As many experts predicted, the adoption of low-code platforms is gaining momentum in 2023. Businesses en masse are turning to low-code: they want to develop consumer-centric and internal applications fast and be more agile in the wake of a possible recession. Overall, it's hard not to acknowledge the growing interest in automation, even from non-techies, and "hyper-automation" has become a new industry buzzword.
Low-code platforms provide businesses with unprecedented flexibility concerning software development. Sure, you can approach the "build or buy" dilemma either way, but building apps internally allows firms to cut costs when everyone seems to optimize expenses at all levels. Besides, I need to mention mountaineering financial challenges and mass layoffs many businesses are facing.
As of today, low code helps with solving two major challenges. First, business demand for apps is snowballing across industries. As a result, IT departments are overwhelmed, and available IT staff are hard to find these days. Low code solves this issue for good. According to numerous reviews, low-code development is 60% faster than traditional development.
Second, expenses. As mentioned earlier, operational optimization has become a top priority for many companies, especially if we look at the widening skills gap and the shaky economic situation. The low-code approach in development paves a cost-efficient way for businesses to navigate today’s business reality through market changes yet to come.
Low-code platforms allow companies to scale their digital initiatives internally, freeing up developers so they can concentrate on more complex tasks. Overall, the global market for low-code development technologies is forecast to reach a total of $26.9 billion in 2023. If you compare the numbers from the Gartner research below, this is a solid 20% rise from last year.
For the general public, it looks like a breakthrough. I mean, something that had looked like a sort of technological gimmick turned out to be a force to be reckoned with. Funny enough, the rise of CRMs followed a somewhat sameish scenario. While the minority claimed that this technology was innovative and promising for business, others did not seem to recognize such systems at first, seeing only beautiful interfaces for the trees. Nowadays, it's the industry standard everyone's been using.
Can we draw parallels with low code adoption? Let’s find out.
What are low-code and no-code development platforms?
First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page regarding definitions. Low-code and no-code platforms are SaaS solutions that facilitate software development without writing much code manually. Instead, citizen developers can create applications using pre-made components and graphical interfaces. In other words, your team members can take a more active part in designing, developing, and deploying an internal app or a customer-centered solution.
Still (and that's a major 'still'), you have to have at least basic programming knowledge and experience. As with any constructor, the functional modules have limitations, and you can't replace handwritten code. "Low code" contains "code", doesn't it? Anyway, both types of platforms are awesome tools if you know what you're doing. The major difference between them lies in the audience they serve and the complexity of the development process in every business case.
Now let’s talk about the most common features you may find in a low-code platform:
- A visual builder that serves as a graphical user interface;
- Ready-to-use code snippets are reusable, so you can create new applications quicker;
- Form and report templates to keep up with various reports;
- Pre-built integrations;
- Open APIs.
Here are just a few scenarios for using low-code tools:
- Automation of routine tasks in complex systems like CRM, BI and ERP, such as filling out reports. Analysts have to perform a large number of manual operations monthly, like entering data into Excel files, filling out reporting forms, and transferring information to analytical systems. All these tasks can be done using a simple internal app developed from scratch in a week;
- HR department automation. Reviewing resumes and responding to candidates takes a lot of time, especially for popular positions. Low code automates the whole process from A to Z.
- Automation of internal processes and tools. Find more info in this article.
When thinking about products you can get with low code, think about the following:
- Employee lifecycle management tools;
- Expense management tools;
- Marketing budget management tools;
- Sales lead management tools;
- Bug tracking management tools;
Low code equals higher productivity (and job retention)
In 2023, higher productivity is crucial more than ever, owing to the mass tech layoffs (which adds even more headache considering the shortage of developers).
The report issued by OutSystems indicates that developers using low-code tools feel higher satisfaction compared to developers that don’t (57% vs. 36%), and nearly 60% are happy with their teams' productivity. Surely, this level of productivity and job satisfaction will lead to higher employee retention in 2023. This way, if you want to retain your top-performing developers, you need to provide perks in three key areas:
- Work-life balance;
- Career opportunities;
- More available resources;
- Opportunity to upskill.
Benefits of low code for business
Anyway, what about the benefits of low code? Well, low code comes with several advantages for businesses of all sizes. No wonder low-code software development services are getting more and more popular these days. Let’s find out what these bonuses are.
It’s all about speed and automation. Low-code builders speed up business processes (both internal and customer-facing) and automate stages of documentation.
Businesses also resort to low-code builders to revamp various administrative processes. Empowered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), low code streamlines daily tasks such as managing resources, supplies or delivering merchandize.
- Reduced costs
This is one of the most tangible benefits that low-code platforms offer. In fact, building solutions with low code is more cost-effective than developing solutions in-house or connecting multiple different systems.
- Less hustle with maintenance
Apps' maintenance, bug fixes, and dealing with updates are cumbersome and time-consuming processes. Low-code tools help maintain applications and digital channels without compromising productivity.
The majority of low-code platforms integrate with stellar cloud computing providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. These services allow businesses to manage resources wisely, following uptime and costs.
- More involvement from citizen developers
As said earlier, low code builders erase boundaries for non-technical people, aka citizen developers.
- Working prototypes
Startups can create a fully-functional prototype to validate ideas and analyze customer feedback. Talking to customers is the critical step to uncovering precise user requirements before you go all in with a full-fledged solution.
