Digital transformation has become a worldwide phenomenon, and applications with little to no code play a big part in the process. According to a prediction from Acumen Research and Consulting, the global low-code platform market will reach $159 billion in 2030.
But even when low-code development is slowly becoming the norm, traditional software development practices aren’t going away anytime soon since custom coding and custom software are still needed to reach business requirements most of the time.
So how do these two methods compare? Before we begin, let’s learn about the range that custom software and low code/ no code solutions cover.
Custom Software Development
In custom software development, a team of professional software developers creates a certain application from scratch with traditional coding practices. The development team creates a plan, writes the code based on said plan, tests it, and deploys it for usage.
Custom software development addresses the specific needs of the user base through personalization. They fill in the gaps that most off-the-shelf solutions leave behind to improve customer satisfaction and user experience.
Benefits of Custom Software Development
1. Endless Customization Options
As the name suggests, custom software development comes with endless customization possibilities. With custom development, deploying any solution with any design that will appeal to the target audience the most is easier.
2. More Flexibility
With unlimited customization comes flexibility. In custom software development, the developers have more flexibility in their design direction.
3. Complete Control Over Your Project
In custom development, you have complete control over the developer team, and they implement changes under your direct supervision. The team can discuss with you how to implement features that align more with the business vision and goals and follow them accordingly.
When you are directly involved in the development process, and your feedback can alter the course, you have complete governance and control over your project.
4. Secure Software Environment
Since your in-house developer team writes the code for custom software, you have complete access and control over the source code. You can take steps to secure the code further and instruct your team to analyze the code repeatedly to remove any inconsistencies for maximized performance.
5. Continuous Support
Your software support team should easily be able to fix any bugs and issue important updates to the software anytime it’s required. Complete control over the source code makes the process even easier, and it helps your product to stay up-to-date 24/7.
Challenges You Might Face During Custom Software Development
1. Takes Up Too Much Time
Every aspect of custom software has to be coded manually. The amount of code the developer team needs to write depends on the complexity of the feature. As a result, creating a large-scale app can take a lot of time and effort.
2. Highly Expensive
Custom software development requires sophisticated tools and expert skill sets, which are highly expensive in the current market. The longer the software development life cycle goes on, the cost of the development process keeps increasing.
Low Code Development
Low code development is when developers can create an application even when no coding is involved in the process. The development process uses a visual modeling method where a developer puts an application together using a drag-and-drop interface.
Anyone can create a basic application using no-code development, even without experience with coding or any programming language. The visual nature of the process makes it easily understandable, even for a non-technical person.
Though there are some aspects of coding in low code development, it comes in when your software needs to be customized in a way that isn’t offered as a customization option in the pre-built templates of the low code platform.
Benefits of Low Code Development
1. The Changes Are Very Easy To Implement
With low code, there’s no need to dig through thousands of lines of code to implement any changes. User-friendly graphical interfaces allow you to see all the existing modules and functions visually and modify or extend any function you choose without any hassle.
2. Offers Great Accessibility To The Developers
Custom software development can only be done by professional developers with intricate knowledge of programming languages and software development. However, low code development is accessible by almost anyone since it doesn’t require any pre-existing programming experience.
This makes the development process accessible for non-technical people, AKA citizen developers, who can easily be involved.
3. Saves A Lot In Development Costs
Low code development only requires you to pay for the platform itself. The tools and additional widgets come with the platform as Out-of-the-Box features, so you don’t need to pay additionally for the tools.
Also, low-code platforms don’t require a large team of professionals, saving you a fortune in hiring them.
4. Reduces Time-To-Market
Low-code development optimizes and streamlines the entire development process, so the application takes much less time than custom software development.
Faster development time results in a reduced time-to-market since the app has complete functionality and requires minimal testing after development.
5. Enables Better Risk Mitigation
Low code allows you to create your application with pre-built elements, building blocks, and templates. This means you don’t have to spend additional time and resources to create an application from scratch, and your investment risk is highly mitigated.
Low-code platforms are also highly compliant with the best data security practices present in the current industry, so your application is always secure.
Challenges of Low Code Development
1. Customization Might Be Limited To The Platform’s Abilities
Low-code platforms come with a wide range of customization options. But sometimes, your application requirement is so specific that you cannot customize it with the existing options of the low-code platform you’re working with.
In that case, you have no choice but to leverage custom coding to implement the functions and/or features you require.
2. Security Limitations Can Make The App Vulnerable
Though low-code platforms come with complete security compliance, the security issues usually come from third-party integrations.
Low-code platforms offer easy integration with outsider low-code apps and features, and their compromised code can cause your app to inherit its vulnerabilities, creating a security concern.
3. The Workflow Can get Overcomplicated
While low code is a simple development method, the real complexity lies under the hood. When creating a rather complex application, experienced developers must check all the underlying code to fix any contradictory issues after combining all the elements.
High usage of reusable components in the low code development cycle also means a lot of duplicate codes in the source material, which causes a bloated infrastructure and reduced functionality of the app itself.
Custom Software Vs. Low Code: The Ultimate Comparison
Now that we know the fundamentals for both approaches, we can summarize the comparison in a table for you to make it even easier to understand.
|Custom Software Development||Low Code Development|
|Evolves with your business and customer requirements||Evolves with the platform itself|
|Suitable for building any digital product||Suitable for business automation and simple apps|
|Is more expensive||Rather cheap, as it only requires payment for the platform|
|Takes at least 6 months to create an initial version of an application||Can create basic apps in weeks, MVP and prototypes can be done in hours|
|Allows for endless customization||Customization is limited to available features on the platform|
|Easier to migrate||Difficult to migrate but easier to integrate with third-party tools|
|Offers top-of-the-line security||The level of security depends on the security compliance of the platform itself.|
|Software support takes a lot of time to implement updates and security patches.||Updates, bug fixes, and security patches are almost instant and constant.|
Which Should You Go With?
Even though low code is the most accessible way to develop software, custom software development has its moments when you need a highly sophisticated solution to meet the customer and business requirements.
In short: the use cases are entirely situational.
When Is Custom Software Development The Right Choice?
When you’re trying to create applications that are
- Rich in features
- Highly scalable
- Flexible to develop and use
- Offers one-of-a-kind solution
Then you should take a traditional approach with custom code for your software development.
When Is Low Code/ No Code Development The Right Choice?
Take the low-code approach when you’re building one of the following solutions:
- Back-office apps
- Business process automation tools
- Customer portals
- Employee portals
- Extending the functionality of existing legacy systems
- Operational dashboards
- Simple mobile apps and websites
To Wrap It All Up
While custom software development is a more specific approach to solutions, low code has become the next best thing to do everything that custom software development offers and more.
Impala Intech can be your perfect development partner for creating a world-class enterprise-level application if you want to create your software with low code development.
With its tailored design and ownership, custom software often provides better long-term maintenance and support options with manual coding for applying business logic and constant collaboration with business owners.
Low code development platforms may not be well-suited for high-performance computing needs, where custom software can be optimized for maximum performance.
Low code is often preferred for small-scale projects as it offers faster development and reduced costs, which are beneficial for limited-scale initiatives.
Custom software development typically involves higher upfront costs due to the extensive customization and development efforts required.
Custom software is often more suitable for long-term scalability and adaptability since it can be tailored precisely to evolving business needs.