Low Code vs High Code: Discovering Their Key Comparisons (2024)

Since the global pandemic, many companies have accelerated their digital transformation to support a growing hybrid workforce. This has increased the need for powerful, scalable business app development solutions that not only work well but also enhance teamwork and speed up processes. A key choice for businesses in this transition is deciding whether to use low-code or high-code approaches to build their applications. The best option depends on factors like the company’s specific requirements, the skills of its employees, and budget limits. Let’s explore the differences between low code vs high code approaches to better understand these two options.

Low Code vs High Code: Discovering Their Key Comparisons (2024)

What is Low-Code?

Low-code platforms enable application development even for those without deep coding skills.

Gartner, Inc. reports that in 2023, the worldwide market for low-code technologies is expected to reach $26.9 billion, marking a 19.6% increase from the previous year. 

These platforms simplify development by using intuitive drag-and-drop editors instead of complex code. They also offer pre-built features and reusable components that speed up the building process. This means that anyone in the organization, regardless of their technical background, can create applications using a low-code platform.

The advantages of low code include enhanced collaboration, faster development, and the ability to customize. For IT departments, these platforms allow for quicker development with fewer errors. They also support faster digital transformation in companies and reduce costs. Indeed, 70% of IT leaders believe that low-code platforms are more cost-effective compared to traditional high-code development methods.

> Related: Low Code, High Impact: Revolutionizing App Development

When We Need Low-Code?

Consider a retail company that needs to create a simple mobile app for tracking inventory in different stores. The app should be easy to use, able to scan barcodes, update inventory levels, and alert staff when items are running low.

By using a low-code platform, the company can quickly build and launch this app. Low-code platforms offer straightforward drag-and-drop tools for designing user interfaces, making the app both attractive and easy to navigate. They also provide ready-to-use features for tasks like barcode scanning and sending notifications. Since the app doesn’t need complex features or advanced security measures, a low-code platform is ideal. It enables the company to develop and deploy its app fast, without deep technical expertise.

What is High-Code?

High-code involves traditional programming where skilled developers write code from scratch to create solutions. This method focuses heavily on code and depends on formal development processes, primarily managed by developers.

The main advantage of high-code is its ability to produce customized business applications tailored specifically for your needs.

However, this approach heavily relies on your IT team, potentially sidelining citizen developers and other business users who aren’t as technically skilled. Since these business users, who are the actual end-users of the applications, often can’t participate in the development process, it can be difficult to build applications that fully meet the needs of various teams and departments. Additionally, relying solely on your IT team to build and manage applications can divert your developers from other critical tasks within the organization.

When We Need High-Code?

Consider a fintech startup that’s gearing up to build a new mobile banking app. This app will include features like transferring money, applying for loans, managing investments, and more. It needs to work with current banking systems, follow financial rules, and have strong security to keep users’ financial information safe.

For such a project, using a high-code development approach is better suited. Although it takes more time and requires more advanced coding skills, this method gives developers the flexibility and control needed to meet all the app’s requirements. They can tailor algorithms for processes such as loan approvals, ensure the app adheres to all regulations, enhance security to protect user data, and tune the app’s performance to handle lots of transactions and integrate smoothly with existing banking systems.

Low Code vs High Code: An Overview of Comparison




Development Speed Faster due to pre-built modules and drag-and-drop interfaces. Slower as it involves writing more custom code.
Technical Skill Requires basic technical skills; more accessible to non-developers. Requires advanced programming skills and deeper technical knowledge.
Customization Limited customization options compared to high-code; some constraints on capabilities. High customization allowing for tailored solutions and complex functionality.
Control Less control over the code and underlying architecture. Full control over the codebase and architecture.
Scalability Can be less scalable in complex scenarios due to platform constraints. Highly scalable as it allows for optimizations and modifications as needed.
Cost Potentially lower upfront costs due to faster development and fewer developer hours. Higher upfront costs due to more time investment and need for skilled developers.
Maintenance Easier for routine updates and maintenance through the platform tools. Requires ongoing maintenance and updates by skilled developers.
Integration Easier integration with other systems if supported by the platform. Custom integration capabilities, which can be more robust but require more effort.
Security Dependent on the platform’s built-in security features. Customizable security measures, tailored to specific needs and potentially more robust.
Suitability Ideal for simpler applications and rapid prototyping. Best for complex applications requiring specific functionalities or heavy customization.

