Low-code and no-code software development platforms have emerged as a focal point for CIOs, and it’s easy to see why. With an increasing emphasis on market disruption and continuous innovation across industries, tools such as these fit the bill in simplifying application development. Capabilities such as drag-and-drop integrations, out-of-the-box user interface (UI) templates and easy process flows allow anyone—including those with no coding background—to build and change applications. As a result, organizations can quickly deliver new applications and functionalities to keep up with, or disrupt, their markets. Traditional software development cannot match the enhanced collaboration, speed and productivity gains that come with low-code development.
Laggards need to pay attention: Low-code is establishing itself as a key enabler for digital transformation and differentiator for organizations. Below are five reasons why every organization should embrace low-code adoption.
Enterprises will struggle to find developers to keep up with global app development demands: Enterprise IT departments cannot keep up with market demand for application development. In fact, Gartner predicts that market demand for app development will grow at least five times faster than IT’s capacity to deliver through 2021. Low-code application development platforms help bridge an organization’s skilled developer shortage gap. Instead of relying only on short-staffed professional programmers, these platforms enable non-programmers to participate in and contribute to application development. Non-programmer citizen or business developers, such as business analysts, process specialists and departmental specialists, can use their experience with visual drag-and-drop tools to work collaboratively with IT to design and modify business applications.
Low-code increases productivity: Organizational leaders today preach agile processes and methodology to build apps iteratively with constant feedback and collaboration. Bringing the business or citizen developers into application development enables organizations to deliver on the promise of agile. Low-code platforms make it much easier for business users to enter their requirements directly into the application development environment than the old way of creating huge requirements documents. This ensures business requirements are not lost in translation by IT. And just as importantly, the company’s skilled developers have more time to focus on higher-value work, rather than constantly chasing down business users for business requirements.
Low-code development allows disparate teams to build apps collaboratively: How do IT, operations, business, marketing and sales collaborate to build apps that improve customer engagement and drive operational efficiencies? Instead of code, they need a common language that everyone understands, in the form of visual models. Adopting a low-code platform can empower every part of the organization to contribute to application development. CIOs and IT leaders can tap into the knowledge of their front-line workers to create apps that provide next-level customer experiences. And on the back end, organizations can leverage their internal subject matter experts from various departments to create better internal apps that drive operational excellence.
Low-code empowers continuous innovation and scaling: Low-code platforms help organizations start small, evolve and then scale to drive digital transformation. Organizations can quickly build out minimum viable products (MVPs), deploy these apps on the fly, learn and optimize and scale these innovations to foster continuous innovation. Without writing complex code, businesses can easily extend their apps to more channels—mobile chatbots, self-service portals, etc. And cloud-based low-code platforms allow organizations to move between cloud platforms or use a hybrid cloud, enabling even more flexibility.
Competitors are already using a low-code approach: Organizations are looking for ways to innovate, break down silos and reduce costs—and low-code helps them do all of those. A recent Pega-commissioned survey from Frost & Sullivan found that it’s not just hype; 81 percent of respondents already use a visual or low-code approach.
The question isn’t whether to embrace low-code; it’s what to look for when implementing the technology. Some low-code platforms enable organizations to create only simple lightweight applications that fail to scale and offer limited reusability. Other low-code platforms provide disconnected app authoring environments that perpetuate a siloed approach to development for business and IT. With these types of platforms, organizations end up spending too much time stitching together pieces of apps created in these disparate environments.
On the other end of the spectrum, next-generation, role-based authoring environments provide the right tools to anyone who touches enterprise applications. These include visual and intuitive authoring experiences for citizen developers, professional developers, system administrators and data scientists—where users can seamlessly toggle between different studios to quickly access what they need, where and when they need it, all in one unified platform. Users can quickly build and deliver MVP—or better yet, minimum lovable product (MLP)— while evolving and scaling the app to deliver enterprise-grade performance.
The time has come to abandon slow and expensive code-heavy app development. True organizational collaboration and digital transformation depend on it.