For large companies, custom software development can feel like a thorn in the side. Whether you’re creating a tool to use internally, automating a manual process, or launching a new product, building it from scratch has historically been expensive and risky. And shelling out for one of the leading off-the-shelf solutions, only to then have to spend more time and money customizing it to do the job, doesn’t make sense either.

But the world of software development is changing quickly. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all business software that costs too much while not delivering enough. And it doesn’t have to take years and cost hundreds of thousands — or millions — of dollars to build it yourself.

Businesses are increasingly turning to no-code platforms to create the exact software they need, while bypassing many of the traditional challenges of software development. Here are the five most common ones we’ve heard from Bubble prospects and customers — and why so many have told us that no-code solutions like Bubble feel “too good to be true” (yes, really).

Challenge 1: The high cost of software development and maintenance

For most large companies, the biggest factor in the decision to build custom software is cost: Development teams are expensive, and maintaining hand-coded software can cost even more than the initial build in the long run.

But the whole point of no-code is to make the building experience easier. Anyone can build a functional app on Bubble by clicking and dragging in our intuitive visual environment — no expertise in writing code required. Your existing team can build what you need and then customize and maintain it as your needs evolve. Bubble hosts and scales the backend of your application for you as you grow — no software architect or infrastructure team required.

And if you do have a technical team member on the project, no-code supercharges their existing skills, meaning they can do a lot more with a lot less. Just ask executive assistant service Athena, who saved millions by building their own enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution on Bubble — with only one dedicated engineer on staff. “We get close to 99% of the value of building custom software without having to have ten engineers working through it,” Peter Dimov, their director of data science, told us.

Or, if need be, you can always outsource to an agency that specializes in Bubble, which saves on costs because no-code development timelines are so much shorter. Speaking of which …

Challenge 2: Long development timelines

Large companies typically choose to build software themselves because the solution they have in mind is unique and complex — which can lead to long development cycles. And if projects take months or even years to complete, revenue from launching new products and services — or cost savings from better, more efficient internal tooling — takes just as long to be realized.

By design, no-code platforms like Bubble are faster and more efficient than traditional software development. What once required lines and lines of written code can now be accomplished with a simple point and click. Everything from the look and feel of the app to its database is easily customizable. Plus, problem-solving and fixing bugs is much simpler with a visual interface that offers error states than scanningthrough thousands of lines of code, looking for a single character out of place.

When you need to get projects up and running quickly — or want shorter, less expensive agency contracts — no-code is the way.

Challenge 3: Too many experts doing too much busywork

As a prospective enterprise customer recently told us, “The need of the hour is speed, and I’m looking for a tool where the development team can focus more on the business problem and less on the ancillary things like authentication, authorization, and all those kinds of things. Building applications rapidly — in a matter of weeks, ideally — requires the team to be able to focus on the business ask, and the technical requirements there, as opposed to all that ancillary stuff.”

The busywork side of traditional development is a poor use of your team’s expertise. But with Bubble, foundational elements like user signup flows already exist as pre-built components that you can drag and drop directly into your application. Every Bubble app comes with a pre-built database (or can be easily connected to your existing one). Dynamic reusable elements make your team’s work recyclable throughout an app — and in future development.

No-code frees your team to focus on crafting innovative solutions to tough problems, not the time-consuming nitty-gritty.

Challenge 4: Sunk costs and the difficulty of pivoting

The world changes fast, and the longer it takes to build your software, the greater the risk that you’ll need to scrap work and/or add scope along the way. That means sunk costs — in terms of both time and money.

But with no-code, testing is fast and easy, which means you can launch a solution you feel good about much more quickly. Each part of the development cycle is just a single click away, and bringing more testers into the loop is as easy as sharing a link to a “Preview” (staging) version of your app. When test feedback demands changes, users can re-test simply by refreshing their web browser to load your latest build. It’s fast, agile, and decidedly non-fussy, all the way from development to deployment.

Plus, the sooner you launch, the sooner you can start collecting feedback and testing improvements. If you’re building an internal tool, your team can start to realize the benefits of your work right away, even if you’re still fine-tuning it. And if you’re launching a product, you can collect valuable feedback and iterate faster — even pivot, if necessary.

Challenge 5: The complications of integration and customization

The more mature your company is, the more existing software and systems you probably have — which can make building new software from scratch complicated at best. That’s one of the reasons out-of-the-box software solutions, which often promise simple integration, are so tempting.

That same prospective enterprise customer from above highlighted this point: “The key point is, these systems we build are not systems by itself. They always talk to other systems. Integration to other systems, integration with whole messaging, being able to send email alerts, and all that — data protocols — is very important from a technology capability perspective.”

But somehow, out-of-the-box solutions always seem to come with too much fluff and not enough of what you actually need. No-code platforms give you the best of both worlds: 100% custom software plus fast and easy integration with all your existing systems. Bubble has official plugins from dozens of popular service providers, like Docusign, Slack, and Figma. For everything else, there’s an easy-to-use API connector. This makes it simple to not only connect existing software and systems — our customers commonly connect their Bubble apps to database providers like MangoDB and Snowflake, or visualization tools like Microsoft Power BI — but also leverage emerging technologies like AI.

Plus, if you do happen to run up against any platform limitations, you can always extend Bubble’s capabilities with custom code. It’s endlessly flexible and infinitely scalable; there’s truly no limit to what you can build on Bubble.

No-code solutions like Bubble clear all the hurdles

The fact of the matter is that Bubble is an efficient and cost-effective alternative to traditional software development. You can build exactly what you need, save on costs by minimizing the number of expensive software developers or IT specialists on a given project, cut down on timelines, focus on business requirements, adapt quickly, and integrate easily with all your existing systems.

If you’re ready to learn more about how Bubble can help you develop powerful, scalable applications that meet customer demands (or your team’s needs) quickly — all without sacrificing quality or customization — drop our Sales team a line.