Is Custom Software Still A Thing In The Age Of No-Code?

It’s not about the best approach, it’s about the right approach.
January 4, 2021

Looking back at the last 5 years, it’s amazing how no-code/low-code platforms were able to democratize app development. It reached a point in which almost anyone with an idea can start a tech business with little to no development skills involved.

The market of no-code is in continuous growth, which raises new questions.

Where do custom solutions fit in this entire scheme? If development automation is becoming a standard, is bespoke development still worth it? Will no-code always be the solution?

There’s no right or wrong.

It all comes down to business needs. You must understand the underlying aspects of the product you’re building.

We’ll put the entire context in simpler terms.

Let’s switch over to fashion couture and use suits for comparison.

Bear with me for a second…

There are 3 types of suits you can have. First is the off-the-rack type, second implies made-to-measure (done-for-you) and third, tailored (bespoke).

The majority of us buys the first two kinds and in most cases, it’s a good fit. It does the job. It’s also very common to need to alter for a good result.

Of course, there are those who buy into the third kind — tailored suits — and you can immediately spot the differences. Tailored suits cost a lot more than off-the-rack suits, but offer you a one of a kind experience. You’ll get a unique suit that will fit you like a glove, with high-quality materials that can last you a lifetime.

With that in mind, let’s get back to our subject.

It’s safe to assume off-the-rack and done-for-you are those prebuilt themes, templates and plugins available on the markets.

These usually come at a fractional cost of a custom solution.

Now you ask…

“Is No-code for me?”

There are successful businesses out there that were built only on no-code or low-code platforms.

Today’s tools are amazing for what they’re able to provide. Most of them are very intuitive and easy to learn. They offer tons of predefined themes, templates and plugins.

You can build almost anything you can think of.

On top of that, they are affordable and reliable, offering a secure and performant environment for your business product.

You can consider this type of solution if you’re looking for a fast time to market (under 3 months) with a limited budget.

This approach is best for building simple apps and products, especially if it doesn’t require complex data handling.

It’s best used to build Minimum Viable Products for startups that have limited funds or resources.

There is some risk, though, that come with this approach:

  • It can get expensive in the long run, if third-party integrations are required.
  • Some tools can have a steep learning curve, for non-techies.
  • By using too many prebuilt templates and components, there is a limited customization level, making it difficult to stand out. You’ll almost feel and look the same as others.
  • There’s always the risk of the no-code vendor exiting the market, which can be very bad for your business.

So you have to be careful.

“Then why custom-tailored or bespoke software?”

Every start-up is unique and it should offer the best value and experience to its customers.

The product you offer should reflect your brand’s personality — its archetype. It should stand out from the crowd with its uniqueness.

Usually, if your product requires a high level of customization or high demand of third-party integrations, then off-the-rack solutions are not the answer.

A custom solution for your product or start-up will best fit your business needs. This guarantees uniqueness and complexity, like a tailored suit will fit you like a glove.

A dedicated team of professionals is working on your idea in an agile approach by iterating versions of your product. They ensure cohesion between all the systems and components, like your very own tailor, does his best to give you the best suit.

The average time for custom MVP development is around 6 months, depending on the resources and the complexity of the project.

It will have a higher initial cost, but these solutions are built to be future-proof, saving money in the long-run.‍

“So which one is for me?”

In regards to the suits…it depends on the occasion. Do you see yourself in a custom-tailored one?

You need to understand what you’re trying to build. Understand the significance of each approach individually.

You can mix things up and start with a no-code approach, build an MVP to validate your market and product and switch over to a custom solution later. It depends on your resources.

You can stay on no-code platforms if your product does not require significant customization. Like I said before, a lot of successful businesses were built by using only these types of platforms.

But if what you’re trying to build requires great customization, then off-the-rack is not for you. At least, not in the long run.

We can help you identify what’s best for your idea and come up with the best choice for your business needs.

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