With the increasing number of mobile apps on the market, customer and employee expectations are changing. As a result, businesses all over the world are placing a high priority on their ability to adapt quickly. More than ever, IT teams are under immense pressure to do more with less. In fact, the power of an organization to achieve impact with velocity could be critical to its survival.

There is also an immediate need to connect data, people, and processes at digital speed so as to compete and win in this digital economy. For example, accessing data, collaboration tools, and apps needs to be as viable on a smartphone as on a desktop PC. Low-code software platforms are accelerating this digital transformation, allowing businesses to deploy apps faster than ever, often in as little as one to three months. According to Nucleus Research’s 2020 LCAP Technology Value Matrix, they can bring quick returns, such as 20% savings on IT spending, a 45% increase in productivity, and ROI in less than five months

What is Low-code?

Low-code is a superior, more efficient way of creating hyper-responsive systems instead of coding applications from scratch or using off-the-shelf software. Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAPs) are essential to the enterprise technology stack. Forrester Research defines low-code development platforms as “application development platforms that enable rapid application delivery with minimal hand-coding and quick setup and deployment.”

Low-code is a component-based technique to connect with core business logic and back-end data. It produces a shared view of your applications for IT and business and enables rapid, iterative delivery of new business applications. Combining cloud computing, business process management, and mobile development technology eliminates the hassles associated with off-the-shelf solutions that do not integrate seamlessly and create data silos. Unlike traditional coding, which is slow, low-code enables digital process automation and digital transformation.

The finest platforms extract data from various systems, adding the intelligence required to search for and present relevant information in any workflow. They can orchestrate bots, workers, and AI using AI and robotic process automation tools that provide strong case management, security, governance, and seamless integration.

In short, low-code enables developers to build apps faster and adapt to change by integrating human and digital labor into the same workflow. Using AI, they improve adaptability, agility, and cost-effectiveness, allowing users to create complex business flows in a visual, drag-and-drop design environment.

What is Low-code Development?

Low-code development is a strategy that enables tech and business professionals to collaborate and deliver digitally transformative solutions. It utilizes user-friendly features like ready-made UI components, boilerplate scripts and integrations, solution blueprints, and visual workflow automation tools. As a result, it expedites IT delivery without sacrificing quality or amassing the technical debt of maintaining existing applications. In fact, cost-efficiency is a valid consideration, given that a hefty percentage of IT money and time is spent on technical debt.

In other industries, such as banking, organizations spend up to 75% of their IT expenditure on legacy system maintenance. In addition to the difficulty of repairing and maintaining legacy programs, many businesses must also adapt legacy code and meet end-user expectations. Low-code platforms are optimal in these circumstances since they are simple, quick, and enterprise-grade.

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Features and Benefits of Low-code Development

Visual modeling

Visual representations of processes, drag-and-drop capability, and an intuitive graphical user interface accelerate application development. Consequently, even non-developers can quickly comprehend application design, departments outside of IT can engage in innovation, and cross-functional teams can cooperate more effectively and make better judgments.

Drag-and-drop interfaces

Typing lengthy code takes time. Low-code allows developers to build apps intuitively with drag-and-drop functionalities, reducing the time to launch. In addition, pre-configured modules, templates, logic, and connectors make app development more reliable and scalable. It also allows apps to be developed quickly using the Rapid Application Development (RAD) strategy of “build first, then streamline.”

Agile development

Low-code simplifies project management, requirements analysis, versioning, testing, release, and more throughout the app development lifecycle. By rapidly designing, launching, iterating, and releasing apps, you accelerate the time to value. Moreover, cross-platform functionality with standardized designs enables quick deployment. As a result, even developers with limited expertise can design hybrid, cross-platform business apps with minimal training.

Security and scalability

Today, low-code development is enterprise-grade. The finest platforms have security certifications and large-scale project experience. Thus, cloud-based low-code platforms can offer flexibility, continuous delivery, run-time, and dev-time scaling on demand.

