Low-Code: The Ultimate Guide

By 2024, Gartner predicts that low-code development will account for more than 65 per cent of application development activities.

of big organizations will use at least four low-code development tools for both IT app development and citizen development initiatives.

With a 31% CAGR, the global low-code development market will generate $187 billion by 2030. 


1Why is low-code adoption growing?

To meet increased demand

Business’ need for increased productivity is greater than ever. Teams across organizations are looking for solutions that streamline operations and enable more efficient ways of working. This is driving an increase in demand for enterprise applications, but budget and resource constraints mean that organizations are required to do more with less making low-code development platforms an attractive option to both business and IT.

To unite business and IT

The visual interface of a low-code platform allows business users to collaborate with IT in fusion teams to build applications. Feedback loops and revision tracking enable feedback in real-time to make sure that the final solution meets their specific requirements.

To boost agility

Businesses need to be able to respond quickly to changes in the market and moves from their competitors. The reduced time to market and quick release of changes facilitated by a low-code development platform enable this agility so they can keep up.

2What is low-code?

Low-code is a development practice of creating software applications using visual interfaces and configuration instead of traditional programming enabling developers to design and build applications quickly and efficiently.

Components of low-code development


The different people involved for any given app, where different users might need to see different information or have access to take different actions.


This is the workflow of how an operation needs to be executed across teams, with various decision gates or approvals happening along the way.

Business Rules

These are the everyday rules and logic that define how decisions are made in the business such as the approval of a loan.


Here you define the information inputs within an app, for example collecting information when onboarding a new customer or when a customer applies for a new product.

Data objects

These are the elements of data that are involved in the app, which could be customer information, product information and order information for example.


By integrating applications you can control the way data moves between different systems and link up your low-code application with the other technologies.

Application Deployment

Once an app is designed, an important part of low-code development is the deployment of the application. These days, most applications will be deployed in the cloud rather than on premise, and some apps can be deployed natively in the cloud.

An increase in demand for software solutions and a lack of skilled developers has accelerated the adoption of low-code over traditional software development. Gartner predicts that "By 2026, developers outside formal IT departments will account for at least 80% of the user base for low-code development tools."

3What is a low-code platform?

A low-code platform is a development environment made up of ready-built components in a drag-and-drop interface. Low-code platforms eliminate the need for lines of code and allow professional developers and citizen developers (business users with little development experience) to develop applications by configuring the available components in the way that best meets their requirements.

4Types of low-code development

Process Automation

Using low-code development to automate business processes is also called Low-Code Process Automation. This enables organizations to build apps that control the way a business process is executed, creating an audit trail and enabling the automation of certain steps.

Apps and Websites

Low-code development is often used to create consumer apps and websites. Templates and drag-and-drop interfaces enable the accelerated creation of apps and websites with a modern UI that are mobile optimized by workspace.

Business Applications

Organizations use low-code to create modern apps that employees can use to perform their day-to-day tasks rather than using manual steps such as email, spreadsheets and accessing legacy systems. Modern business applications can integrate these functionalities making it much easier for employees to get work done.

5Why adopt a low-code strategy?

Increased productivity

Empowering business users to develop applications with support from IT rather than solely relying on them boosts their productivity as solutions are deployed faster. IT’s productivity is also boosted as reducing the number of applications they need to manage by building applications that can be used for multiple purposes across teams and processes allows them to reduce backlog and focus on their most important projects.

Ease of use

The drag-and-drop functionality of a low-code development platform makes it easy to learn and use for users with minimal or no technical knowledge.

Improved agility

The visual interface of a low-code platform allows organizations to develop and update applications quickly in response to developments in the market and changing customer needs.

Speed of deployment

Low-code application development allows professional developers to build applications faster, plus the visual interface of a low-code platform often enables business users to create applications that meet business needs without having to wait for help from a developer.

Ensure best practice

By using low-code technology to tackle the backlog of requests and enabling business users with the apps they need, IT leaders can reduce shadow IT and ensure that applications used across the organization meet security requirements.

Reduced technical debt

The reusable components within a low-code platform ensure the quality of the final applications and mitigate the need for rework which takes up valuable IT resource and comes at a cost to the business.

Reduced costs

Faster development means lower costs and as low-code platforms allow users without coding experience to build applications, business users can create applications that meet business needs without having to need to hire developers with specialist coding skills.

6Low-code development goals

Legacy modernization

Gartner states that organizations have three options when it comes to modernizing legacy systems - rearchitecting, rebuilding or replacing. A low-code development platform can support all three:

  • Rearchitecting: This approach involves modifying the code within an existing system to fit new business architectures. For example, systems that were initially added as on-premise, but allow you to add new code to expose some of their services in the cloud and fit cloud architectures.
  • Rebuilding: Depending on the timescale and resource availability and future requirements of the technology, some teams may choose to start from scratch and build completely new applications to replace the legacy technology.
  • Replacing: Some systems are so outdated that rebuilding or rearchitecting is a- expensive option. In such cases it is better to replace the whole system. The objective here is to find new systems that comply with modern architecture, meet existing requirements and have the flexibility to meet future ones.

