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How to choose the right low-code software vendor

How do you usually search for the information, for example, “a suitable low-code vendor”? Surely, many just Google it. As a result, the search engine offers multiple links. At the very top, search ads eagerly offer you to follow their links. Then, in the results, appear articles, listings, reports describing different low-code platforms and the reasons for their usefulness and uniqueness.

Such an oversupply of information makes it difficult to get what you really need. That is why we decided to tell you which factors you should consider when choosing a low-code platform for your business.

If you need to learn more about the features of the low-code market and the benefits you can get, take a pause and study one of the articles in our low-code series

Now, let’s get down to the topic at hand.

Use low-code software reports to follow tech trends

One of the most valuable sources for following trends in the industry and studying low-code vendors, is the reports of analytical companies. Their analysts scrutinize low-code application development platforms and evaluate them according to a variety of criteria.

Magic Quadrant by Gartner

In our opinion, the best reports on low-code software development platforms were created by Gartner. 

On August 8, 2019, Gartner published an extensive report on low-code vendors “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms”. In this report, analysts rated 18 low-code providers.

Check out this report – it will help you to understand how well each platform fits your business. The “Magic Quadrant” is available here:

Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms

Gartner Critical Capabilities of 2019 

In addition to the Magic Quadrant report, Gartner, again in 2019, conducted a second study: “Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms”. This is an additional resource that can also help you a lot in choosing the right low-code vendor. 

In the report, Gartner analysts rated each low-code provider on a five-point scale (five is the highest score). At the same time, they took into account how well the platform solves different business needs. The “Critical Capabilities” report helps you to figure out which platforms are best suited for the various use cases. The report also contains comparison charts and a detailed description of low-code platforms’ differences.

The document can be downloaded here:

Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms

Low-Code Development Platforms report by Forrester 

One of the latest reports on low-code platforms in 2019 is a study from Forrester. The company’s analysts scrutinized 13low code software companies and rated them according to 28 criteria.

This report is a great help for any business in choosing the right vendor. You can download it here:

The Forrester Wave™: Low-Code Development Platforms For AD&D Pros, Q1 2019

Look at the reference about low-code software vendors

Another way to help you successfully find out the information you need about low-code vendors is Gartner Peer Insights. This is a platform on Gartner’s website, where experienced IT professionals and businessmen leave feedback on the use of any software product, including low-code software development platforms.

OutSystems review page on Gartner Peer Insights 

Gartner Peer Insights is a great tool that you should use to make a more informed decision about your low-code vendor.

Follow the link www.gartner.com/reviews/home and get the necessary information about the software. You can read more than 320,000 reviews of 5,900 products to help you make your decision.

Features to consider choosing a low-code platform

When you select a suitable platform, make sure that its providers afford a free trial version with access to all the product features. Try to work with this platform yourself.

During the trial period, there are several important aspects that you should pay close attention to when deciding whether this low-code vendor suits you or not.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Will your customers be happy with the interface of the application developed using this low-code platform?

The UX of your applications should be intuitive and convenient. Make sure the platform guarantees this for you.

Does the low-code platform provide the necessary configuration settings? Does the platform contain visual tools that let your employees manage applications on their own?

Suppose you like the interface of applications created on this low-code platform. But a beautiful interface isn’t the only thing needed for the application to work. You need to access the database, configure authentication and authorization, etc.

Check to what extent you will need to involve professional developers. If, on this low-code platform, every little feature requires the support of a specialist, think whether the game is worth the candle.

Does the low-code platform provide enough ready-made templates?

Be sure to check this out if your goal is to automate business processes. The fact is that ready-made templates and components significantly increase productivity, provide flexibility, and a comfortable development process.

 Does your application work well on mobile devices?

Make sure that your employees do not have to develop anything else in the application for it to work well on mobile devices.

Does the low-code platform provide the functionality your company needs?

Make a list of all the tasks that your employees perform. Your employees may, for example, process documents, fill out questionnaires, input data in an internal database, etc. Then the low-code business process management software must have form designers, electronic signatures, and other necessary functionality.

Does the platform provide training programs?

Your employees will learn how to develop applications on this platform. That’s why it’s vital that the platform provides training programs.

How well does technical support work?

It is very important that the low-code platform provides proper technical support. Read reviews about the platform. Here they often mention the quality of the platform’s support.

 Can the platform be deployed in the cloud?

Don’t doubt the security of cloud servers. Cloud providers invest far more in data security than any other organization. If the low-level platform supports cloud infrastructure, the application deployment process will be much faster. And it’s worth taking advantage of.

The importance of certified partners

There is one very essential point when choosing a low-code vendor. This is the availability of a large number of certified partners of the particular low-code platform that you’re choosing. We’ll explain why this is important.

The fact is that the software product life cycle usually lasts for years, and in the financial sector – decades. Within ten years of the life cycle, a software product needs to be designed, developed, integrated, and implemented. Then it is followed by a fairly long period of support and application updates. 

During this period, the software vendor can either leave the market or stop growing. This automatically reduces the number of specialists working with the provider’s platform.

For example, this happened with the COBOL programming language that was used in the legacy code of many banks. Now, it’s very difficult to find specialists who write in this language, and they are very expensive.

The more the low-code platform is in demand, the more certified partners and integrator companies work with it.The easier it is to find a replacement for tech experts. And the cost of development is lower because the market is saturated with specialists. 

Integrator companies that implement low-code solutions put a lot of effort into training their staff and strive to work with platforms that are in demand. This is a guarantee of the long economic success of the entire infrastructure: platform manufacturers, their consumers, and partners/integrators.

Conclusion

When choosing a low-code vendor, it’s important to:

  1. Pay attention to how it has proven itself and whether it has a developed network of partners and integrators.
  2. Follow trends in the industry and see what’s suggested about the years to come. Reports from Gartner and Forrester, which we talked about in this article, are irreplaceable help. 

Explore cutting-edge reports, review authoritative feedback and take advantage of the trial period to work with the platform on your own. When choosing a suitable low-code development platform, consider the needs of your business. A functionality that is ideal for one company may be useless in another. 

In the next article in our series, we tell more about 9 Critical Capabilities Of The Best Low-Code Development Platforms. Learn about the most popular features of low-code development platforms – and make the right decisions!


Sergei Artimenia

Director of Business Development

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