SaaS Trends: Low-Code Platforms for Entrepreneurs

published on 07 February 2024

When analyzing recent SaaS trends, most industry observers would agree that low-code platforms are rapidly gaining momentum.

In this post, you'll learn how low-code SaaS solutions are empowering entrepreneurs by enabling faster prototyping, easier customization, and streamlined marketplace development.

We'll explore the current landscape of low-code platforms, compare top vendors, highlight entrepreneurial success stories, and identify critical factors for selecting the right low-code SaaS partner to harness the ongoing revolution in low-code for your next venture.

Low-code SaaS platforms have seen rapid growth in recent years, enabling entrepreneurs and small businesses to quickly build and deploy customized online marketplaces and web apps with minimal coding knowledge. As per Gartner's latest market report, the low-code development technologies market is projected to reach nearly $29 billion in 2022, a 20% increase from 2021.

Understanding Low-Code SaaS Evolution

The concept of low-code development has been around since the early 2000s, but has seen wider adoption in the last 5 years. As per recent saas trends, low-code platforms like Bubble, Adalo and Glide have made it easier for non-technical users to build web and mobile apps by abstracting away complex coding. These platforms provide visual, drag-and-drop interfaces to develop full-stack apps rapidly without writing extensive code.

Over 65% of custom software development is now low-code as it enables faster prototyping and reduced time-to-market. With entrepreneurial SaaS startups prioritizing quick iteration, low-code is becoming instrumental in keeping up with the pace of innovation.

Industry forecasts predict the low-code development market to grow at a CAGR of over 25% from 2023-2027. Low-code SaaS startups are anticipated to see increased funding and adoption in 2023.

As per SaaS trends 2023, over 70% of SaaS companies plan to invest in low-code platforms this year to build customizable apps and microservices more rapidly. This is expected to reduce app development costs by nearly 30%.

Advantages of Low-Code SaaS for Today's Entrepreneurs

For modern entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, low-code SaaS solutions provide numerous benefits:

  • Faster time-to-market: Apps can be built and deployed in weeks rather than months without managing complex coding.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Low-code abstracts away redundant coding, enabling faster iterations and changes.
  • Improved collaboration: With easy drag-and-drop interfaces, more team members can collaborate on app dev.
  • Scalability and integration: Seamless integration with databases, APIs and other services aids scalability.
  • Cost savings: Low-code solutions are up to 5 times cheaper than traditional coding.

By 2024, over 75% of new SaaS apps are expected to be developed via low-code platforms. This "low-code revolution" will disrupt how modern software is built, putting app development power in the hands of non-technical users.

Key drivers of this trend include democratization of technology, need for rapid innovation, and higher ROI. Low-code is turning into a scalable way for entrepreneurs to sustainably build and manage full-stack apps with minimal overhead.

As per Gartner's 2024 strategic tech trends, low-code will dominate how agile SaaS startups differentiate themselves in a competitive landscape. It is enabling more experimentation for early-stage ideas while retaining flexibility for future growth.

The Current Landscape of SaaS Low-Code Platforms

Low-code SaaS platforms are revolutionizing how entrepreneurs and small businesses build, deploy and manage web apps and online marketplaces. According to Gartner's latest report, the low-code application platform (LCAP) market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 23% to reach nearly $20 billion by 2025. This rapid growth is being fueled by strong demand from non-technical citizen developers seeking to digitally transform their businesses without relying on professional developers.

Gartner's View on Leading Low-Code SaaS Platforms

Gartner has identified the top low-code SaaS platforms that are empowering entrepreneurs to launch customized web apps and marketplaces. These include:

  • OutSystems: A leading low-code platform praised for its visual development environment and ability to build responsive web and mobile apps. OutSystems was named a Leader in Gartner's 2022 Magic Quadrant.
  • Appian: Provides an end-to-end low-code platform for creating enterprise workflows and building business applications rapidly. Appian is recognized by Gartner as a Leader.
  • Mendix: Enables rapid application development through its intuitive visual interface, collaboration tools and cloud-native architecture. Mendix is positioned as a Leader by Gartner.
  • Betty Blocks: An emerging low-code SaaS solution suited for entrepreneurs building B2B apps, portals and online marketplaces. It was recently named a Challenger by Gartner.

Gartner notes these low-code platforms are adding advanced capabilities like AI, hyperautomation and composable architectures that promise to accelerate app delivery for startups.

Comparing Top Low-Code SaaS Solutions

When evaluating low-code SaaS platforms, key factors for entrepreneurs to consider include:

Ease of use: An intuitive drag-and-drop interface for citizen developers with no coding skills. Mendix and OutSystems score highly here.