Process automation

Teams across the business will be keen to embrace process automation and the benefits it brings to their operations (a reduction in manual tasks, increased efficiency and greater accuracy etc.). Automating processes in a low-code platform allows you to manage automated processes and workflows across the organization from end-to-end in a single platform and provides you with the flexibility to adapt and scale them as business needs change.

7Low-code examples across industries


Customer service

From onboarding to complaints, low-code apps enable service agents to connect with customers, request information and resolve cases faster. South African bank Old Mutual have seen a 15% increase in their Net Promotor Score by providing a more consistent customer experience across all channels.


Low-code makes it possible to connect and orchestrate systems and gain greater visibility of your processes and their execution. Leading Latin American bank Bancolombia use low-code technology to automate their annual audits required for SOX compliance.

Back office

Automating typically paper-based back office tasks such as payments, transfers, approvals and exceptions can lower costs, mitigate errors, speed up service and maintain compliance.


Vendor management

Low-code apps can speed up selection and onboarding and collate and present information on vendor performance. adidas created an automated workflow and centralized supplier data to reduce vendor onboarding time by 50%.


Create rules to define quality standards and get real-time reporting on quality metrics.

Logistics and distribution

Orchestrate data from internal and external systems to track inventory and order status. Unilever adopted a low-code platform to manage large data sets and ensure the accuracy of customer shipping information.


Sourcing and procurement

Compile supplier information in a centralized repository and notify stakeholders when actions are required to speed up decision-making.

Inventory management

Connect data sources to get real-time visibility into stock levels across sales channels in a single interface.

Customer service

View customer and order information to handle queries efficiently. After integrating systems to centralize processes and provide customer service agents with relevant customer information at speed, Bunzl is able to resolve customer calls 33% faster.

8How does low-code support citizen development?

Low-code development platforms make it possible for business users that have deep knowledge of business processes to build applications that meet the requirements of those that will be using them. Business users can focus on the business logic and functionality they want to achieve, rather than getting bogged down in the complexities of coding. With low-code, citizen developers can build and customize workflows, forms, and integrations, and automate repetitive tasks.

Typically, business users would have to communicate their needs to IT and would often end up going back and forth developing a suitable solution. Low-code technology doesn’t mitigate the need for IT involvement as they are required to provide guidance on security and more complex aspects of the build such as integrations. But it does gives business users the power to move the process along at a faster pace than if they were waiting for an overstretched IT team to clear their backlog and take on full responsibility for the project. IT teams are increasingly adopting low-code platforms and enabling citizen developers so that business units can take the lead in transforming their operations.

9Low-code challenges

Limited customization

Some low-code development platforms restrict developers’ ability to build the custom applications required to meet more sophisticated business needs. Therefore, it is important when selecting a vendor to determine how flexible the platform is to add custom code to enhance the application’s capabilities.

Lack of governance

Low-code development can lead to shadow IT and users building applications without IT input. Governing citizen developers and keeping tabs on what applications are being built and used across the organization is vital for IT to ensure each is supported and updated to remain fit for purpose.

Security risk

Without proper governance, business users building applications on the low-code platform can end up creating solutions that pose a security threat to the organization as these non-technical employees are not always aware of necessary security and compliance measures required.

10Low-code platform features

Visual modeling

The drag-and-drop interface of a low-code platform removes the need to write lines of code allowing professional and citizen developers to build applications faster. Low-code development platforms are often ‘model driven’ meaning that they use a process model as the core element driving the functionality of the application. This enables business users to define the requirements of an application by the business process it needs to enable.


With low-code platforms often using process models as a foundational element, they are commonly used to create applications that automate end-to-end processes such as a loan application, an insurance claim or onboarding a new supplier. These applications orchestrate the whole operation by providing interfaces for employees and customers to interact with, whilst also integrating data across the systems in the background and applying automated business rules.

Reusable components

Pre-built components enable developers to reduce the amount of code they need to write, and focus on building custom functionality that is unique to the application they are developing. Additionally, these components can improve the consistency of the applications being built, ensuring that all apps built within an organization follow the same design and functionality standards.

Integration capabilities

Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is key to business performance, a low-code platform enables you to orchestrate people, systems, bots and data to provide easy access to business information using robust integration capabilities that allow you to connect with various systems, services, and APIs.

Cross-functional collaboration

Low-code development platforms promote collaboration and enable your employees to work in fusion teams. Platforms with the ability to switch from no-code, low-code, and expert modes according to level of customization needed and user expertise makes continuous collaboration throughout the development cycle easy.

Cross-device functionality

For applications to deliver real business value, you need them to be accessible to your employees and customers wherever they are. A low-code platform will allow you to build applications that are available on any device by default.

