Low-code platforms allow users to build software applications without writing extensive amounts of code. Instead, they provide a visual drag-and-drop interface that enables developers and, in some cases, business users to build entire applications without a sweat. At least, that’s the elevator pitch.

This has led to the idea that low-code is suitable for tactical, departmental applications. Simple stuff that is typically solved with equally simple workflows. But that is not (entirely) true.


Table of contents:

In this blog post, we’ll discuss when you should use low-code and a few low-code app examples to show you what you can build with this technology and make the most out of it.

When Should You Use Low-Code?

The short answer is whenever you need a custom application.

It’s important to note, however, that the process of deciding whether you should build or buy an application has changed in the post-pandemic world, as organizations were forced to move their entire business online — and by entire I mean their interaction with customers but also their whole internal operations with the normalization of remote work.

Today, it should be obvious to IT leaders that even the most mundane internal system has to change eventually to cope with unforeseen circumstances.

And when you’re dealing with standard SaaS or COTS systems, even if they’re the best in class, they don’t change easily because they weren’t made with the peculiarities of your business in mind.

Plus, the uncontrollable SaaS sprawls most organizations are facing have led to a complex IT ecosystem of disconnected applications that tremendously impacts employee and customer experiences.

Evolution of a marketing tech stack. Source: ChiefMartec.

This is forcing companies to embrace in-house development that allows them to “keep their house clean” while reducing costs in the long run in licensing fees.

The time has come for custom software.

The good news is that low-code platforms are becoming increasingly powerful and versatile and can be used to build a wide range of custom applications.

What Can You Build with Low-Code?

Pretty much any low-code platform will provide you with the capabilities to build:

  • Business process automation solutions
  • Web apps
  • Workflow management
  • Data visualization and reporting.

The challenge, however, is when you’re looking to build enterprise core platforms, external, B2C applications and cross-departmental internal business apps that require high-level security and extreme scalability.

These are what we call “strategic applications”, i.e., apps that deliver your unique business value, and therefore have a disproportionate impact on your top line (revenue) and bottom line (saving and profit) and help you manage risk.

That’s when you need to be more selective when choosing the right low-code platform.

Low-code use cases based on platform capabilities

You can group the different low-code solutions into essentially three categories based on their capabilities and the use cases they cover:

Type of Low-Code Platform Capabilities Low-Code App Example

Regular low-code

  • Basic” low-code capabilities like model-driven or graphical programming approach with scripting;
  • Empowers any user with or without technical background to create entire apps visually

Simple, departmental applications like forms capture, vacation request, approvals routing, etc..

Enterprise low-code focused on process automation

  • Includes more advanced capabilities to solve simple to complex workflows on an enterprise-level

Covers simple to more complex, cross-departmental applications that are based on standardized, repeatable workflow mechanisms, from BPM to case management.

High-performance low-code

  • It provides more advanced development capabilities, namely the ability to extend visual development with traditional development
  • Promotes high scalability and advanced security mechanisms

Covers the breadth of enterprise use cases that must scale, frequently change and extend across internal and external participants:

  • Custom apps and portals
  • Internal business solutions
  • Core systems


A high-performance low-code platform like OutSystems can address a robust set of needs and requirements, allowing you to create and rapidly evolve the key applications for pretty much everything your organization needs, spanning both immediate tactical as well as including strategic business-critical needs and customer-facing applications.

These can include customer apps and portals, internal business applications, and even core systems.

High-Performance Low-Code App Examples

Let's take a look at a few real-life low-code app examples built with a high-performance low-code platform.

Customer mobile apps and web portals: Western Union’s mobile digital banking app

With the new fintech players joining the market, Western Union wanted to boost its agility and accelerate innovation to remain competitive.


In just 11 months, the company launched its new digital banking app in Germany and Romania and it’s already rolling out to other countries. You can read the full story here.

Internal business applications: Medtronic Click portal that supports 80,000 employees

Realizing that great user experiences underpin efficiency and CX improvement, Medtronic turned its attention to improving the employee experience.


Using OutSystems, Medtronic delivered “Click”—a personalized portal serving over 80,000 employees—that makes it easier for staff and managers to find, fix, learn, and request what they need to get work done. You can read the full story here.

Core systems: Vopak’s core system modernization

Vopak needed to replace its JD Edwards ERP system but all alternatives they looked for presented a continuing problem: lack of fit and slow speed to market for innovations and enhancements.


So the company decided to use OutSystems high-performance low-code to build a complete terminal management system that sits in the core of its operation. With this new custom-made core system, the company was able to increase its agility and innovate faster than ever. You can read the full story here.

Unify Your Business with High-Performance Low-Code

With high-performance low-code you can build whatever your business needs, from the most simple internal business application to the most complex and strategic application.

The OutSystems high-performance low-code platform is the most powerful on the planet, built from the ground up to execute big, impactful ideas at scale in high-stakes environments. It is also the only platform that lets you choose how you use low-code–with options for adding custom code, custom integrations, and preferred DevOps and project management tools when needed.

Build serious applications, with serious productivity and scalability.

To learn more about what OutSystems can do for you, get the eBook The Whats, Whys, and Hows of Solving Any Business Challenge with Low-Code.