There’s no doubt that low–code/no–code applications are having a moment. The conditions of the pandemic and the rapid shift to work-from-home over the last year have meant that many business operations have had to increase automation and digitalisation in order to keep up.
Low-code development applications have been around for a while, but several think tanks and companies are predicting that they will become even more prevalent. Software Development Times argues that 2021 is the Year of Low-code, while Gartner predicts that ‘by 2023, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will be using low–code as a strategic application platform’ and that the global market for low-code systems is projected to total $13.8 billion. Meanwhile, outlets like Forbes are proclaiming low–code as the ‘technology of the future’, and have their eye on new low–code development offerings. Businesses thus increasingly need to incorporate some form of low-code technology to be able to match the increasing demand throughout the year and in the future. But what exactly is low-code? And will this technology mean that traditional developers are made obsolete?
The benefits of low–code technology are undeniable. For starters, it’s generally lower cost than traditional development or IT solutions; Information Week says that businesses can ‘get started with these platforms with little to no capital investment because they are low-cost to start’, with costs only rising when businesses grow to match costs respectively. Low cost also entails not having to hire a full team of developers to accomplish software solutions; if enterprises don’t already have a large DevOps team, they can utilise their existing teams to build applications easily rather than outsourcing talent to build applications.
Another major benefit is accessibility. Low–code and no–code integration platforms are designed with accessibility in mind; employees do not have to know code to be able to construct business processes and solutions. Companies can easily facilitate the communication of ideas across their company, and employees from different areas with different expertise can weigh in on solutions without needing a coding background. With more accessibility, businesses can create and implement solutions faster, cutting down development time. Low–code can make business processes more simplified and agile; ‘agility’ is one of the core tenets suggested by low-code software company Mendix.
Low–code and no–code development platforms also allow businesses more individualised control over their solutions; rather than outsourcing developers or applications to help with different operations, a company can build an app internally to aid in the development of business solutions. Gartner argues that ‘the needs of business-driven hyperautomation will be one of the top three drivers for low-code adoption through 2022’, arguing that business owners will want to create and execute their own ideas.
However, while low–code technology is promising and aims to simplify many of the operations necessary to a business, there may be some limitations. Software Development Times suggests that there’s the possibility of business needs growing beyond what current low–code technology is capable of; additionally, due to the simple drag-and-drop interface of this technology, companies may be limited in how complex they are able to innovate.
Experts argue that although low–code technology is rapidly gaining traction, it won’t completely replace the need for actual developers. A report from Builtin argues that low code and no code platforms may make developers’ jobs easier, making ‘the developer more valuable’ by automating their work as well. Additionally, in order for low–code technology to function, its underlying code framework needs to be efficient and equipped to deal with problems at hand. Search Software Quality notes that ‘when code is abstracted into generic, reusable components, it can create underlying code that is bloated and excessive for the actual task at hand’ and that low–code only works when the resulting code functions as expected’. Therefore, it can also be argued that low–code, while useful, will not make developers obsolete; it contains complexities that are still necessary for developers and DevOps teams to solve.
Regardless, the future of low–code and no–code technology is looking bright. Cyferd’s next-generation platform utilises low–code/no–code technology in the cloud to accelerate digital transformation journeys and streamline business solutions. With the optimism surrounding low-code development tech, Cyferd is confident that it will bring new ideas and processes to the Software as a Service (SaaS) market and override what’s currently on offer.
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