11Choosing a low-code platform

Identify use cases

Gathering information from teams across the business about the issues they currently face and what type of solutions could help address them will help inform what is required of the low-code development platform you adopt.

Determine resource availability

Understanding who will be responsible for building and managing applications and their level of technical expertise are crucial questions when it comes to deciding on your platform.

Integration needs

Determining what other systems you will need to integrate with the platform and the technical skills of those responsible for setting up and managing the integrations is important as if the platform you choose doesn’t allow for this, you won’t benefit from the end-to-end orchestration within your applications.


A low-code platform should be flexible enough to enable organizations to be agile and easily adapt to fluctuations in resources, growth, and demands across the business.

Enabling organizations to create apps that might be used by a small group of stakeholders or by the entire company. In an enterprise this means delivering high-performance applications that can be used across the globe and for processes with huge volumes of information and actions.


Protecting business and customer information is key for compliance with regulations and brand reputation. User authentication, role-based access control, data encryption, and other security measures prevent unauthorized access to data.

Cross-device functionality

Choosing a platform that enables you to build one application that will work across any device your end users will access it from will ensure consistent user experiences and no development time wasted on having to tweak or completely rebuild the solution to make it fit for purpose.


Low-code platforms should enable reporting either natively or through the use of 3rd party reporting tools such as Tableau or PowerBI. This enables organizations to gain insight into the way the business works and how to improve efficiency or the customer experience.


Offering tools that enable greater intelligence in the business such as approvals that follow complex logic for automated approval and integrating AI and Machine learning technologies to enable even smarter business decisions.


Leading platforms for low-code development provide the ability to create applications in multiple languages and for users in different countries to engage with apps in the language of their choice.

12Low-code development best practices

Get to grips with platform capabilities and limitations

Consult with your end users to map out the problem you're trying to solve as their in-depth knowledge of business processes and the current issues they face when executing them will ensure that you are building an application that fits their needs.

Consult end-users

Hold regular check-ins with stakeholders throughout the development process to test the usability and functionality of the solution created ensure that the application is meeting the requirements set out at the start of the development process.

Embrace composability

Having a library of reusable components such as processes, reports, personas, forms and business rules that can be used in multiple applications available to developers cuts development time and costs while also ensuring quality and consistency.

Test regularly

Test your application early and often to catch any bugs or issues before they become major problems that require a big time investment to fix.

Assess any future needs

Creating a solution that will stand the test of time is one of the most important things to consider when investing time and money in building a new application. Investigating the goals and objectives of the business and how the solution can align with these will put you in good stead for future-proofing your efforts.

13What’s the difference between low-code and no-code?

The primary difference between low-code and no-code development is that low-code development uses some script in the development process whereas no-code requires absolutely no coding.

The ability to include some code in low-code development enables greater customization and makes this approach suited for more complex applications. No-code however, tends to be limited to more simple applications. Which approach you take is completely dependent on your resource and specific business needs.

14Bizagi’s low-code platform

The Bizagi platform enables you to build process-driven enterprise applications that deliver value fast, enabling organizations to keep up with increasing demand by improving collaboration and empoweringnabling citizen developers.

7 steps to build an app

Get guidance at each step of the application development process from modeling to execution.

Wizard and Expert views

Switch back and forth between views to accommodate different skill levels and customization requirements.

Reusable components

Repurpose forms, data models and business rules to speed up development.


Integrate people, systems, bots and data to provide easy access to business information.

Build once - run anywhere

Create applications that provide consistent user experiences across devices.

Cloud deployment

Deploy to a cloud-native environment in a few simple steps with no code.

15Low-code application development with Bizagi Apps

Bizagi Apps is the easiest way to create robust enterprise apps with built-in governance. Users are able to build applications with reusable elements that provide both operational standardization and a composable architecture to shorten the development cycle and deliver solutions faster.



Bizagi Apps


Bizagi Apps is the easiest way to create robust enterprise apps with built-in governance.


16What does the future hold for low-code?

Low-code development has seen significant growth in popularity in recent years and there are no signs of this slowing down. As businesses continue to look for ways to meet increasing demand for enterprise applications while dealing with the shortage of skilled developers and a competitive recruitment market low-code adoption will continue to grow. It is predicted that this development approach will be the most popular accounting for the majority of the market.


Although low-code can be leveraged to reduce time and effort spent on writing simple script, this development approach will not completely replace traditional development as there are more complex functionalities that require custom coding from a professional developer.

Many low-code development platforms have security and governance measures built in allowing IT to set and manage access rights, automation and data.

Low-code development can be used by professional developers to streamline the development process by taking advantage of creating and sharing components that can be reused to build different applications. It is also a tool for citizen developers across the organization to use these components to create their own solutions without relying on IT.

  • Operations improvement apps
  • Employee engagement apps
  • Legacy modernization apps
  • Field apps

Apps built using a low-code development platform are mobile friendly from the outset as the platform is designed to create solutions that deliver consistent user experiences across devices.