Custom software development is also identified as traditional or bespoke software development. It’s a process of developing software and applications that cater to a specific requirement of a business and it’s often built from scratch. This method requires developers to accumulate and understand specific requirements, create a plan with milestones, and write custom codes to meet present and future business objectives.
A custom software development project begins when all the stakeholders come to an agreement based on a software development plan. Once the software is developed, it’ll be put through rigorous testing and maintenance phases.
This process can be complex and the project deployment may take time as it often requires manual coding but the final product turns out one-of-its-kind. In fact, according to Grandviewresearch.com, the growth of custom software development will increase by 19.4% by 2030, in the US alone.
Moving ahead, we’ll elaborate on some of the definite advantages and disadvantages of custom software development.
Multiple Advantages and Disadvantages of Custom Software Development:
Advantages of Developing Customized Software Products
This is one of the major reasons why many businesses opt for custom software to integrate into their business. It’s true that budget constraints and lack of talent can be roadblocks to developing scalable custom solutions. However, such concerns can be addressed when you have skilled developers or establishes technology partners to guide you through the process.
Developers can always utilise the best technology stack and architecture and mix of engagement models to help optimise and save your budget. In such cases, having a technology partner allows you access to the pools of qualified experts which helps you to save time and money on hiring and onboarding candidates.
No two businesses are similar when it comes to their operations. Every organisation has their own unique processes and requirements, and custom software development will address these specific needs. Contrary to no code development, this approach ensures that software systems adapt to the changing requirements of businesses.
When developing bespoke software products, businesses can assess the source code and protect it against potential cyberattacks as they have complete control over it. The source code won’t be available publicly. Additionally, this approach minimises the chances of threat actors breaching these codes.
Flexibility to Modify the Functionalities
As your business evolves and scales, the software or applications must also adapt to your changing needs. Hence, a bespoke software development approach allows you to incorporate or remove functions and features on demand. This method amplifies the agility and adaptability of businesses in line with the swiftly changing market business landscape.
Disadvantages of Building Customized Software Products
The Upfront Expenditure on Development is High
When you build a customized solution from scratch, it obviously involves considerable expenditure. The integration of unique functionalities demands the optimum utilisation of cutting-edge technologies. Businesses may have to invest in a team of experienced developers, designers, project managers, and QA engineers, resulting in higher expenses. However, it’s also true that the future benefits often override the expenses.
Time and Resource Intensive
Writing individual lines of code requires takes time and resources. It’s imperative to clearly define the specific requirements first, draw up a plan for software development, build the application and test it multiple times before launching it.
Even defining the requirements is time-consuming, especially if a business is opting for a custom solution for the first time. There’s also a possibility of mistakes during the development process which may lead to multiple iterations or your specific requirement may change. However, partnering with a distinguished customs software development vendor can resolve such issues.
The Risk of Picking the Wrong Vendor
This issue is fairly usual among most industries. Opting for the wrong vendor always results in a loss of time and money. Unfortunately, it’s also quite common for vendors to provide low-quality solutions.
Hence, it’s crucial to take your time while selecting a vendor that truly understands what your business requires. Conducting a bit of research before partnering with a vendor protects your business from incurring losses afterwards. Remember, even if the charges of your specific vendor are a little steep, it’s still better than having a custom solution that doesn’t meet your exact requirements.
What is Low Code/ No Code Development?
This process involves little to no lines of code for developing software or applications. This approach is automated, intuitive and abstracted and visual. Such approaches require businesses to define their desired tasks at a high level and utilise tools to generate most of the underlying codebase.
Similarly, no code development enables non-technical users to develop applications without writing a single line of code. Specifically designed for non-programmers, no code apps help businesses develop and deploy solutions that are simple to use. The convenience of low code development comes from the pre-built templates that support common business use cases.
According to Statista, the global low code development market is estimated to grow 26.1% by 2025.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Low code/ No Code Development:
Advantages of This Approach
High Return on Investment (ROI) and Minimum Risk
Low code development platforms maintain top industry standards and security best practices hence it comes with secure algorithms to safeguard app infrastructure, data integration and cross-platform support.
This allows organisations to focus on their business objectives as the entire workflow is increasingly automated and protected. Thus, this approach helps mitigate risks with the assurance of high ROI.
Faster Time to Market
Low-code development protocols are known to support cross-platform development. Thus, you can quickly develop a completely functional Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that functions across platforms in no time. This is an advantage that bespoke software solutions can never enjoy.
Quick Updates and Support
Modifying and updating the code in a low code/no code environment is relatively simple. You don’t require lines of code to implement potential changes. You have to leverage the visual interface and intuitive drag-and-drop functionality whenever you want to update a no-code application.
Flexible and Scalable
Low code/no code development is highly scalable and adaptable. This means businesses don’t have to engage in software development to accommodate new features (as long as the templates are available)
Disadvantages of This Approach
Complications Related To Business Logic
Automation tools in low code development simplify processes and quicken prototyping. However, business logic becomes complicated once you get past the prototyping phase.
This is when development gets stuck and requires the intervention of an expert technical team to complete the project. Since low code development platforms are far from perfect, it’s best not to rely on them exclusively.
Dependent on Platform
No-code development heavily relies on a platform. This indicates that variables like costs, quality, service and security are beyond their control. Hence, if you take a no-code development approach, it’s imperative to consider price volatility and changing terms and conditions.
Difference Between Low Code/ No Code and Custom Software Development:
Before presenting a detailed comparison, here’s a little brief table on what makes these two methods of software development different.
|Characteristics||Custom Software Development||Low Code/No Code Development|
|Fundamentals||Custom software evolves with specific business requirements.||Low code development is ideal for business automation solutions and for building simple apps.|
|Timeline||Developing custom solutions require at least six months and more.||Low Code/ No Code applications may take less than a month to develop.|
|Flexibility||Custom software development enables unlimited customisation.||Low Code/No code doesn’t support unlimited customisation.|
|Security||Custom software development offers heightened security.||Low code/ No code development allows partial control over security.|
The Agility of the Approaches
Custom software development platforms usually come with complex configuration systems which makes them less agile. Because of these complex codes, it requires a considerable amount of time to learn and operate them accurately.
In comparison, low code platforms are much simpler to use and operate owing to their drag-and-drop features. Moreover, you won’t have to write codes here to develop the applications, instead, you can simply use the drawing methods to do the same.
Even though the cost of development depends on the scope of the project, developing custom solutions is still considerably high. Hence, custom solutions are ideal for large companies that require efficiently customised software, which is tough to build using a low code/no code solution.
On the other hand, developing low code/ no code apps are inexpensive. With low code platforms, companies pay only to access a specific service, not for the entire development process from start to finish.
With bespoke software solutions, maintenance is a major issue since the updates will have to be overseen by a skilled development team to integrate the changes.
Contrary to this, low code platforms are typically maintained by the company that owns the platform. This simplifies the process of maintenance as all updates and improvements to the software are taken care of by the hosting company.
Wrapping It Up,
Keeping up with the rapid progress within the software development landscape is possible only when businesses decide on the kind of software they want. The process of development also depends on this decision.
Now, it depends on the business requirements whether customised solutions are the best fit for it or whether the low code/no code approach is more suitable. Having solid clarity on the specific needs of the business processes will allow businesses to develop highly scalable and successful software.