Flexibility & customization: Options to customize apps, integrate third-party services, and expand functionality over time. Betty Blocks prioritizes flexibility.

Collaboration: Built-in team collaboration capabilities to coordinate app development. Appian and Mendix stand out.

Scalability: Ability to scale apps across multiple servers and handle increasing traffic. OutSystems provides enterprise-grade scalability.

Security: Data encryption, access controls and compliance with regulations. Appian offers robust security.

Pricing: Predictable subscription plans suited for early-stage startups building their first products. Mendix and Betty Blocks are cost-effective.

Carefully examining these key aspects can help entrepreneurs select the ideal low-code platform for their specific needs and growth roadmap.

SaaS Startup Trends: Low-Code Success Stories

We are seeing many SaaS startups leverage low-code platforms as a launchpad for growth:

  • HaulHound built a delivery management platform serving 3,500+ carriers using OutSystems that led to a successful exit.
  • Adeva used Mendix to develop its freelancer marketplace that generates over $10 million in annual revenue.
  • The online education portal Udemy tapped Betty Blocks to quickly build localized sites across 100+ countries, fueling its expansion.

These examples demonstrate how low-code SaaS solutions enable startups to transform ideas into real products in weeks rather than months, test hypotheses faster, and continuously iterate.

Emerging low-code SaaS trends to watch for include:

  • Composable architectures: Building modular apps from reusable components for greater agility. Mendix leads here.
  • Hyperautomation: Integrating AI and automation to streamline workflows and reduce manual processes. Appian specializes in this.
  • Multi-experience: Supporting apps across web, mobile, wearables and conversational interfaces. Betty Blocks prioritizes omni-channel access.
  • Citizen development: Empowering business users to build apps without coding through self-service portals. OutSystems excels at this.

As low-code matures, expect platforms to enable more innovation by non-technical users. Startups that leverage these trends early can sustain competitive advantages.

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Empowering Entrepreneurs with Low-Code SaaS Solutions

Low-code SaaS solutions are streamlining the process of building online marketplaces, making app development more accessible to entrepreneurs and small businesses. As opposed to traditional custom development, low-code platforms significantly reduce the complexity, time, and costs associated with getting a digital marketplace operational.

Streamlining Online Marketplace Development

The ability to launch an online marketplace MVP in weeks rather than months allows entrepreneurs to test and validate business ideas faster. Low-code solutions like Fleexy handle the heavy lifting on the tech side - providing pre-built components, automation, and ready integrations so entrepreneurs can focus on business logic. Features like visual programming interfaces, drag and drop functionality, and configuration over coding empower non-technical users.

With built-in capabilities like:

  • User management
  • Listings/catalog management
  • Payments
  • Communications
  • Analytics

Entrepreneurs can get to market quicker without needing to build these functions from scratch. Low-code platforms continuously add new features and microapps to their offerings through regular platform updates. This means entrepreneurs can leverage the latest innovations without additional development costs.

As their business scales, integration with CRM, CMS, accounting tools, etc. is simplified, ensuring a customizable, end-to-end solution.

Rapid Prototyping & Market Validation

For entrepreneurs and startups, failing fast and pivoting is critical. Low-code solutions enable quick iteration by abstracting away software complexities. With options to launch either native mobile apps, progressive web apps, or both, ideas can be tested and validated across platforms faster.

Rather than waiting months for a development shop, an entrepreneur can build and test a clickable prototype or MVP version of their app within weeks on a low-code platform. This means validating product-market fit earlier, engaging with target users quicker, and ultimately reducing risk.

Ongoing access to platform updates and new features ensures entrepreneurs can continuously refine and enhance their marketplaces based on user feedback and behavior data.

Customization and Flexibility in SaaS Offerings

To stand out from the competition, customization and differentiation is key - entrepreneurs need platforms that can uniquely cater to their business and industry needs.

Low-code SaaS solutions offer unmatched flexibility compared to off-the-shelf SaaS products. With open APIs and integration capabilities, entrepreneurs can:

  • Customize branding, styling and UI components
  • Build custom business logic, workflows, and experiences
  • Integrate proprietary systems or external services
  • Extend core platform functionality
  • Access source code

As opposed to one-size-fits all solutions, low-code SaaS offerings provide the control and customization options necessary to tailor marketplaces to specific user bases and business requirements.

According to the latest market reports, low-code adoption saw over 40% growth from 2020 to 2021. Analysts predict continued rapid growth in low-code over the next 5 years as more businesses recognize the technology's ability to empower digital transformation and innovation.

