Traditionally, no-code and low-code platforms have gained widespread popularity in the domain of enterprise-level applications because of their promise to help functional teams build applications faster.
As the demand for skilled professionals keeps increasing, most application-centric companies still find it challenging to build fast and efficient applications at most times. Over 60% of business stakeholders reportedly have implemented less than 50% of their technology solutions. Low-code seems a boon in such conditions.
The benefits of low-code development for citizen developers are widely known. But software developers have also increased their focus on low-code platforms to release their products faster. In the dominant age of cloud-powered SaaS products, even expert SaaS developers are now considering the feasibility of low-code platforms for rapid application development with minimum coding. Third-party low-code toolkits enable the visual development of SaaS products, using an easy drag-and-drop interface.
Low-code development is emerging as the “future of web development.” According to Gartner, “low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity by 2024.”
What are the key features, benefits, and use cases of low-code development for SaaS applications? Let’s discuss.
Key Features of Low-Code Development for SaaS Applications
Low-code platforms offer the ability to simplify application development and make this process more user-friendly, agile, and scalable for today's development environment. Here are some key features that make low-code development popular among expert developers:
Out-of-the-box (OOTB) Functionality
For customers using SaaS applications, developers can use OOTB functionalities to build products without building all their core modules from scratch. Most low-code platforms feature in-built modules ranging from data management to data storage.
Code reusability is an integral core of modern application development. Low-code development platforms enable reusability in the form of pre-configured functionalities, modules, and components. For instance, pre-configured modules provide core functionalities commonly used by most SaaS applications. Effectively, the reusability feature simplifies development and reduces the time-to-market for the product.
Visual modeling and development tools are useful in quickly creating new applications or application elements. This is necessary for cloud-powered applications. Expert developers are now proficient in using visual development tools and built-in templates. Additionally, development tools have a user-friendly "Drag-and-Drop" functionality to speed up application development.
Many low code platform utilizes PaaS capability of cloud to scale application. Cloud-powered SaaS applications are amply scalable to cater to growing user bases.
Next, let us discuss how low-code platforms benefit SaaS application developers.
How do Low-Code Platforms Benefit SaaS Product Developers?
Low-code development platforms are an excellent option for increasing the development speed and reducing the time taken for SaaS products to hit the market. As compared to "traditional" programming approaches, seasoned developers take lesser time to create a new application. Besides faster market releases, low-code platforms work faster for fixing bugs, incorporating customer feedback, and adding new functionalities.
By enabling easier third-party integrations, low-code platforms cater to the “business side” of application development. Effectively, more product "stakeholders" (and not just developers) are involved in the complete development process. This elevates the product and aligns it better with user needs.
Overall, here are some of the benefits of low-code development for SaaS developers:
- Faster speed of app development with shorter release cycles.
- A lower number of product bugs due to lesser coding, thus enabling faster development.
- Simpler to deploy the application on multiple platforms and devices.
- Easier maintenance and upgrades to existing SaaS applications.
Next, let us look at some real-life examples (or use cases) of SaaS products leveraging the low-code approach.
Low-Code Platforms - Examples of SaaS Products
With the use of low-code platforms, cloud technology companies no longer need to hire a seasoned web developer to build a new website or SaaS product. Low-code tools are useful in delivering a rich customer experience. Some of the popular examples of low-code platforms include ERP application developed using MS D365, Salesforce, CloudIO and WordPress. Each of them has low-code tools to build customizable websites and SaaS applications.
Besides applications and websites, low-code tools are used to build email and online advertising campaigns with the help of marketing automation CRM. One such popular example is the MailChimp tool with its email builder functionality.
Low-code platforms are also used to build internal apps to improve a company's business functions. For example, onboarding and recruitment processes, financial data processing, and automated marketing. With automated workflows, enterprises can easily share data among multiple SaaS applications.
Another example is IoT-enabled smart apps that need integration with multiple systems and endpoints. This includes smart sensors, automobiles, and communication systems. Using low-code platforms, IoT developers can integrate with existing IoT platforms to develop mobile apps and web applications. They can also integrate their IoT apps with third-party services for weather conditions and real-time traffic.
Low-code tools and platforms are helping to transform “traditional” application development, thus making them a viable tool for even experienced developers. A growing number of SaaS companies are adopting low-code development to build applications and products. Besides faster development speed, low-code platforms offer additional tangible benefits like cross-platform compatibility and easier maintenance.
At Xoriant, we believe that low-code development has a key role to play in the future of SaaS-based application development. As a technology leader, Xoriant has worked with startups and Fortune 100 companies across industry domains like healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications, and automotive.
Looking for a technology partner to implement low-code development?