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No-code platform vs coding from scratch: how to make the right decision for your next digital transformation project

No-code platform vs coding from scratch | EasySend blog
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6 minutes

When your organization is embarking on a digital transformation project, you have three primary options: code from scratch using an internal IT department, use a no-code platform, or purchase an off-the-shelf software application. Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks that should be considered when making a decision.

Coding from scratch offers the advantage of complete control over the digital transformation project, but it is also the most expensive and time-consuming option.

No-code platforms are cheaper and faster than coding from scratch, but they may not be suitable for all types of digital transformation projects.

Off-the-shelf software applications are the quickest and most affordable option, but they can be inflexible and may not fit the specific needs of the organization.

Let's take a closer look at each of these options to help you decide which is the best for your digital transformation project.

Coding from scratch

Advantages:

- complete control over the digital transformation project

- can be customized to fit the specific needs of the organization

Drawbacks:

- expensive

- time-consuming

There are some situations where it makes sense for an organization to rely on their internal IT department to build digital applications. These include:

  1. When the digital transformation project is particularly complex: If the digital transformation project is complex, it may make more sense to rely on an internal IT department than a no-code platform. This is because internal IT departments have the necessary technical skills to build digital applications that are robust and error-free.
  2. When the digital transformation project is mission-critical: If the digital transformation project is mission-critical, it may make more sense to rely on internal IT than a no-code platform. This is because internal IT departments can often provide more reliable results than no-code platforms.
  3. When no reliable no-code platform is available for your use-case: Not all no-code platforms are created equal. If there is no reliable no-code platform available for your specific use-case, then it may make more sense to rely on internal IT.
  4. When you want to retain control of the digital transformation project: In some cases, organizations may want to retain control of their digital transformation projects. This might be due to compliance regulations or a desire to have a single point of accountability. In these cases, it may make more sense to rely on internal IT than a no-code platform.

No-code vs IT team | EasySend blog

No-code platforms

No-code platforms are a new breed of software that allow business users to create digital applications without any coding. This means that anyone, regardless of their technical skills, can build digital applications by dragging and dropping pre-built blocks of functionality.

Why would an organization use a no-code/low-code platform?

Advantages:

- less expensive than coding from scratch

- faster than coding from scratch

Drawbacks:

- may not be suitable for all types of digital transformation projects

There are several reasons why an organization might opt for a no-code platform instead of relying on their internal IT department:

  1. Speed and agility: No-code platforms allow digital transformations to be completed much faster than if traditional coding methods were used. This is because business users can build digital applications without having to wait for IT to write the code.
  2. Cost: Using a no-code platform is often much cheaper than relying on an internal IT department. This is because no-code platforms don’t require the same level of technical expertise, meaning that fewer people are needed to build digital applications.
  3. Scalability: No-code platforms are very scalable, meaning that they can be used to build digital applications of any size. This is because no-code platforms are designed to be used by business users, not IT departments.
  4. Flexibility: No-code platforms offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to digital transformation projects. This is because business users can easily adjust the digital applications they build to changing business requirements.
  5. Risk reduction: Relying on an internal IT department to build digital applications can be risky. This is because IT departments often have a lot of other responsibilities, which can mean that digital transformation projects take a back seat. By using a no-code platform, organizations can reduce the risk of digital transformation projects by ensuring that they are completed on time and within budget.
  6. Security: Offloading security to a vendor  can be a risky proposition. This is because not all vendors have the same level of security expertise. By using a no-code platform that has high standards of security, organizations can reduce the risk of their digital transformation projects being compromised by cyberattacks.
  7. Taking advantage of UX expertise: because  no-code platforms are designed to be used by business users, they often come with pre-built blocks of functionality that make it easy to create digital applications that look and feel great. This can be a huge advantage for organizations that want to take advantage of user experience (UX) expertise during their digital transformation project.
  8. Customization: Some digital transformation projects may require custom coding in order to be completed. In these cases, it may make more sense to rely on internal IT than a no-code platform. But for many projects, organizations require limited customization in order to get the digital application they need. In these cases, a no-code platform can be a great option, as long as it is offering white-label options to allow for some level of customization.

Off the shelf-software

Advantages:

- quick and easy to set up

- often comes with pre-built templates and samples

Drawbacks:

- inflexible

- suitable only for very specific digital transformation projects

Off the shelf software is a type of software that is designed for general use. It only covers a very specific use case and is the least flexible option. Off the shelf software is typically suitable for digital transformation projects that have a very particular purpose. Examples of off the shelf software include:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software: CRM software is designed to help organizations manage their customer relationships. It is a common tool for digital transformation projects that involve the digitization of processes such as sales and marketing.
  2. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software: ERP software is designed to help organizations manage their business operations. It is a common tool for digital transformation projects that involve the digitization of processes such as accounting and finance.
  3. Content Management Systems (CMS): A CMS is a software system that is used to manage the creation and publication of digital content. It is a common tool for digital transformation projects that involve the digitization of processes such as website development.
  4. Human Resources (HR) software: HR software is designed to help organizations manage their employee records. It is a common tool for digital transformation projects that involve the digitization of processes such as payroll and benefits administration.

In most cases, it doesn’t  make sense to build a solution for which a suitable off-the shelf software already exists.

No-code vs internal IT: how to decide?

No-code platforms offer a number of benefits over traditional coding methods, including speed, cost, scalability, flexibility and risk reduction. However, there are some situations where it makes sense to rely on an internal IT department. Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a no-code platform or internal IT should be based on the specific needs of the organization.

When making the decision between a code vs no-code platform for your digital transformation project, it's important to consider all of the benefits and drawbacks

The best way to decide whether to use an internal IT department or a no-code platform for your digital transformation project is to consider the specific needs of your organization. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How complex is the digital transformation project?
  2. Is the digital transformation project mission-critical?
  3. Is there a reliable no-code platform available for my specific use-case?
  4. Do I want to retain control of the digital transformation project?

Answering these questions will help you to decide whether to use an internal IT department or a no-code platform for your digital transformation project.

Some digital transformation projects, for example, transforming repetitive paperwork into user-friendly digital journeys is the perfect project to tackle with a no-code solution. Other digital transformation projects, for example, those that require significant data analysis or need to interface with many different legacy systems, may be better suited for an internal IT department because they are more complex and mission-critical. Complex undertakings such as developing a new line of business-critical software, are more suited to using an internal IT department.

In the end, the decision of whether to use a no-code platform or internal IT should be based on the specific needs of the organization and the specific use-case in question.

Vera Smirnoff
Vera Smirnoff

Vera Smirnoff is the demand generation manager at EasySend. She covers digital transformation in insurance and banking and the latest trends in InsurTech and digital customer experience.