As the low-code market is set to boom in the years to come, consulting firms will have an increasingly important role in supporting their clients in their low-code-driven digital journeys. Luke Thomas, vice president of Asia Pacific at Appian, discusses how consultants can guide their clients through the vendor selection process.
According to recent market analysis, the estimated value of the global low-code development platform market is enjoying rapid growth. Valued at $12.8 billion in 2020, the market is expected to boom to $125.8 billion by 2027.
Many companies choose a low-code platform for the speed, agility, and security it offers for application development. However, customers will likely need assistance in choosing the right provider.
As with any growing market segment, there is a rapidly growing pool of low-code vendors, many with similar products and services. Evaluating each vendor’s strengths and weaknesses and helping technology leaders identify the best option can be confusing and time-consuming, and requires a focused approach.
So how can consultants accompany and support their customers in this process?
Look for independent research
The first step is to consult the experts. Trusted analysts like Forrester and Gartner provide unbiased assessments of the major low-code players, as does some tech news and media.
Hear directly from customers
First-hand testimonials are invaluable when assessing a vendor’s actual performance. Again, Gartner offers valuable insights in its low-code application platform Peer Insights, this time from real customers. Other review sites where customers can rate the performance of low-code providers are TrustRadius and G2.
Once your client has created a shortlist, the next step is to help them compare and contrast vendors to see how they stack up against each other. To do this effectively, you need to let vendors know about your business and learn about their offerings. You need to understand your processes, goals and unique challenges.
This can be accomplished by holding a half-day or full-day workshop with each vendor to walk them through the processes and key requirements.
See the platform in action
After the workshops have identified a suitable platform, there are several ways to move forward:
- Request a custom demo. Based on the results of the workshop, your onsite team would work with the vendor’s remote team to design and iteratively configure a small representative application to simulate the desired functionality and user experience.
- Conduct a proof of concept. The proof-of-concept is a more hands-on approach and requires the vendor’s team to work on-site with your development team on a project within a set time. This allows you to see the vendor’s platform in action as you build an application from start to finish.
- Conduct a proof-of-concept bake-off. This is the same as above, except you’re running proofs of concept with all eligible vendors at the same time. This provides accurate head-to-head comparisons of the characteristics that matter to you, such as: B. Design complexity, speed, functionality or user experience.
Regardless of which option you choose, make sure of the following:
- Do a technical deep dive with each vendor to better understand the platform architecture, technical capabilities, and the experience your developers can expect.
- Tour of the visual designer. Again, you’ll need some hands-on time to get a feel for what your designers would see as they work through the various design phases and iterations.
- Get a free trial or a free basic version of the platform. Your developers can then work with the platform outside of the demo or proof-of-concept environment to better evaluate it in a more realistic environment.
Helping your customers choose the most suitable low-code platform provider requires targeted research and gathering of relevant information. You’ll know you’re working with the right vendor when they can provide you and your customer with everything needed to get started and confidence that they can support the entire low-code journey.