Is Low-Code Poised to Outpace Traditional Development?

Is low-code a threat or opportunity for your business?

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Low-code development, with its graphical interfaces and tools that enable the development of applications with minimal coding, is gaining ground. These platforms provide organizations with greater agility – when a problem arises, an organization can deploy an app to solve it more quickly and with less friction than through traditional development. After a rocky 2020, businesses know first-hand how important it is to be able to adapt to changes in the market and to customer demands.

Reportlinker.com anticipates that the global low-code development platform will grow at a 25 percent CAGR to reach $46.4 billion by 2026. Reportlinker’s report adds that some platforms are designed for niche use cases, such as business process management (BPM) or customer relationship management (CRM).

Malcolm Ross, Vice President of Product at Appian, says, however, “Low-code application platforms are going to become more diverse with specialties in select areas. There will be low-code tools for mobile applications, automation, and even video game development.  While we currently see over 240 software vendors advertising themselves as ‘low-code,’ that number will most likely double 2021 and include a variety of platforms employing low-code design.”

Michael Beckely, Appian CTO and Co-Founder, adds, “Low-code will become recognized not as a monolithic market, but rather as a mechanism for meeting a wide range of enterprise needs, from low-end citizen development to complex process automation.”

Low-Code Development Addresses the Demand for Hyperautomation

Beckely comments, “COVID-19 proved that fast and powerful process automation is crucial to keep people and enterprise data connected — no matter the circumstances,” he says.

Ross says in 2020, many businesses adopted robotic process automation (RPA) to add “digital workers” to handle repetitive tasks, although many were addressed as standalone tasks. “In 2021, it is time to make RPA digital workers part of the full-time workforce and include them in overall process flows. Enterprises will look to business process management (BPM) and workflow technology that allows for seamless modeling across humans, RPA bots, and AI services incomplete process flows.

Beckely says low-code development will give operations the ability to unify artificial intelligence (AI), bots and people with data in the same hyper-automated workflow. He says, “2020 was about buying RPA bots and AI services. 2021 will be about organizations looking to scale those technologies, realizing the full value of those investments by unifying the modern workforce – with humans in control.”

Operational Resilience Will Determine a Company’s Fate

Beckely points out, “Disruption is the new normal. Ongoing market uncertainty fueled by the pandemic and the seemingly never-ending acceleration of the pace of change makes every day a potential ‘new normal.’”

“An organization’s ability to rapidly respond to change will move from ‘thrive’ to ‘survive’ as operational resilience changes from being a competitive advantage to being a basic requirement,” he says. Low-code development can provide that resilience.

“While using traditional coding languages like Java or MS .Net will still be around, in 2021, more applications will be built on low-code tools rather than traditional development tools,” Ross says. “Enterprises will look for tools that embrace the low-code ethos as the default standard for building new applications.”


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Mike Monocello

The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of DevPro Journal.