What are the differences between No-Code and Low-Code system? Which system can better fulfil the needs of SMEs in Hong Kong?

Covid-19 has brought us into a new business environment where we meet lots of challenges and a new normal of remote working. Some enterprises prefer using cloud-based systems and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems to handle daily routine tasks which reduce human error and improve work efficiency.

In contrast to large companies with abundant capital resources and talents, how can SMEs digitalise their business with limited resources and allow their employees to work remotely to retain operational efficiency?

Over the past few years, the growing popularity of the No-Code Development Platform and Low-Code Development Platform has met the demands of SMEs for new system solutions. According to the consulting firm Gartner, approximately 70% of systems and applications will be developed with No-code and Low-code platform by 2025.

 

What is No-Code? How does it differ from Low-Code?

 

No-Code Development Platform refers to a platform that allows users to develop application-specific solutions without having to learn coding knowledge. Through the simple drag-and-drop feature, users can develop their own system to meet the needs of various departments. Yet, the Low-Code Development Platform requires little code entry as existing code needs to be transmitted to the new platform.

 

A comparison between traditional tailor-made, Low-Code & No-Code system

 

The table below summarizes the differences between the 3 solutions:

 

Traditional Tailor-made System

Low-Code Development Platform

No-Code Development Platform

Support Drag-and-drop Features

Requires A Programmer

Advantages

Develop system based on the business needs

Offers cloud-based 24/7 service, data visualization & API connections

Offers cloud-based 24/7 service & data visualization, no coding knowledge required

Disadvantages

High cost, lengthy development time, great complexity in making changes

Requires assistance of programmer, no ownership of the original code

Functions and API connections are highly dependent on supplier

Estimated Price

Approximately HKD$200,000-$500,000 (depending on the users' needs)

Approximately HKD$900-$9,000/ month (depending on the no. of users and functions)

Approximately HKD$250-$1,000/ month (depending on the no. of users and functions)

Charging Method

Instalment/ 

One-off payment

Subscription-based

Subscription-based

 

For traditional tailor-made systems, service providers might design more specific and complex functions to fulfil the needs of companies as they have more complicated work and approval processes. Thus, the traditional system is characterized by high cost, lengthy development time and great complexity in making changes.

 

Both Low-Code and No-Code development platform use cloud technology to provide 24/7 development services. They support the drag-and-drop function and visualization of data. However, a Low-Code development platform has a higher threshold that requires a programmer to develop the system or to add API connections. Furthermore, since the Low-Code development platform relies on suppliers to provide the program, there will be no backup of the original code for the company.

 

No-Code development platform has a relatively low threshold as it emphasizes flexibility and widespread usage, allowing users to develop their systems according to their needs. For limitations, the functions are highly dependent on the supplier's development, and it is even more important to check whether the supplier offers API connections for the system.

 

Conclusion

Consequently, SMEs can consider factors such as "system requirements", "company size", "system flexibility", "cost-effectiveness" and "human resources" to decide the most suitable solution that fits their business needs. Under the pandemic, No-Code and Low-Code platforms are relatively more able to quickly respond to the rapid changes in the market, such as "remote working" and "digital transformation".

 

Taking a company with 1-50 employees as an example, the YOOV No-Code Development Platform provides a variety of systems, including sales management, inventory management, customer relationship management, and project management. Users can add or modify functions in the form of Drag and Drop, and establish workflows, databases, and graphical data without programming knowledge, which can greatly help SMEs to improve working and management efficiency.