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Key tips for choosing a low-code work OS

coding
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Elle Aon)

As enterprise software adoption has surged recently, an interesting trend has emerged: low-code software is often added to a no-code product after several years. Just look at AWS Honeycode or Microsoft PowerApps; after the user base for no-code software (like the Microsoft Office Suite) reaches a critical mass— and as users seek more complex applications that require some more coding — more options are layered on to an existing product. 

This evolution has brought new challenges, considerations, and opportunities for IT decision-makers as the market is expected to grow by 10% this year to $5.8 billion. While many processes that bogged down traditional office workers began to be automated, enterprise software often presents unique challenges, including clunky design and products that don’t integrate with other pieces of the workflow ecosystem. 

There’s also a significant knowledge and skills gap in transitioning a workforce to a low-code/no-code platform. Understanding your company’s needs and skills, what kinds of products or apps are necessary, and integrating a seamless transition are key to successfully adopting a low-code platform. 

About the author

Daniel Lereya is VP of R&D at Monday.com

As a VP of R&D, I run and oversee the development of low-code/no-code features every day. In my experience, the best way to help your organization adopt low-code apps is facilitated by developers building agile infrastructures to help teams utilize low-code apps.

This is what IT decision-makers and managers should be looking for when adopting a new workflow or software platform that empowers its employees the autonomy to build software with minimal coding experience.

Cross-device functionality

Users expect an end-to-end experience where the low-code platform is available across devices and screens. Especially for distributed teams, who may be toggling between a laptop, monitor, smartphone, and tablet, seeing updates and continuous development while on the go is critical.

The product should also connect across your application ecosystem, integrating with all tools and pulling as much data as possible to streamline your work. Even if users can’t develop apps on an iPhone, look for functionality that allows managers to check analytics or data while on the go.

Compliance

Think about what you need to build and how to keep the data secure. Is the platform you’re looking at equipped with extra protection? If your company is international, or your customers span a variety of national or international compliance requirements, are the platforms you’re considering compliant with GDPR, CCPA, etc.?

Low-code software has made everyone a builder, but that also means that users aren’t coders and may not be aware of regulations and guidelines they should be following. Choose a platform that is automatically compliant with local policies, even if you have a distributed workforce.

Change management

Sometimes teams will transition to new departments and workflows and structures will evolve, or responsibilities and job functions will change. It’s in these times that your process can shine if managed correctly from the start.

Make sure to document progress, apps made, and processes. Non-technical users are far more likely to document their work, but low-code (and no-code) apps still need documentation – especially when responsibilities are passed off to people with lesser technical skills.

Storage and servers

Better storage will make your applications scale better. Consider platforms that host code on their own servers, so you don’t need to back it up yourself. If the platform is hosting and running your code, there’s no need to worry about traditional dev-ops concerns.

This also means that the apps you develop will be easier to share with others since the code is hosted on the platform’s own server.

Data and analytics

Having a good system for measuring usage is critical to understanding which features or elements of the software are easy to use and where there is room for improvement.

At my company, we recently reached a milestone of over one billion actions saved for customers through the no-code building blocks in our Work OS. Through various automations and integrations, users eliminate repetitive and manual tasks that hinder efficiency like gathering data, sending emails, moving items, notifying teams, and more. If you automate processes with a low-code platform, you can source accurate data and create flexible solutions at scale.

Work smarter

Collaboration between developers and users is critical. Let’s say your marketing team wants to track social shares from a campaign and automate the process. When social platforms update their apps to offer new features for engagement, the low-code app that tracks this measurement will also evolve.

Getting started on a low-code platform and transitioning your team will take some time to figure out. Make sure you understand your needs and the needs of your colleagues and teams, and you’ll find it was easier than you thought. By adopting low-code/no-code software that provides speed and agility, you can empower the problem solvers in your company to become builders - regardless of what technical skills they have.