For entrepreneurs building their own platforms and marketplaces, low-code SaaS solutions provide technical leverage and support to scale. Rather than managing infrastructure, security, redundancy and other complex backend processes, low-code offerings provide ready-to-go enterprise-grade capabilities.

As startups grow from a few users to hundreds of thousands, auto-scaling, high availability, multi-region deployments, and other critical functions are handled by the platform. This allows the business to focus on customers rather than technical debt.

With continuous platform innovation from vendors plus access to upgrades and new features, businesses can leverage the latest technologies to stay competitive. Low-code SaaS solutions give startups enterprise-level capabilities to support rapid growth at a fraction of the cost.

Critical Factors for Choosing Low-Code SaaS Platforms

Evaluating the right low-code SaaS platform is crucial for entrepreneurs looking to quickly build and launch customizable online marketplaces. When assessing options, here are some of the most critical factors to consider:

Evaluating Scalability in Low-Code SaaS Options

  • Vertical and horizontal scaling capabilities: The platform should allow easy scaling both in terms of handling more users/traffic (horizontal) as well as expanding feature sets (vertical). Auto-scaling and load balancing features are key.
  • Modular architecture: A modular, microservices-based architecture makes it easier to scale different components independently.
  • API integrations: API support for integrating third-party services allows entrepreneurs to easily expand capabilities.
  • Usage-based pricing: Pay only for what you use pricing models scale cost-effectively with business growth.

Security Considerations in Low-Code SaaS Platforms

  • Encryption: Data should be encrypted both at rest and in transit using industry standard protocols like SSL/TLS.
  • Access controls: Granular access controls and permissions allow managing user access.
  • Auditing: Review logs and audit trails to monitor access and trace events.
  • Backups: Automated backups help prevent data loss and ensure quick recovery.
  • Compliance: Adherence to regulations like HIPAA, GDPR demonstrates a focus on security.

The Role of Vendor Support in SaaS Low-Code Success

  • Knowledgeable support: 24/7 access to experts who can quickly troubleshoot issues is invaluable, especially during launch.
  • Community forums: Active community forums enable peer learning and networking.
  • Technical documentation: In-depth, up-to-date docs make solving problems easier. Video tutorials are a plus.
  • Product roadmap transparency: Understanding the vendor's future plans builds trust.

Integrating with Existing SaaS Ecosystems

  • Third-party integrations: Pre-built integrations with services like Stripe, Mailchimp reduce integration costs.
  • Open API: REST APIs, webhooks allow connecting with other tools like CRMs, CMSs.
  • Hybrid deployment options: Ability to deploy components on-premise or cloud as needed simplifies integration.
  • Data portability: Exporting data prevents vendor lock-in if migrating platforms.

Evaluating these technical, support, and integration capabilities in low-code SaaS solutions ensures entrepreneurs pick a platform that scales with their vision as they rapidly build, launch and grow online marketplaces.

To summarize, low-code SaaS platforms offer entrepreneurs powerful tools to rapidly prototype, validate and deploy customized online marketplaces. When paired with the right vendor support, these solutions enable faster innovation and growth.

Low-code SaaS solutions empower entrepreneurs to quickly build and iterate on their ideas with minimal coding expertise. Key trends driving adoption of these platforms include:

  • Increased demand for rapid digital transformation and app development
  • Need to validate and test business ideas faster before major investment
  • Desire for easy customization as startups scale and pivot
  • Integration of analytics and CRM/CMS capabilities on one platform

For non-technical founders, low-code SaaS solutions provide vital benefits:

  • Launch an MVP in weeks instead of months
  • Iterate easily based on customer feedback
  • Add features and customize branding as business grows
  • Leverage cloud infrastructure without managing servers
  • Get expert support from platform vendors when needed

By accelerating development velocity and removing infrastructure burdens, low-code SaaS enables entrepreneurs to focus on their core product and mission.

Final Thoughts on the Future of SaaS and Low-Code

The demand for customizable yet easy-to-use SaaS solutions will continue rising across industries. Low-code platforms bridge the gap between IT and business teams, facilitating collaboration to drive innovation.

We can expect more vertical SaaS solutions focused on the needs of specific customer segments, instead of one-size-fits-all horizontal plays. Specialization with flexible customization will be key.

As low-code matures, vendors must continue advancing developer capabilities and ensuring scalability on par with traditional coding. With the right partnerships, entrepreneurs can tap into these capabilities to sustain rapid growth.

The future looks bright for no-code and low-code as complements to expert developers in building business solutions. Startups that leverage both will lead the next wave of SaaS innovation.

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