Collaboration tools

With integrated capabilities for feedback loops, user stories, revision tracking, communications, and more, it is possible to develop collaboratively. Low code’s visual nature ensures all developers are using the same language. It also helps establish stronger business-IT interaction, improves enterprise-wide communication, streamlines development, and decreases rework by eliminating silos.

Low-code in 2023

According to a Markets & Markets report, the worldwide Rapid Application Development market will reach 46.2 billion US dollars by 2023.

Gartner data indicates that the implementation of low-code software development is increasing by more than 20% annually. In 2021, the global market for low-code development platforms will reach $13.8 billion. Low-code revenue is predicted to reach $16.8 billion in 2022 and $20.4 billion in 2023.

Gartner also predicts that low-code application development will account for over 65% of all app development functions by 2024, with over 66% of large organizations utilizing at least four low-code platforms.

What is the Difference Between Low-code and No-code Development?

Low-code and no-code development platforms can create software applications without writing code. They both offer a visual approach to building applications, eliminating the need for a developer who understands traditional programming languages. As a result, app creation is accessible to many individuals, particularly tech-savvy business professionals.

Low-code and no-code development platforms aim to assist professional and amateur developers construct apps more efficiently, thereby increasing productivity. In addition, both reduce costs associated with setting up and managing infrastructure. However, the simplicity and user-friendliness of no-code systems are also drawbacks. With so much of its structure predetermined by its creators, it cannot be customized, and this could leave potential security and regulatory issues unaddressed.

The capacity to integrate applications into the enterprise architecture is also limited. Without the oversight and deliberation that come with developer-driven creation, no-code applications can contribute to the growth of shadow IT. While the simplicity, ease, and uniformity inherent to pure no-code development are effective at the department level, scaling across the enterprise presents challenges.

What is the Difference Between Low-code and Business Process Management?

BPM, or Business Process Management, involves analyzing and modeling a business process from start to finish and reengineering it to maximize efficiency. BPM improves productivity, teamwork, customer experience, regulatory compliance, and accuracy. It is vital for organizations that want to excel at process management. However, one disadvantage of BPM software is that it requires an engineer for even the most straightforward app or process adjustments.

This is where low-code development platforms can help. Low-code platforms would simplify app creation and transform BPM service deployment by providing configurable tools, resources, and components that can help build custom BPM solutions without extensive coding. Another plus: API connectivity with third-party SaaS companies. Thus, low-code can be used to construct apps and codify processes for BPM initiatives.

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How To Choose a Low-code Development Platform?

Before choosing the platform, here are a few aspects to consider:

Fee model: Consumer applications cannot justify low-code systems with per-user costs. Low-code providers list their pricing online. For more information, contacting the sales team is advisable. It also allows you to inquire about the price and compare the providers you’re considering.

Devices and browsers: The low-code platform should work with all devices and browsers you intend to deploy. You should consider trimming your target list to essential devices and browsers if it does not.

Developers’ skill sets: Instead of hiring a single expert, consider building an app with a team. If none of your platform choices align with your team’s talents, consider training, hiring, or both.

Development timeline: Low-code development boasts a faster time-to-market. Ask the vendor for a timeframe based on your needs and their history. Then, estimate the time for documentation, testing, early development, and final deployment.

Scalability: The manufacturer should be able to advise you how many users a typical deployment can support, but you’ll need to do a load test on your final deployment to determine the maximum number of users.

User expectations: Consumers anticipate sub-second reaction times from your applications and a native look and feel. A typical behavior to test on a smartphone is navigating an extensive list: the scrolling should be quick when hard-flicked, but the list should also have “momentum” and slow down before stopping.

Proof of concept: Create a proof-of-concept application using a simple subset of what you intend to construct. Do as much of the POC production in-house, approaching the vendor for assistance only when your own team is stuck.

The Future of Low-code

Here are some statistics highlighting the opportunities for Low-Code Application Development (LCAD) and No-Code Application Development (NCAD) as future codes.

● Gartner predicts that low-code app platforms will account for more than 65% of the development work by 2024.

