Choose Serverless over low-code

Next time if somebody mentions low-code, please also consider this to be an excellent opportunity to choose a Serverless technology stack!

In the software industry trends come and go. Some trends are more like cycles that repeat themselves. Like the discussion on packaged software versus custom software. Every ten years or so the general opinion on whether to choose custom software versus packaged software changes. It’s also heavily influenced by industry-specific trends and it's regional as well. For example, in Western Europe, it could be that the public sector favors packaged software right now, but will turn to custom software in some years, while for automotive it’s the other way around.

Low code versus packaged software

These days there is a lot of buzz surrounding low code. Most big companies that I visited the past two years were either exploring or adopting low code technology. Early movers like Outsystems and Mendix have inspired a wave of newcomers to the market. There are also a lot of rebranded -previously called packaged software — products. With a personal background in software development, I look at this trend from a different perspective. Low code promises to deliver the power of tailor-made software (or at least customizable). Suitable to perform bespoke projects with price tags similar to packaged software.

The trend towards custom software is fueled by the need to use IT as a differentiator. When your organization recognizes IT as a strategic asset, you are basically pleading your case to go for bespoke software. At least the areas where your company thinks to deliver its prime value. Bespoke software projects can sometimes have a bad reputation for being late, over time, over budget. Our industry’s track record is not great. With 17% percent of projects being delivered in such a bad shape that it actually threatens the existence of the company (1). It’s surprising that in our strive to do better we find we try to standardize and decrease variation in an effort to control project outcomes. More standardization eventually leads to packaged software. Oppositely, the requirement for variability and customization eventually led to integration consultants to configure thousands of tweakable parameters. Rigid configurations and poorly understood customers eventually lead to project overruns, unsatisfied customers, and ever-increasing license fees. Which ultimately leads to a desire for custom software.

Low code has made a comeback in the past ten years and was a technical impressive step to marry the customizability of bespoke systems, with standardization and control to deliver on time, and on budget.

However, I see a similarly successful strategy using Serverless technology.

Serverless for differentiating business applications

Serverless, as seen from a development perspective has been one of the biggest improvements in:

  • terms of speed of development; offering a lower time to market
  • reliability of infrastructure; offering best-in-class scalability and performance
  • platform costs; offering a scalable model to grow together with your business
  • development experience; by empowering even a single person to deliver end to end best-in-class product, and the latest industry standards;

Serverless is standing on the shoulders of giants

There is an ever-expanding incredibly rich offering from the big four in cloud technology, accompanied by hundreds and maybe thousands of independent service offerings from platform vendors. Like Confluent offering a best-in-class messaging platform, and Okta offering one of the most feature-rich authentication and authorization platforms money can buy. In a way, Serverless is standing on the shoulder of giants.

With Serverless technology, I have personally seen a lot of projects being delivered, on time, within budget, performant, secure, and affordable. By building on proven, best-in-class technology and services we are able to offer tailor-made software, in an experimental business environment. This is a huge enabler for innovative companies that want to support their differentiating business processes with tailor-made software.

Here are some reasons to choose Serverless that make it a strong competitor to low code, traditional custom software, and packaged software.

  • Completely customizable. Serverless hits a sweet spot in terms of platform abstractions. Modern software products deliver their value through user interfaces and APIs, using Serverless you are in complete control of both
  • Cloud-native scalability. Whether you are a startup or a big corporation, Serverless models are designed to scale in performance and costs.
  • Best in class technology. Solutions can be built cloud cross-cloud, cross-vendor using the world’s finest tools.

Next time if somebody mentions low-code, please also consider this to be an excellent opportunity to choose a Serverless technology stack!

References

  1. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/delivering-large-scale-it-projects-on-time-on-budget-and-on-value

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Software delivery and cloud enthousiast

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Kevin van Ingen

Kevin van Ingen

Software delivery and cloud enthousiast

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