What IT Leaders Should Look for in a Low-Code Platform


Every business today runs on software, but for many, it’s one-size-fits-all. Businesses are unique, and so are their software needs. So how can you make your software really work for you and deliver differentiated value? This article explores the answer to that question.

How Businesses Adopt Software: The Three Paths

There are three typical paths to software, and each has its pros and cons.


Designed to serve the broadest number of customers, prebuilt or subscription software can provide quick point solutions for general business processes. However, it isn't designed to be highly customizable or to provide differentiation for your business. When IT or dev teams do customize the software, the results are often difficult to maintain and evolve.

Traditional Development

Businesses can really differentiate when they build their own software. However, software can be highly complex and costly to develop, requiring a significant pool of talent that can be challenging to hire. Although powerful, traditional development is neither fast nor agile when it comes to responding to rapid changes in business needs.

No-Code/Low-Code Development Platforms

Many no-code and low-code platforms have stepped up to solve the issues of speed and agility. But to do so, some have limited CI/CD and DevOps capabilities, making it difficult to produce powerful and strategic enterprise-grade applications. Low-code can be good for tactical or workgroup apps, but not all low-code platforms can replace traditional professional development tools.

This leaves businesses feeling like Goldilocks: software development options are either too rigid, too complex, or too simple to address the needs of the business. However, a high-performance low-code platform is the “just right” solution. Because it is low-code, it has the speed and agility you expect, but it also addresses mission-critical organization-wide needs with enterprise-grade development capabilities.

High-performance low-code—as opposed to traditional low-code/no-code development tools—is optimized for developers to help them meet the security, governance, and performance that enterprise IT teams require. It is designed to integrate with nearly anything in the enterprise ecosystem. Apps are built to evolve with shifting requirements over time, making it easier for devs to keep up with changes rather than adding to technical debt.

4 Capabilities to Look for in a High-Performance Low-Code Platform

To help you evaluate whether a low-code platform is truly high-performance, the following defining features and key capabilities can help.

1. Power

A high-performance low-code platform has no limits when it comes to the scope of what developers can accomplish. They can use it to build any kind of app that the business requests, including high-scale, mission-critical, web, and mobile apps that directly engage users and customers. The right platform should have:

  • Built-in support for developing mobile apps, web portals, web services, kiosks, IoT devices, and more
  • Full CI/CD and DevOps capabilities
  • Easily reusable code, application logic, and UI across multiple channels
  • The ability to easily update code shared across multiple apps

2. Security

While most low-code application platforms offer basic security, governance, and compliance, it’s typically just enough for internal and tactical applications. A high-performance low-code platform offers the comprehensive enterprise-grade security capabilities and governance that are required for developing mission-critical customer apps—secure from design time to runtime. Look for a platform that has:

  • Multiple built-in security checks across the application lifecycle
  • Zero trust, role-based governance model
  • AI-based code analysis that automatically identifies security vulnerabilities

3. Agility

A high-performance low-code platform not only accelerates development, but also provides the agility to adapt apps as quickly as the business requires. As a result, IT organizations can achieve elite performer status as defined by DORA DevOps best practices research. Specific capabilities to look for include:

  • Built-in AI automation to accelerate the entire application lifecycle
  • Real standardized code output that can run anywhere traditionally coded applications can run
  • Integration with your enterprise CI/CD infrastructure

4. Scale

A high-performance low-code platform should be ready to distribute your apps globally with on-demand autoscaling without performance penalties. Look for:

  • True cloud-native architecture for the application runtime that is container-optimized
  • A platform built on exclusively cloud-native services for data, networking, CDN, compute, and more that are scalable and optimized for a container-based architecture
  • The ability to automatically scale both compute and data infrastructures to handle hundreds of millions of users

OutSystems: The High-Performance Low-Code Leader

With the right high-performance low-code platform, you can get new applications and capabilities to market sooner, improve customer experiences, build apps using real-time data, eliminate inefficient processes, and have the freedom to innovate without being tied down by slow legacy software.

To dive deeper into what differentiates a high-performance low-code platform like OutSystems from entry-level low-code, download our free Buyer’s Guide to High-Performance Low-Code Platforms, which includes a handy checklist for your vendor evaluation.

Our recent webinar, “The Ultimate Guide to Evaluating Low-Code Platforms,” also digs into these differences and explores how OutSystems meets today’s enterprise software development needs. Watch it on demand.