You have one month to deliver a mobile virtual care application that enables patients to make appointments, view test results, and contact referrals. Building it from scratch is out of the question; there’s no time for hand-coding, testing, fixing, scaling, and changing features. So, what are you going to do? The most obvious solution to your problem is to use low-code. It’s easy and fast.

But, let’s say you convince your developers to adopt it, the stars align right, and you successfully release the first version. While you’re breaking out the champagne, someone asks you to add a no-touch waiting room feature, complete with text messages that let patients know they can see the doctor. Can low-code save you then? Let’s find out.

Think low-code is for you? This Gartner Magic Quadrant report has valuable information about the leading vendors.  

Put an LCAP On It

Low-code and no-code are two of the hottest buzzwords around. The market is predicted to be worth well over $175 billion in 10 years (up from $11.45 billion in 2019). Why is it so popular? I think it’s probably because of how important it is to get to market at top speed these days, and the advent of a global pandemic only exacerbated the emphasis on speed. As one of the inventors of low-code, we know better than most that low-code is a proven way to build applications really fast. Tales of low-code successes abound.

For certain use cases, low-code is legit. OutSystems itself is no stranger to the accolades or to reaping the benefits of offering one of the top platforms in this market. The 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Low-Code Application Platforms has named us a Leader.

We’re proud of this distinction because we were low-code before the name low-code had even been coined. OutSystems has been offering customers a visual way of developing software and applications since 2001. But that’s not the only thing the OutSystems platform does. Much of what we offer goes beyond low-code. That’s because low-code, by itself, has limitations that are addressed by the OutSystems platform.

The Trouble with Tech’s Tribbles: Low-Code Tools

In the “Trouble With Tribbles” episode of Star Trek, an appealing little animal was brought onboard the Starship Enterprise, and everyone was delighted. Until the Tribbles multiplied like crazy, that is. Then they started threatening the food supply. Low-code tools have a similar history. Seemingly overnight, hundreds of tools were occupying “the low-code/no-code market,” the equivalent of the grain elevator on the Enterprise. Just like the Tribbles, tons of these tools fall on your head if you go looking in that market.

The Tribbles helped identify a villain, so they had value, but it didn’t really make up for their limitations. The low-code tools that you find in reports or touted by venture capitalists as the hottest tech item on earth have value, too. Most might help you build a prototype or even version 1 of your virtual care app really fast. However, they don’t offer an easy path to making the updates and changes needed for versions 2, 3, and 4. Why? Most of these low-code tools are not platforms. To deliver anything after version 1 of your app, a glorified visual development tool won’t cut it.

A Modern Application Platform: So Much More than Low-Code

In the LCAP MQ, Gartner shared its definition of application platforms as:

“A product or suite of products that offers development, deployment and execution capabilities for any user experience, business process, business logic, and data.”

—Gartner, Inc., “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms,” September 30, 2020, Paul Vincent, Yefim Natis, Kimihiko Iijima, Jason Wong, Saikat Ray, Akash Jain, Adrian Leow.

OutSystems is a modern application platform. It carries the attributes in Gartner’s definition, but it also focuses on using modern technology to help you build and change nearly any type of modern application: from customer experience transformation and application modernization, to workplace innovation and process automation.

Yes, OutSystems offers visual development that is the mainstay of low-code, but low-code is just one way our modern application platform enables you to build apps fast. Specialized tools simplify the complexity of creating enterprise applications and connecting to enterprise data. AI-assisted development guides developers through processes, suggesting the next best actions and sources for help, eliminating friction and long lead times. The platform even enables individuals with a diverse array of expertise to all participate seamlessly in the design, building, deploying and managing of applications.

Ensuring your application is built right, platform services and a multitude of security checks provide scalability, governance, protection from threats, and compliance. AI finds and solves issues early, eliminating design errors and duplication of effort. Real-time application performance data helps identify anything that needs to be corrected or optimized.

Most importantly, OutSystems was designed to help manage change. Building for the future is not for the faint of heart, and that’s why it’s not on the low-code menu. OutSystems platform services, AI, and visual tools enable the continuous introduction of features and capabilities. Developers can evolve apps every bit as quickly as the business changes and new technologies are introduced.

You’re Fired (Not)

If, in the process of looking for a low-code solution to your app development time crunch, you read the 2020 Gartner LCAP MQ and chose OutSystems, congratulations. Not only do you still have a job, but you will be the hero that helps solve your organization’s most critical challenges. When you tell the rest of the team that version 2 will be done in a week, the person that asked for the virtual waiting room will be ordering the champagne.

Did you choose a different tool or are just starting your search? If so, despite its focus on low-code, the Gartner LCAP report is a valuable resource. Download it today and see why OutSystems was named a Leader.