The Future of No-Code

Today, 4 out of 5 businesses in the US are using low- and no-code to develop their applications. What is causing this shift in preference from traditional development tools to low-code and no-code platforms, and what are the implications for the future of no-code?

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The Future of No-Code

Welcome to the (digital) future

Businesses experience a critical need to digitize workflows to enhance customer and employee experience, and boost efficiency of operational and commercial teams. To shorten the time to market, the speed of the application development is crucial.

The application that was brainstormed last week? It should’ve been deployed already, preferably yesterday…

This growing demand is putting a strain on IT departments worldwide. The demand for software development is growing much faster than the ability to deliver. Unfortunately, 47% of developers say they don’t have access to the tools they need to build applications fast enough to meet deadlines.

While the IT demands of organizations are stronger than ever, the pool of qualified software engineers is too small. According to TechRepublic, 83% of CIOs struggle to fill tech positions. Furthermore, it is predicted that 667,000 computer science jobs will be added between 2020 and 2030 as more organizations look to streamline processes with automation and integrations.

As if that wasn’t enough, COVID-19 has taken its toll on the situation. With increased remote work environments, the need for digitized workflows and accessible tools for streamlining work became a precarious issue. IT leaders worldwide noted that the workload increased during the pandemic. Only 37% say that they finished projects assigned to them during 2020. However, having (hopefully) passed the days of lockdown and remote-only work environments, there is no sign of a decrease in the demand of digitized workflows. On the contrary, COVID-19 has highlighted these issues, and put them on the agenda.

“The solution?”, you might ask. Find a way to brainstorm, build, test and deploy custom applications in days or weeks instead of months. Build platforms that are affordable and easy to maintain and upgrade. Use citizen developers, namely non-engineers to produce applications without the need for code. The solution: No-code.

No-Code: challenging the status quo

Low-code and no-code tools have already seen steady growth due to their effectiveness in addressing some of tech’s most complicated challenges. Appian found that 84% of enterprise organizations have turned to low-code or no-code development already to reduce strain on their IT departments. Thus, making the shortage of engineering and developer talent easily addressable.

With the citizen development movement, employees can become software developers quickly. By nature, it’s designed to be simple and accessible, only requiring brief training. In 2018, 70% of low-code/no-code developers with no prior experience with software development learned to build applications in one month. If citizen developers can build applications in such a short time, the pressure on IT departments will be eased

In fact, IDC found that low-code or no-code spreads up the software development lifecycle by 62% for new applications and 72% for adding new features. It increased productivity by 123%. The time needed to build custom applications was reduced by a factor of 10 in comparison with traditional application development. Thus, drastically decreasing the time to market.

Another interesting effect of no-code is the return to innovation in application development for large enterprises. Companies embracing citizen development scored 33% higher on innovation than traditional development firms. Moving the mainstream development tasks, such as planning system architecture, setting up frameworks, hard coding and endless testing, to a no-code platform frees up engineers to focus on tasks that truly move the business forward.That is, developing applications that further innovate business processes by digitizing workflows and processes, and that boost efficiency. Nonetheless, IDC reports that customers earned on average an ROI of 509% after five years using low-code or no-code.

Shades on!

Forrester estimated that by the end of 2021, 75% of all enterprise software would be made with low-code or no-code. It is estimated that by 2023, businesses will develop more than 500 million apps in the cloud. Insanely, this is the same number as the total number developed in the last 40 years.

The shortage of qualified software engineers and developers will thus remain a recurring issue. Charles Lemanna, Corporate vice president of the citizen applications platform at Microsoft, says that 450 million of these will be built with low-code/no-code because there just isn’t enough talent out there to meet demand.  Most likely, these millions of apps are only the beginning: digitizing processes and workflows have no limit. In the foreseeable future, there is no limit to the demand of tools that make it possible.

To meet this demand, no-code tools are challenging the traditional development processes by drastically decreasing the costs, experience and time needed to build applications and increasing the innovation by firms embracing the approach. Gartner predicts that there will be 4x more citizen developers than professional developers at large enterprises by 2023.

Seemingly, the future of no-code is bright, so put your shades on!

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