Today’s innovative organizations are investing the time and money into developing custom software applications built on modern cloud-based platforms like Salesforce, AWS, Azure, etc. As these organizations undertake digital transformations, they empower themselves to innovate, grow, and achieve outcomes more efficiently. Yet when confronting those digital transformations, they are faced with the question of how to develop these custom software applications in the most cost-effective manner. So we arrive at a critical question – to code or not to code?
In working with clients over the years, we have been asked many, many times about the costs/benefits of developing an application through Skuid’s no-code platform vs. undertaking a code-based project in Salesforce (i.e. Lightning). This has always been a tricky question to answer. Let’s compare the costs and benefits of each to understand why this is so difficult to analyze.
“With Skuid’s no-code platform, anyone can design, develop, and deploy beautiful applications that people love to use and that fit exact business needs —all without writing code.” – Skuid
- “No-code” development (i.e. point-and-click, drag-and-drop toolkit)
- Faster development timelines
- Better end-user productivity
- Less staff training
- Better user adoption (less resistance to change)
- Future changes are fast, easy and can be made by anyone
- Annual subscription costs for each user accessing Skuid pages
Salesforce Lightning Development:
“From no-code builders to pro-code tools, the Lightning Platform’s enterprise services and metadata-driven, multi-tenant cloud architecture means that you can focus on what makes your business better from the competition.” – Salesforce
- No annual subscription costs.
- Code-based development (i.e. Apex, Visualforce, SLDS)
- Longer development timelines
- Less user-friendly solutions
- More staff training
- User resistance upon implementation
- Future changes must be made by a high-cost developer
Analysis: Skuid Development vs. Lightning Development
As you can see, it’s hard to compare the cost differences, because you’re not comparing apples-to-apples. Skuid comes with an annual subscription cost, and Lightning does not.
However, the costs of Lightning are hidden. Custom code changes are hard to make and can take a long time (and a lot of money). They must be made by a high-cost developer, and typically you’ll have to go back to the original developer that built your application.
This means there is a huge motivation for development/consulting firms to be less than forthcoming about the cost of developing and maintaining your custom software solutions through Lightning (i.e. code-based development).
Over the long-term, making changes and building upon code-based solutions can come with an endless cycle of high-cost development projects, leaving you dependent on those high-cost developer(s).
Breaking Down the True Costs of Development
To truly understand what it costs to develop your solution through Skuid versus Lightning, you would need get separate quotes, one from a Skuid developer and another from a Lightning developer.
We did just that. We requested and compared quotes for a couple of projects from two different firms. One firm specializes in Lightning-based development, and the other in Skuid development (hint hint, that’s us).
We found that developing projects through Skuid cost 50%-75% less than developing those same projects through Lightning. Surprisingly…those savings were gained even after paying for the full price of Skuid licenses.
Let that sink in for a minute. Even after paying for the annual costs of Skuid licenses, the savings of going with Skuid were 50-75% less than developing a project through a code-based Lightning solution.
Also consider that Skuid provides indirect cost savings (that we could not measure in our analysis), such as greater user productivity, faster user adoption, and less staff training by developing projects through Skuid.
Don’t want to take our word for it? Click here to read the Forrester Study that explains how Skuid provides:
- 365% ROI
- 1 month payback period
- 74% faster development cycles
- 65 hours in annual time savings per user
- 62% decrease in staff training time
- Additional savings on maintaining legacy systems
Altogether, the average organization interviewed for this study saved millions of dollars by going with Skuid (remember, those cost savings are AFTER paying for annual subscription costs).
Yes, it’s true you can accomplish the same solutions through Skuid or Lightning, but developing custom solutions through Skuid (annual subscription + project development expenses) will still cost far less than developing, maintaining, and updating your custom solution through code.
P.S. You can have both. Now that’s a win-win.
It turns out that Skuid can run on top of Salesforce’s Lightning Platform. That means you can build your no-code Skuid solution on top of the security and stability of Salesforce’s world-class Lightning Platform. With Skuid + Salesforce, anyone can build 100% no-code applications from the ground up.