Low-code is a new approach for quickly developing applications and automating processes. Teams find it particularly useful for a few practical reasons. This article explains why learning about low-code development right now is a good idea and shows how low-code helps to tackle some of the greatest challenges of the IT industry.
We live in the age of accelerated business transformation enabled by the internet and digital technologies. The sole purpose of companies is to add more value to customers in the most efficient way. As Salesforce puts it: “Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation.”
Connecting people, removing data silos, building a data culture, eliminating manual processes via automation, empowering employees, enabling mobile experiences, leveraging the Internet of Things – these are all examples of the digital revolution taking place right in front of our eyes.
These paramount changes were further amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic that acted as a digital accelerant across many industries. Business continuity and employee safety were abruptly added to the strategic agenda of management boards of almost every organization on the planet.
Lack of competence
Faced with such massive changes, the IT industry cannot carry on with its business as usual. There are not enough certified developers to respond to the business needs of organizations undergoing digital transformation.
According to Microsoft, during the next five years, the global workforce can absorb around 149 million new technology-oriented jobs – with software development getting the largest single share of this forecast.
Low-code is a software development approach that requires little or no coding in order to develop applications and automated processes.
A low-code development platform uses a visual development environment with simple logic and drag-and-drop features instead of traditional coding languages. Such intuitive tools allow users with no formal knowledge of coding or software development to create applications for many purposes – like mobile and business apps.
Such non-professional developers – typically users coming from business departments – are called “citizen developers” by Gartner.
Low-code abstracts and automates every step of the application lifecycle to enable rapid delivery of a variety of software solutions. It breaks the traditional silos of business and IT to promote continuous collaboration.
Benefits of low-code
While the need to increase the IT workforce is certainly an important factor for the expansion of low-code frameworks and platforms, it’s definitely not the only one, or even not the most important ones.
Low-code development allows organizations to develop and apply changes faster. The level of technical skills required to create low-code solutions is much lower than in traditional development because these tools provide a graphical design environment. Moreover, the actual creators of the new apps often come from business departments rather than from IT. It greatly reduces the development cycle and increases the chances that the newly developed app will meet the business requirements.
- Lower Costs
Shorter time to market combined with lower requirements for technical competencies simply means that the new model is much more cost-effective. In its The Total Economic Impact™ Of Power Apps, Forrester estimated that: “The average cost to develop an application is 74% less with MS Power Apps” when compared to traditional methods.
- Reducing the IT Backlog
Low-code platforms help to bridge the gap between IT and business teams, allowing them to address real issues that impact the company faster.
Using this approach, business teams can create their own applications without having to wait for professional developers / IT departments. Consequently, the pressure on IT teams is lowered – reducing the IT applications backlog and improving the perception of the technical teams often seen as a cost center rather than an enabler of change.
Other benefits of low-code may include: increased security, increased IT productivity, reduction of shadow IT, and reduction of project failure.
These benefits are confirmed in the findings of multiple research studies. Below are the results of the study performed by Outsystems in 2020.
Recently, low-code platforms have become increasingly popular as a fast and convenient alternative to traditional software development. Both professional developers and citizen developers can use a low-code platform to create apps to meet business demands for new applications and process automation, enabling and accelerating digital transformation in their companies.
It’s important to note that low-code doesn’t diminish the value or importance of professional software developers. Instead, low-code empowers developers to create value faster – by focusing on user experiences rather than technical tasks that can be automated.
Given all the benefits of using the low-code approach, no wonder that a growing number of companies are applying it today. Gartner estimates that low-code/no-code application platforms will account for almost 65% of all app development by 2024. This means that the majority of apps created in 2024 will be developed using low-code platforms and tools.
Furthermore, Gartner forecasts that the worldwide low-code development technologies market will grow as much as 23% in 2021.
We live in the age of dynamic changes. Unprecedented acceleration of digital and business transformation – only fueled by the pandemic – has put enormous pressure on almost all organizations around the globe.
Low-code and no-code technologies seem to be the right answer for at least some of the current challenges. The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have validated the low-code value proposition. Low-code capabilities that support remote work functions, workflow automation, and fast app development are becoming critical for the survival of organizations of all sizes.
That’s why BlueSoft as a Microsoft Partner develops efficient Low-code solutions for its Clients. We specifically focus on Powerapps for Teams as a natural low-code application environment for many organizations.
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If you would like to learn more about low-code platforms and how they can help your company, please get in touch with our expert: Wojtek Wojnar
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