Top 10 low-code builders to use in 2023
It’s a no-brainer to conclude that in 2023 we’ll see more businesses adopt low-code platforms to add more to their performance and scalability. Being low-code aficionados as we are, we love analyzing trends and coming up with predictions. Here’s the article on the top 10 low-code builders to use in 2023. You will:
- Learn what the internal tool builders are;
- Familiarize with internal building frameworks benefits;
- Know how to use internal tools builders right;
- Find the top 10 examples of internal tools builders frameworks in 2023;
- Know how to choose the right ITB network for your business workflow.
And that’s not all! Below you’ll find our forecasts for several industries we’ve been watching. Without further ado, here are the links to these articles:
- FinTech and low code;
- Ecommerce and low code;
- Manufacturing and low code;
- EdTech and low code;
- Cloud and low code;
- Healthcare and low code;
But maybe you’re into videos? Mendix, Retool, Appsmith… If you’re into low-code tools, I’m sure you’re familiar with these names. In this case, you may really want to check out our short review videos on YouTube:
How to start implementing low-code strategy in a company
Low-code tools are the main driver of digital change for many businesses. So the main question is, how do we digitize internally and start implementing our low-code strategy? Basically, two reliable scenarios exist. Let’s check each of them in detail.
Quite often, low-code adoption initiatives come from an outsider, a technology partner in our case. Currently, there are low-code software development services, including consulting. In this case, it’s all up to your partner, his competence, and the project’s outcome. Will you be interested in low code? If your pilot low-code project is delivered successfully, chances are that you will.
The second scenario implies that the business already employs people familiar with low-code automation. Citizen developers among your employees can popularize the concept of low-code within their teams which leads to a “natural” adoption, so to speak.
The steps towards low code depend on the scenarios above. Anyway, the first step is to choose the right low-code platform, then train your staff members. The best low-code advocates are your employees. After all, they all know how your business works and what to expect. Thus, unlike hardcore developers, your employees can build tools with a bigger picture (I mean business-wise) in mind.
Will low code replace traditional development practices?
The low code approach in software development has a lot of advantages over the traditional process. Speed, flexibility, cut expenses, you name it. Low code significantly revamps the procedure of software development, design and maintenance. Plus, the entry threshold for rookies is lowered so that more ideas are possible to create.
However, no matter how powerful low code platforms might be, limitations exist. Fair enough, there are non-techies that create simple websites, e-commerce stores, Airtable integrations, or simple CRUD systems developed with, say, Retool using low code on a daily basis just like the ads suggest. But you still need technical experience.
Don’t get me wrong, though: low-code platforms are the match made in heaven for those who know what they’re doing. In a nutshell, low code solutions are ideal for creating MVP and hypothesis testing, especially if time is a crucial factor and you can neglect support, development, and scaling of the product for the time being.
However, if you expect to build complex systems with low code, you need to add designers and programmers to your team. So, answering the question: no, low code can’t replace handwritten code. However, it’s never meant to. The biggest idea behind it is that it can supplement it. Therefore, developers won’t lose their jobs any time soon.
AI and coding
With that being said, enter AI. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to go through your LinkedIn feed without bumping into a post or two about ChatGPT. Well, yes - the main output it provides is code. However, it's nearly impossible to operate it at present for code-generation tasks without knowing how to code.
Anyway, it all may change in the near future. Chances are we’ll see tools that combine low-code graphical programming interfaces with NLP inputs. But it’s hard to predict the outcome as these platforms still have the same base issues that current low code builders have.
In theory, though, using low-code tools to speed up the development process and analyze AI may bring awesome results. Chances are specialists will be able to significantly complicate AI, making it more variable, smarter, and, to some extent…perfect.
As Francis Carden (VP, Digital Automation and Robotics at Pega) put it: “While we've seen AI appear tactically across the enterprise, it's part of a much broader transformation — and often requires an army of data scientists. When deployed pragmatically, AI can be transformative for all employees.
In 2023, we'll see smarter low-code emerge. Infused with AI, low-code will become more valuable and safer than ever. 2023 will be the year AI-infused low-code enables all users to benefit from AI to optimize processes, increase efficiency and improve decision-making, making low-code development more beneficial, safer, and smarter than ever before.”
The merge of low code and AI analysis will help businesses achieve tangible results. The main point is to simplify the creation of apps and data analytics procedures.
Varsha Mehta, Senior Market Research Specialist at Gartner, summed it all up perfectly: “Providing both developers and non-techies with various low-code platforms enables organizations to reach the level of digital competency and speed of delivery required for the modern agile environment.”
Empowered by the best low-code development practices, companies of all sizes can be less dependent on developers while being able to access and use business-critical data. Internal teams can deliver apps that help businesses successfully embrace their digital transformation objectives with minimal coding experience.
Low-code platforms have an important feature: the visualization of the algorithm. Everything that is hidden behind the lines of code in ordinary programming is drawn here in the form of a diagram. This enables analysts, product owners, programmers, and designers to be on the same page while looking at the process diagram.
At the same time, just introducing low-code platforms to your employees brings no value. The main thing here is adopting an elaborated low-code strategy to make sure everything’s going to plan from day one.
Hire low-code experts
As noted above, the domain of low code is rapidly developing in the increasingly interconnected and technology-driven world. Developing apps fast gets accessible for more and more citizen developers in any industry. However, you might need an experienced technological partner to get the maximum result out of your efforts.
What about partnering with low code/no code development experts? With 8+ years of low-code development experience, our team helps companies deliver robust applications that cater to specific business needs. Our seasoned consultant team provides expert advice on low-code platforms for companies willing to innovate. We’ll help you define your very first steps so you can start implementing your low-code strategy with clear goals in mind.
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