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October 4, 2022

Part II: 8base Low Code - Productivity and Extensibility

Adam Bloom
In Part I, we started with an executive summary and covered the underlying economics, development process improvement, and financial outcomes of low-code platforms.
In Part II (this article), we will cover the top 10 benefits of low-code platforms and key challenges to achieving results.
In Part III, we will explain 8base’s unique, differentiating low-code value proposition and key capabilities.

Measuring Low-Code Productivity on the Back of a Napkin

People in our market often estimate outcomes by some version of “cost of developer months saved” because humans are typically the most expensive element and easiest part to measure. Of course, the amount of productivity can be measured in other ways, such as revenue increases. 

Regardless, the return is dependent on use cases, team culture, and more. Here are a few ways to look at it in simple terms, which provide directional, “back of the napkin” guidance:

         - 10% of effort saved for each step above could mean 20%+ savings of time and money. A 3-year payback can turn into a 1-year payback.

         - One frontend developer can achieve the productivity of three frontend devs and two backend devs, reducing staff cost by 80%. We’ve seen this again and again, one developer can deliver what five used to do in the same amount of time.

         - UI iterations can move 3X faster, which should mean much greater value delivered in terms of business metrics like customer lifetime value.

All together, this could be stated as 1) a 20% savings for all resources, 2) a 500% improvement in “return per developer,” and 3) a 300% better customer experience.

These outcomes lead to many more business benefits.

The Top 10 Low-Code Business Benefits

Low-code software makes many business and technical benefits clear.

We have seen these gains at companies of all sizes, across all industries, and in all geographic regions. Below is a consolidated list of the top business benefits, which our customers and partners (e.g. agencies or consultancies) achieve. 

While there is overlap based on the collaboration across business functions and IT, there is a separate list for the CIO, architect, developer, and UI designer.

1. Increase overall productivity and effectiveness across business and IT
2. Get software to market faster
3. Accelerate the pace of innovation
4. Increase UI/UX iterations and quality (e.g. fewer bugs, better adoption and use)
5. Gain a greater ROI and TCO on custom software investments
6. Use IT skill-sets, resource availability, and budgets more effectively
7. Be a more strategic and agile business
8. Improve on-time and on-budget delivery
9. Reduce overall tech-stack complexity and manual coding errors
10. Meet key technical requirements for a large portion of custom build architectures

As our customers and partners navigate the desired outcomes above, the most common and important question they ask is—where are the constraints? In other words, how do I avoid problems? Or, how do I know that I can deliver on my most important functional (and technical) requirements?

The Key Challenge with Low-Code Platforms? Constraints

Custom code is dead—long live custom code.

As with all software, buyers and users want to understand the limitations or constraints as they go through the evaluation and selection process. No one wants to be stuck in a situation where your app cannot address a critical business requirement. 

This presents a paradox. You want to build software without custom code, but then you want custom code when you need it.

A real-world example: You are planning a new customer portal, which connects thousands of external users to your internal sales, service, and billing apps. Instead of buying more CRM seats for external users, you decide to look into low-code applications as a more cost-effective approach. 

In this business scenario, a critical requirement is adding fields with validation logic—lots of them. This way, external users give you the data you need to take action and report on. 

As you review low-code alternatives to meet your needs, you see the following subcategories of capabilities.

         1. One low-code app promotes simplicity. This may mean you CANNOT add validation logic.

         2. Another promotes configurability. This MAY or MAY NOT allow for validation logic.

         3. A third promotes customization (adding code). With a place for code behind every field, you know YOU CAN write ANY validation logic. 

         4. A fourth is open source and allows you to change ANY code in ANY place.

         5. The fifth blends options—like a simple, open source CRM package. 

So, Which Low-Code Platform do you Pick? 

These decisions always have trade-offs. In each scenario above, there are choices to make between functionality, product costs, implementation costs, timelines, quality, complexity, and maintenance. 

8base delivers a blend—the best of these worlds.

Our approach combines simplicity, configurability, customization, and openness while surpassing a high bar for architect and developer requirements. You don’t have to give up key requirements because the tool has too many limits. You don’t have to be constrained.

Learning More

Read Part I: Underlying economics, development process improvement, & financial outcomes
Read Part III: 8base’s unique, differentiating low-code value proposition and key capabilities
Connect with our solution advisors (sales)
Sign up for 8base App Builder and contact us about our Lighthouse program for early adopters
Visit the homepage
Read the documentation
See what our customers have to say on G2
Photo by kris on Unsplash

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