8 Considerations With Low-code Platforms for Data-Driven DevOps

There are two major approaches to big data software development that both have their respective advantages.
devops options for data-driven software
Shutterstock Photo License - By Ashalatha

There are a lot of DevOp projects that rely heavily on big data. They are using AI and other forms of big data technology to create highly effective software applications.

More businesses are investing in big data software solutions, because they realize big data is incredibly important for the modern economy. They are starting to realize that big data is vital to creating a successful business model.

Given the insufficient development resources, any SMB needs to find a golden mean solution to stay on budget. Depending on their particular needs, either a ready-made out-of-the-box solution or low-code software can work. These options can both work when it comes to developing new software applications that rely on big data technology.

Comparison of low-code platforms and out-of-the-box solutions for data-driven DevOps processes

Low-code platforms are continuing to stay well on the way to the leading positions on the market. According to Forrester, by 2024, the share of low-code will grow from $7 billion to $14 billion.

Out-of-the-box (OOTB) solutions compared to low-code platforms

Let’s go through the key characteristics of low-code platforms and out-of-the-box solutions in comparison for companies that are developing big data software applications.

CriteriaOut-of-the-boxLow-code
Development skills
Time to production
Costs 
Functionality
Flexibility
Third-party integration
Security 
Support 

1. Development skills

Out-of-the-box solutions

You don’t have to be a mature software engineer or data scientist to install, configure, and launch an off-the-shelf solution (although these skills can certainly help). You don’t have to build anything from scratch or write pieces of code to bring your app to life. Basic tech understanding to make minor configurations if needed is enough. Ready-made solutions generally include the structure and design of your application, and the standard features. It allows you to use an out-of-the-box application right off the boat.

Low-code platforms

You need certain tech expertise to work in a low-code platform. Meanwhile, you don’t need any front-end development skills to build an app with low code. Most vendors offer a drag-and-drop technique to build an application UI. Thanks to it, you can create a web app UI, connect APIs & data to it in days or weeks instead of months. Basic JavaScript skills are enough to create more complex business logic and workflows. 

2. Time to production

Out-of-the-box solutions

When time is a crucial factor, an OOTB solution should be your main option to consider. It allows you to kick off with minor software configurations. There’s no need to spend your developers’ time on building custom components. But if you buy a complex out-of-the-box solution (e.g., Salesforce), you’ll need to dedicate quite a bit of time to train your employees how to work with it.

Low-code platforms

The app delivery time depends on how complex your app structure and business logic will be. Low-code app development takes a few hours, days, or weeks depending on your app complexity. You can cut this time by using a low-code tool like UI Bakery. It provides you with rich prebuilt features like ready-made widgets, UI components (tables, buttons, maps), data connectors, and more.

3. Costs

Out-of-the-box solutions

The price for out-of-the-box solutions doesn’t always seem to be extra high at first sight. However, it may rise afterwards. You’ll need to pay for upgrades, application support fees, additional custom features, customizations. You may eventually find a big hole in your budget made by all these unexpected extra costs. Also, it’s not always possible to customize an OOTB solution without its deep understanding. You’ll have to hire professional staff to add the necessary features. As a result, your out-of-the-box solution will cost a bundle – as if you’ve developed a custom web app.

Low-code platforms

The prices for low-code app development tools differ a lot. They range from tens to hundreds of dollars a month. Vendors base their pricing plans on the app complexity, the number of end-users, app editors, viewers, and more. A great advantage is that there are no extra fees like in the case with off-the-shelf applications. 

4. Functionality

Out-of-the-box solutions

They are not tailored for the needs of any particular business – out-of-the-box solutions are very general. They may lack industry-critical features you won’t be able to grow and scale without. They may also be jam-packed with a bunch of features your team would never use. And you will still have to pay for all the idle functionality.

Low-code platforms

You won’t bother about having any unnecessary features that won’t bring profit to you. With no overpaying, you can add the set of features you need depending on your app specificity.

5. Flexibility

Out-of-the-box solutions

Flexibility is not the strongest side of OOTB solutions. As already said, they come very generalized and with the strict customization limits. Out-of-the-box applications are a good choice if you need to automate general, not industry-specific tasks. And it’s not a good fit if you’re looking for a flexible and scalable solution you’d be able to extend with new features.

Low-code platforms

There are a lot of low-code platforms allowing you to fully adjust and customize your app UI and add the business logic to it. You can brand your app according to your corporate style guide, create custom and reusable UI components.

6. Third-party integration

Out-of-the-box solutions

It’s not easy to integrate OOTB applications with third-parties and legacy systems. You’ll most probably face strong limitations further if you decide to integrate any new components into your app.

Low-code platforms

Via most low-code development platforms you can connect your app to databases, 3rd-party apps, plugins, APIs, and other data sources. You need no specific knowledge for this, basic tech understanding is enough. Some low-code tool vendors also provide you with the how-to’s on third-party integration. It simplifies the integration process for non-tech people.

7. Security

Out-of-the-box solutions

In OOTB, you’re 100% dependent on the in-built security measures ensured by the vendor. You can’t add any protection on your own in case of insufficient prebuilt security level.

Low-code platforms

According to Forrester, you can ensure sufficient security in a low-code application. It’s only essential to protect all the third-party endpoints connected to your app. A lot of low-code platform vendors also offer self-hosting. It allows you to publish your app to a custom secure environment.

8. Support 

Out-of-the-box solutions

Out-of-the-box giants (Salesforce, HubSpot) try to provide their users with high-level support. You can get the needed help from live chats, email support, videos, written tutorials, documentation.

Low-code platforms

Low-code tool vendors offer thorough step-by-step how-to guides, interactive videos, and documentation. Most of them also have 24/7 available customer support teams. Committed low-code tool providers run communities where you can share the issues you’re facing and find the answers to them. 

Buy or build your big data software solution?

Are you trying to develop a big data software solution for your business? Your approach is going to depend exactly on your needs. Need a standardized, limited, not scalable solution that doesn’t require any configuration? An out-of-the-box application is enough for your needs in this case. If you’re looking for a more flexible, integration-friendly, and cost-effective solution, try low-code. Thus, you won’t find yourself later adjusting your processes to meet the requirements of an out-of-the-box solution that is not a 100% fit for you.

Matt Bertram
MATT BERTRAM, C.P.C., is the Co-Host of the most popular SEO podcast on iTunes. He is the Lead Digital Marketing Strategist and CEO at eWebResults, a top internet marketing agency since 1999 focused on driving traffic though multi-channel marketing built on Organic SEO as the backbone.