The low-code industry is exploding before our eyes; nearly half of Fortune 100 companies develop business applications using low-code platforms. With these platforms, they can create custom macros and cloud-based applications capable of performing a wide range of tasks – all using simple drag-and-drop interfaces and visual libraries of easily understood commands. Analysts from Forrester view it as one of the most important emerging technologies to watch through 2020, and predict that it will grow from $4.32 billion in 2015 to $24.23 billion by 2022. Similarly, according to Gartner, at least 50% of all new business applications will be created with high-productivity toolsets by 2020.
In our previous articles we have discussed what low-code is, why you should consider it to develop your business applications, and what to consider when going that route. This article will explore the future possibilities that low-code presents, and why it will soon become the new normal.
While the recent migration to the cloud, in the form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), addressed some of the distribution and financing burdens associated with enterprise software, it failed to fully address some of the more fundamental challenges. Business users and IT are still challenged with integration and compatibility with other software, customisation and scalability, as well as mobile and offline capabilities. Additionally, organisations may have ambitious application needs that cannot be met by IT due to the current shortage of developers.
By addressing all of this, and combined with its greater efficiency, it is no surprise that low-code software is seeing rapid adoption. Nearly one in three executives are leveraging this technology already, with another 43% of executives interested in pursuing low-code solutions. As these solutions grow in sophistication, it will become easier for non-technical staff to use and more accessible than ever – meaning that soon, everyone may be able to code with minimal effort.
No-code development platforms are closely related to low-code as both are designed to expedite the application development process. Similar to low code platforms, no code platforms use a visual application system that allows users to build apps, which usually includes drag-and-drop processes. The main difference is that no-code is exactly what its name suggests; it enables people with no coding skills to create applications without using any code at all. Unfortunately, this technology is not yet advanced enough to develop complex applications, but it is believed that low-code will soon merge with no-code as the technology becomes more sophisticated, presenting an exciting future indeed.
Customers expect fast-paced, quality product releases, and given that customer experience is the key to competitive advantage, organisations must become customer-immersed. This means acting fast, experimenting with new approaches, and including the customers in process innovation. Methodologies such as ‘design thinking’, ‘lean start-up’ and ‘agile’ can help form a foundation for this innovation, but when ‘on-the-go’ digital solutions are called for, low-code platforms will bridge the process execution gap, enabling almost anyone to design and test fully-featured solutions without the usual time, cost, and risk associated with app development.
In the end, low-code and other possible forthcoming high-productivity toolsets, such as no-code platforms, show the best promise as becoming the new normal, providing us with a future where everyone will be able to contribute to our technological progress by creating advanced digital solutions. If our predictions are correct, we will soon find ourselves in an app-driven world that will streamline everyday processes and simplify complex procedures even beyond what we are currently used to – and quite frankly, for once – this seems like a prediction we can all be excited about.
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