Skip to main content

Buying Low-Code Automation: What to Look for and What to Ask

Michelle Gardner, Appian
July 23, 2021

A revolution is transforming organizations and it's driven by low-code. Using low-code, organizations can quickly build—even in only a few weeks—enterprise applications that would once have taken months to get off the ground.

Forrester predicts that by the end of 2021, 75% of development shops will use low-code platforms (up from just 44% in 2020).[1] With that kind of momentum it’s no wonder the low-code market is exploding. Dozens of vendors are claiming the title, and categories are blurring as providers scramble to deliver more comprehensive solutions.

At the same time, both vendors and analysts are competing to define the lexicon. That means the frameworks for assessing platforms are constantly shifting.

With so many offerings, it’s hard to know where to start. Business and IT leaders need help to make sense of it all. That’s why we recently created the 2021 Ultimate Low-Code Automation Buyer’s Guide. We dive into the low-code landscape, how platforms have evolved, what questions and criteria buyers need to consider, and how to evaluate platforms.

Evaluating low-code automation platforms.

The 2021 Ultimate Low-Code Automation Buyer’s Guide is intended for business and IT leaders who oversee automation and application development projects. Low-code automation offers a world of possibilities for IT departments who have limited time and resources but need to meet the high demand for powerful new applications and automated processes. By speeding development time and decreasing technical debt, low-code reduces IT backlog and gives developers more time to innovate.

When evaluating vendors, IT leaders need to ensure they can use the platform to develop powerful, stable, and secure applications. And business leaders have to see that it can solve their most complicated challenges. Organizations should have a strong understanding of these areas as they start evaluating low-code platforms: 

  1. How the low-code landscape has evolved, including the four key market segments and where no-code tools fit in.
  2. Whether you need a low-code automation platform, with a checklist to help you assess your organization.
  3. What to look for in a platform. These are the most important features and capabilities, as well as the questions you need to ask as you evaluate your options.
  4. How to evaluate low-code platforms. Don’t stop at a one-size-fits-all demo. Invest the time to dive deep into the technical capabilities, experience the platform firsthand, and assess whether the vendor itself is a good fit with your organization.
  5. Real use cases of how leading organizations are using low-code automation to transform their operations.


With the right platform, it’s easier to integrate, update, and modify enterprise applications, so organizations can adapt and evolve more rapidly. Low-code automation also frees people to perform the higher level cognitive tasks they are best equipped for, rather than the tedious work that’s better suited to machines. It leverages and augments their problem-solving and interaction skills, making them even more valuable.

Want to become a more informed purchaser of low-code technologies? Find out what to look for and what to ask in The 2021 Ultimate Low-Code Automation Buyer’s Guide.

[1]  Jeffrey Hammond et al., “Predictions 2021: Software Development,” Forrester (October 2020)