Low-code platforms are software solutions that are now creating major changes in how companies build their applications faster and enhances functionalities. But will they reduce the need for highly skilled engineers building and evolving digital platforms? Will low-code solutions be transformative and, if so, what are the implications?
What has caused the rise of low-code platforms?
Benefits. Looking at the drivers for the rise of these solutions, let’s start with the benefits. Companies using low-code platform solutions have achieved, or hope to achieve, benefits including accelerated time to market because the solutions speed up application development and deployment time (more less than three months, compared with three to six months).
Other benefits include increased automation to streamline workflows (especially manual processes) and allow business users to help develop functionality that solves problems. business. With the severe global talent shortage we face, some companies want to use low-code solutions as a way to reduce IT backlogs and close the gap between business demands and the limited availability of resources. of IT. Others hope to reduce investment in developer expertise and data engineering.
Democracy is programming. Besides the benefits, an important driver is that low-code platforms democratize programming. They allow individuals with less formal training to develop tech functionalities, thus allowing more people to participate in app development. This is similar to the way cloud democratized computing power and made it available to a wider segment of the business population, making it easier to use and use.
Trajectory towards low-code solutions. Efforts to democratize programming and reduce reliance on heavy engineering skills are not new. Businesses have been on this trajectory for a long time.
First came attempts to create automated code or generate code from data models. The technology of the case is the ability to build a robust data model and then generate code for the functionality that will drive the business. This solution had its place, but it was cut short because the time spent developing the data model was significant and equivalent to generating the code. In addition, the code generated by this solution is brittle and difficult to maintain.
Object-oriented programming has replaced the data model approach, and it is still with us today. Its promise is that it allows programmers to rebuild and reuse things and generate huge productivity from there. But the results have been modest regarding democratization. Object-oriented programming works but it strengthens the track for the heavy engineering movement rather than democratizing coding. Although companies could reuse parts of the code, they had to create most of it on their own; thus, the hope of a world of things that could be easily linked together never emerged.
The next stage of evolution is automated code writers, and there are several solutions on the market by 2014.
Today’s solutions for low-code platforms are the latest iteration of the evolution to democratize programming. Low-code platforms emerged but were not developed for some time until they became sufficient to support widespread adoption. Low code solutions seem more promising than object-oriented programming. They scale well, and many companies productively use platforms that are low in code and achieve great results.
Low-code platforms can be the “next cloud”
The low-code market is evolving very fast, and solutions are widely available in today’s marketplace. There are many versions. Everest Group research (based on customer interactions) ranks four providers as Leaders in 2022: Outsystems, Mendix, Salesforce, and ServiceNow. There are several low-code cloud solutions, with AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft leading the pack. They also offer low-code solutions for adding AI to applications. We believe that enterprise platform service providers will capture a large share (75%) of this market in the future.
Low-code platforms are poised to play a dramatic role in the ongoing evolution of democratizing programming. Our research with the Everest Group shows that adoption will grow sharply over the next few years. In fact, we believe that low-code platforms could be the “next cloud,” which will be a critical asset for digital resizing.
How important and innovative will the low code solution be?
How important is this phenomenon of low-code platform solutions? I believe they will be especially important in helping with AI development. They will also enable improved productivity because organizations can build application functionalities faster.
However, I do not believe they will replace the need for heavy engineering skills. In fact, we have a huge increase in demand for heavy-duty engineering talent happening in conjunction with low-code platforms taking market share. How can we reconcile the growth of the two at the same time?
The answer we need both as we move into the platform era where companies are looking to thrive by developing platforms to improve their competitive capabilities. They need both heavy-duty engineering and low-code platforms that allow for quick and easy development.
Low-code solutions will be an integral part of programming going forward. They allow entrepreneurs to play a role in development. They are a fast, inexpensive way to generate prototypes and functionality, while heavier engineering skills are required for components for platforms that drive high volume transactions and require more rigor. and expertise.
Companies will develop parts of their technical functions in low code and will develop other components through traditional engineering and IT vehicles. But low code will be part of the tech stack, not at war against the tech stack.
How companies should change
Gone are the days of the fortress mentality of central IT departments dictating to the business community what they can and cannot do. Technologies are very important today and are embedded in how companies conduct business. The more they use platforms to compete, the more it increases the important interest of business users in participating in the functionality. They can’t wait for a centralized IT organization to build functionality, and they have to accept responsibility for the functionality itself. Low-code platforms give them the opportunity to participate.
Companies must accept low-code platform solutions. They have to marry low-code solutions with heavily engineered platforms, which does not allow opposition between them. In fact, I believe IT departments need to educate entrepreneurs on choosing the right platforms and perhaps provide training for them. They should also provide management and guidelines for understanding when to delegate a low-code programming project to heavier engineers to put scaled components in place.
If low-code platforms achieve the expected benefit, will third-party service providers still be needed? Really. Heavy engineering activity will continue to grow, not diminish.
We are now at the point where it is clear that low-code solutions are with us for the foreseeable future and will play an integral part in the tech stacks of organizations.