How consultants can help clients select their low code platform

06 March 2022 4 min. read
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With the low code market set for a boom in the coming years, consulting firms are being handed an increasingly important role in supporting their clients through their low code-driven digital journeys. Luke Thomas, Asia Pacific Vice President at Appian, outlines how consultants can guide their clients through the vendor selection process.

According to recent market analysis, the estimated value of the global market for low code development platforms is enjoying rapid growth. Valued at $12.8 billion in 2020, the market is projected to boom to $125.8 billion by 2027.

Many businesses choose a low-code platform for the speed, agility, and security it brings to application development; however, clients will likely require assistance when it comes to choosing the right vendor.

Luke Thomas, Asia Pacific Vice President, Appian

As with any growing market segment, there is a rapidly expanding pool of low code providers, 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 targeted approach.

So how can consultants guide and support their clients during this process?

Seek out independent research

The first step is to consult the experts. Trusted analyst firms, such as Forrester and Gartner, offer unbiased assessments of the major low-code players, as do some tech news and media outlets.

Hear directly from customers

First-hand testimonials are invaluable when it comes to gauging a vendor’s real-world performance. Here again, Gartner offers valuable insights, this time from actual customers, in its low code application platform Peer Insights. Other review sites where customers can weigh in on low code vendors’ performance include TrustRadius and G2.

Conduct workshops

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 one another. To do this effectively, you must educate vendors about your operations as well as learn about their offerings. They need to understand your processes, goals, and unique challenges.

This can be achieved by holding a half-day or full-day workshop with each vendor to walk them through the operations and key requirements.

Experience the platform in action

Once the workshops have identified a suitable platform, there are several ways to move forward:

  • Request a custom demo. Based on the workshop findings, your on-site 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. A more hands-on approach, the proof of concept requires the vendor’s team to work on a project on-site with your development team within a set amount of time. This allows you to experience the vendor’s platform in action as you create an application from start to finish.
  • Run a proof-of-concept bake-off. This is the same as above, except you run proofs of concept simultaneously with all vendors under consideration. This provides accurate side-by-side comparisons of the characteristics that are important to you, such as design complexity, speed, functionality, or user experience.

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure you:

  • Take a technical deep dive with each vendor to better understand the platform architecture and technical capabilities and assess the experience your developers can expect.
  • Tour the visual designer. Again, you’ll want 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 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 real-life setting.

Helping your clients to select the most suitable low-code platform vendor requires targeted research and the sourcing of relevant information. You will know you are partnering with the right vendor when they can provide you and your client with all that is needed to getting started and the confidence that they can support the entire low-code journey.