Businesses from across all industries are under increasing pressure to “go digital” in order to optimize internal workflows, amplify productivity, and address rising user expectations for digital experiences. According to Gartner, enterprises are on track to spend approximately $557 billion this year developing enterprise software, or a little bit more than the total annual GDP of Thailand.
When implementing enterprise software, organizations must choose between two separate strategies: building a custom solution or buying a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solution.
Custom builds allow organizations to address all their business requirements and differentiate their offerings in the marketplace. However, building custom software is typically complex, resource-intensive, and time-consuming.
On the other hand, adopting a COTS solution is simpler and more affordable, but they provide limited customizability. The COTS route often means missing business requirements or having to settle for clunky workarounds. Enterprises have often been forced into COTS, even though custom is in their best interest.
Enter a no-code application platform like Unqork, which streamlines the development of custom enterprise software. No-code offers a combination of low cost, ease of use, and extreme flexibility that empowers enterprises to build robust custom software without necessitating the resources of a traditional code-based approach.
In this guide, we will explore the ways in which no-code platforms ease the traditional friction points of custom enterprise development and upends traditional Build vs. Buy calculations.
Build custom solutions, faster with fewer resources
Between hiring specially trained engineers, integrating with legacy systems, and chipping away at a mountain of technical debt, building custom software gets very expensive, very quickly. While price ranges widely vary based on a plethora of variables (e.g., user requirements, feature set, complexity, size, etc.), an enterprise should expect to pay at least $100k for the initial build of a single custom application—though the prices can be far higher depending on the use case.
Building custom enterprise-wide applications also takes a lot of time, which adds to the expense and means a longer time before it can make an impact in the market—and the time frames are only expanding.
Throughout the digital age, software development has become more efficient… until 2010. Studies have found that around 2010, build times began increasing. Why the change? Today’s digital architectures are disparate, expansive, and built on decades of deeply ingrained legacy systems (some built using now-obsolete programming languages). Traditional code-based approaches—or even “low-code” based approaches—are no longer able to keep up with the increasing demands of the modern enterprise. Beyond the effects on initial builds, this complexity introduces challenges throughout the entirety of the software development life cycle (SDLC).
Developing custom software using a no-code application platform requires fewer development hours and specialized resources, thus lowering the cost of initial development and long-term SDLC management substantially. While enterprise software can take up to a year to go from ideation to production using a traditional code-based approach, no-code development cycles can be measured in weeks, months, or even days. In a world where 85% of custom software products go over schedule, this is a huge difference in productivity.
In a Forbes profile on Unqork’s CEO Gary Hoberman, Liberty Mutual’s CIO James McGlennon said Unqork has proven “a minimum of 3x faster and 3x less expensive”. How is this possible?
Unqork provides visual drag-and-drop components, templates, and pre-made workflows that sharply reduce the need for backend work compared to coding from scratch. This substantially reduces the time needed to build, test, QA, and modify custom products. The platform also makes it easy to seamlessly integrate new software with existing legacy systems and external third-party services.
Here is an overview of the key efficiency (and therefore cost-saving) drivers no-code offers:
- Accelerated development: no-code means faster development cycles, requiring the use of fewer developer hours. Enterprise applications like NYC’s and DC’s digital COVID-19 portals have even been created in days.
- Increased functionality: Unqork comes “out-of-the-box” with all the toolsets and elements necessary to build complex business solutions (e.g., front-end UX, workflow, rules engine, analytics, integrations, and maintenance). Since they’re all components of one unified platform, everything works together in instant harmony, allowing engineers to address business challenges instead of technical ones.
- Improved collaboration: feedback can be received and implemented more quickly for guiding iterations. While no-code necessitates fewer technology resources than code, it also opens the development process to more users, which allows organizations to save money without sacrificing quality.