Low Code vs High Code: Development Speed and Efficiency

#1 Low Code

  • Pros: Significantly faster development cycles due to pre-built templates and minimal coding requirements. Ideal for businesses needing rapid deployment to respond to market or internal demands.
  • Cons: Potentially restrictive for projects requiring deep customization or when scaling beyond the standard offerings of the platform.

#2 High Code

  • Pros: Offers unlimited customization and the ability to optimize every aspect of the application for performance and user experience.
  • Cons: Longer time to market due to the need for more extensive planning, coding, testing, and deployment processes.

Low Code vs High Code: Flexibility and Customization

#1 Low Code

  • Pros: Sufficient for applications that fit within the scope of existing templates and modules. Allows for some level of customization without deep technical expertise.
  • Cons: Limited by the capabilities of the platform, which can inhibit innovation or unique feature implementation.

#2 High Code

  • Pros: Complete freedom in design and functionality, allowing developers to implement specialized features tailored to precise business needs.
  • Cons: Requires high skill levels and significant resource investment, making it less accessible for smaller teams or budgets.

High Code vs Low Code: Scalability and Integration

#1 Low Code

  • Pros: Platforms often support basic integration with popular databases and APIs, facilitating some level of interoperability and scalability.
  • Cons: Advanced integration scenarios or high-scalability requirements may exceed the capabilities of the platform, necessitating a shift to more custom solutions.

#2 High Code

  • Pros: Can be designed to scale extensively and integrate seamlessly with any enterprise system, adapting to new technologies as needed.
  • Cons: Requires ongoing development and maintenance to ensure compatibility and performance, which can be resource-intensive.

High Code vs Low Code: Cost Implications

#1 Low Code

  • Pros: Reduces the need for a large team of seasoned developers, which can decrease overall project costs. Maintenance and updates are often managed by the platform provider.
  • Cons: Long-term costs can be unpredictable if ongoing customization and scalability are required. Vendor lock-in is a potential risk.

#2 High Code

  • Pros: Investments in high code can be cost-effective over time for large-scale or critical applications due to better control over the infrastructure and maintenance.
  • Cons: Initial costs are higher due to the need for experienced developers and longer development timelines.

Low Code vs High Code: Security and Compliance

#1 Low Code

  • Pros: Standard security measures are typically built into the platform, providing a base level of security that is adequate for many applications.
  • Cons: Customizing security features beyond the built-in functionalities can be challenging, potentially leaving gaps in compliance and data protection.

#2 High Code

  • Pros: Allows for the implementation of advanced security protocols and compliance measures tailored to specific industry standards and regulations.
  • Cons: Requires continuous updates and testing to maintain high security and compliance standards, demanding more resources.

Low Code vs High Code: Long-Term Maintenance and Support

#1 Low Code

  • Pros: Maintenance is often simpler because many technical aspects are managed by the service provider.
  • Cons: Dependence on the platform for updates and bug fixes can limit control over the maintenance cycle and response times.

#2 High Code

  • Pros: Full control over the application allows organizations to manage updates, patches, and changes according to their own schedules and priorities.
  • Cons: Requires a dedicated IT team to continuously support, update, and secure the application, which can be costly.

Making the Right Choice: Factors to Consider

Project Complexity and Requirements

Evaluate the complexity of the project. Low code may be suitable for straightforward applications with standard workflows, while high code is better for complex, unique, or high-stakes projects.

Future Scalability Needs

Consider how the application needs to scale in the future. Projects expected to grow rapidly or require significant customization as they evolve might be


The landscape of application development is ever-evolving, and both low-code and high-code approaches have their merits. In 2024, the choice depends on your specific project requirements.

  • Prioritize speed and accessibility? Low-code can be your champion, enabling rapid development with minimal coding expertise.
  • Need ultimate flexibility and control? High-code offers the freedom to craft highly customized solutions.

The future might not be a binary choice. Many organizations are embracing a hybrid approach, leveraging low-code for faster development and high-code for mission-critical functionalities. Regardless of your approach, remember: the true goal is to bridge the gap between business needs and digital solutions.

Editor: AMELA Technology

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