Internal tools are crucial for every customer-facing business. Whether it’s a simple dashboard, a CRM to help out your sales team, or a full-blown admin panel, the right tool will always bring immense value to your table. Through them, you’ll not only increase the productivity of your teams, handle data better, and streamline your processes, but consequently, you’ll also be able to achieve an all-around better customer experience.
Building these tools, however, can often be a nuisance for any company: it takes significant time and money, not to mention development resources to do so — all of which you could be spending on developing new features, bettering your product, or fixing any potential issues.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to solve the situation: low-code internal tool builders, solutions that are aimed at automating all the bothersome parts of building such a tool, all the while giving you the opportunity to customize them as needed. Today, we’ll take a look at the top 5 reasons why you should consider trying out such a tool instead of building one yourself. Let’s get started!
1. Internal tool builders are more cost-effective than you think
It’s no secret internal tools are one of the most invested-in tools for all businesses. Research shows that in the US only, companies spent over $300 billion in 2020 on internal apps alone. But does that number really have to be so high, or is there a better way?
While investing in a low-code internal tool builder might seem like the more expensive choice from the get-go — after all, you’re using a third-party product rather than doing it in-house — the numbers might prove you wrong on that. Not only do most low-code internal tool builders offer free tiers that might actually be comprehensive enough for your business already, but in-house development has a lot of hidden costs you might not realize right away.
Building and maintaining an internal tool in house can easily span hundreds of hours of your developers’ time. This means that not only do you lose productivity on your product’s side, but you potentially spend tens of thousands of dollars on a solution like this — when you could be spending $30 a month for a low-code builder that not only builds it for you, but also lets you customize it however you want.
2. Your developers will love you for it
Not everything is about money, though. This goes without saying, but making your developers’ lives easier can go a long way, especially in today’s digital world. Making them create an internal tool — something that they themselves won’t even use, but will still have to maintain for others — is hardly something that would inspire them to have the best productivity. After all, wouldn’t you rather work on the product that you’re trying to achieve success with, too?
In contrast, a low-code internal tool builder will not only eliminate the need for unnecessary, repetitive coding, but consequently lets you get started with barely any technical supervision. Of course, since it’s low-code (and not no-code) we’re talking about, you can still have your developers help with implementing custom features that fit your business needs — but even these will require significantly less time and effort due to the pre-built platform’s conveniences.
3. You get a fully extensive, low-code package
One of the most prominent benefits of low-code solutions that let you build your own internal tools through them is their extensibility: since these tools are made to accommodate all possible needs, they come equipped with all the functionality that you need — and things you might not even know you need.
You might have only had a simple CRUD interface in your mind that you wanted to use to handle some inventory or orders — but you might soon realize that your favorite low-code internal tool builder also offers graphs, charts, analytics, automated smart functions, collaboration tools, export features, and who knows what else. The best part? You don’t have to ask your developers to create new features for you as your business needs and logic get more advanced: you can simply add them through a GUI, hook them up to your data, and you’re ready to go.
4. You get dedicated support and help
As we’ve mentioned briefly before, one of the most bothersome parts of developing your in-house internal tool is the fact that you have to maintain it yourself, and if there are any issues with them, all you can do is wait for your developers to fix them when they have the capacity to do so.
That’s something you don’t have to worry about when you use a third-party solution like a low-code internal tool builder, though. Not only are most of the features you’re going to use already part of the offering — and thus maintained by the service provider — but if you have any issues, or need any assistance, you can have the help you need in a heartbeat. Most solutions offer 24/7 support through a live chat or a ticket system — but if you opt for a paying plan, you usually also get a dedicated customer success engineer to help you out with whatever you need, from minor bug fixes to developing new, custom features for your tool.
5. Their security features might surprise you
We get it — security and data privacy will always be the number one concern when it comes to employing third-party tools, and there’s a good reason for that. If possible, you should never want your data to travel through any server outside of your own, or to be visible by anyone else other than you, since it’s sensitive information. Luckily, most third-party internal tool builders have a solution for this.
Due to their architecture, these tools are built in a way where your database and your internal tool’s backend — the only sensitive bits — are stored on your servers, making sure that your application’s data never actually leaves them. The only communication that goes on is between your backend and the solution’s servers, in order to give you a UI and the functionalities you need.
In addition to this, most internal tool builders offer various security compliance certifications to make sure you can rest easy, like GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI, as well as a myriad of other security-focused features such as two-factor authentication, IP whitelisting, and more.
That's it for now — if you want to see what else low-code internal tool builders have to offer, and want a great example for a tool that provides all the above benefits, head on over to Forest Admin, check out all our features, and sign up for free today!