● A Mendix survey indicates that 70% of developers with zero programming skills learned to build applications with a low-code platform within a month, while 28% mastered the skill in two weeks or less.

● A Research and Markets study shows that the global low-code development platform market will generate about $187 billion by 2030. Growth is expected to advance rapidly at 31.1% CAGR during the forecast period (2020-2030).

● Results from Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms note that by 2025, 70% of advanced new applications will leverage low-code or no-code technologies, as opposed to less than 25% in 2020.”

The future of low-code and no-code platforms certainly looks bright. But the potential of these platforms to truly make a difference will depend on how they are used and set up. According to the Harvard Business Review, low-code and no-code platforms allow business employees across functions to own their automation, create new software applications with minimal coding, and increase organizational capacity

Conclusion

Gartner forecasts a 23% increase in the global market for this type of technology in 2021. Low-code and no-code tools grew steadily in the ensuing months due to their success in addressing some of technology’s most complex challenges, resulting in digitized workflows, improved customer and employee experience, and enhanced productivity of commercial and operational teams.

Organizations must increasingly become what Gartner refers to as a “composable enterprise.” Low-code, no-code, APIs, and other tools allow businesses to integrate new apps into their current tech stack more seamlessly using a “lift-and-shift” approach rather than a “rip-and-replace” one.

Successful firms will be able to capitalize on new prospects for low-code and no-code apps while still implementing the appropriate organizational and security frameworks. Businesses that do so will benefit from improved agility, innovation, and profitability, putting them in the lead for years to come.

Low-Code Related Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

How can I build an app without coding?

Professional developers are no longer the only ones who can create apps. Everyone can now create mobile apps without programming by utilizing the free options of low-code app creation platforms. App builders help create mobile apps without coding. These tools have pre-programmed templates and features to update and personalize your app.

Since the features are pre-programmed, you do not need to develop them yourself. You can also create unique mobile applications by modifying the style, content, and functions.

What is low-code application development?

Low-code application development is designing and constructing apps with minimal or zero coding. Low-code application development platforms help companies create unique solutions with novel capabilities tailored to particular business models. These platforms include easy visual builders, ready-to-use code snippets, form and report templates, and built-in connectors to accelerate development and extend the potential to innovate to a larger group of individuals. As a result of eliminating routine coding procedures such as constructing frameworks, modeling data, and developing user interfaces, users can begin developing their applications on these platforms almost immediately.

How does low-code accelerate digital transformation?

A low-code platform needs less coding, facilitating quicker development, more experimentation, rapid innovation, and rapid deployment. Low-code platforms facilitate faster interaction with internal legacy systems and external systems. They also provide real-time business information for swift decision-making. And to cap it all off, the inexpensive development cost enables organizations to experiment more without exceeding their budgets.

Thus, a robust low-code platform can assist organizations in rapidly transforming complicated mission-critical systems while supporting comparatively minor apps, offering a uniform approach to their business applications. As part of their digital transformation activities, enterprises seeking to upgrade their legacy systems and rapidly change their non-digital applications must explore minimal code platforms to speed their digital journey.

What is the difference between low-code and no-code?

Low-code and no-code systems offer the same core advantages, but their names convey their primary distinction.

Low-code development expects users to write some code, although much less than typical program development. Programmers and professional developers use low-code to rapidly deliver applications and switch their focus from routine programming jobs to those with more significant impact and value. Non-IT professionals also use low-code tools with little programming skills to construct basic apps or enhanced features within an app.

No-code development is for non-technical users in various business roles; they may understand organizational requirements and standards, but their coding expertise could be minimal. These “citizen developers” leverage no code to build, test, and deploy their business applications quickly and efficiently.

Typically, no-code is used to construct tactical apps that perform simple operations. On the other hand, low-code can also be used to develop apps that execute mission-critical business or core system activities, such as specific integrations and digital transformation initiatives.

Author

Indium Software is a leading digital engineering company that provides Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Digital Assurance, and Gaming services. We assist companies in their digital transformation journey at every stage of digital adoption, allowing them to become market leaders.