As part of Solutions Review’s Expert Insights Series—a collection of contributed articles written by industry experts in enterprise software categories—Agustin Huerta, the SVP of Studios at Globant, outlines some benefits low-code and no-code technology can provide to companies during economic uncertainty.
Low-code and no-code development platforms are key technologies changing what’s possible in software development and unlocking previously unseen levels of organizational productivity. While “low-code” refers to platforms that allow developers to build applications with just a few clicks, and “no-code” refers to platforms that enable users to create applications with no coding knowledge at all, both are alike in that they are helping companies develop applications faster and easier than ever before.
By shortening development cycles, improving agility, and reducing the costs associated with development and deployment, low-code and no-code platforms allow companies to relieve some of the pressures of maintaining operations amidst a rapidly changing business landscape and global economy. The low-code and no-code markets are growing so quickly that Gartner predicts they will grow 20 percent this year.
Balancing Widespread Business Benefits With Risks
Although data and endless successful use cases back low-code and no-code platforms’ effectiveness, there are several considerations before investing. Every technology has risks, and low-code/no-code platforms are no different. As previously stated, the potential business benefits of low-code/no-code platforms are massive—especially during economic uncertainty.
There has been a long-standing data gap impacting the IT industry (Gartner found that IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64 percent of emerging technologies), and many companies don’t have the tech talent required to create innovative applications at the pace needed to stay competitive.
However, with no-code platforms, people from departments across the company—from marketing to administration to human resources—can leverage software development to solve their problems without waiting for resource availability from IT. But while this can speed up business, it also risks causing internal chaos, especially for larger, global companies. This is because if every department starts to create and run isolated applications they’ve made using no-code platforms, it can quickly result in a lack of integration, loss of critical business knowledge, and security and safety risks. However, applications procured with low-code platforms tend to have built-in connectors to different databases, making integration more streamlined.
In addition to reducing time spent and complexity, low-code/no-code platforms also help reduce the occurrence of human error. Its automation capabilities also relieve the tediousness of developers’ work, helping maximize the time and focus they can spend on solving complex, more creative problems. This can help propel businesses to new levels of innovation, as well as increase developers’ job satisfaction.
While software development is typically considered a “high-tech” industry, it lags behind other sectors when implementing technologies like automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Many practices within software development are still done “by hand.” With the increased demand for software across industries, low-code/no-code platforms are gaining prevalence at a crucial period
Determining if Low-Code/No-Code is a Fit for Your Company
When considering adopting these platforms, it’s essential to determine your primary business challenges and analyze whether low-code/no-code tech will be beneficial to solve these problems. Even if it is deemed to be helpful, businesses must ensure they have a plan set up to ensure that they can ignore any potential pitfalls – for example, that they can configure applications that contain all the necessary capabilities to provide an excellent experience both internally and for their customers and can avoid any integration or security issues that might endanger sensitive data.
The array of multi-experience applications businesses are creating—from mobile apps to wearables and sensors to chatbots—increases complexity both inside and outside of IT, and the entire company needs to be informed of its risks and responsibilities. When comparing low-code/no-code platforms to traditional means of enterprise software development, think along a spectrum, with one side representing rigid, by-the-book processes and one representing ungoverned flexibility. The key to maximizing benefits is pursuing a balanced approach that lies somewhere in the middle.
Benefits to Society
As a skill set, software development experience was once thought of as the pinnacle of importance for hiring from an IT perspective and one that was limited to engineers. Low-code and no-code platforms have drastically simplified the software development process. With this technology, non-engineers and people without formal technology education or experience can create applications.
Aside from increasing the agility of the IT department, this also allows more people worldwide to secure employment in one of the fastest-growing and sought-after industries—technology—opening up a new world of possibilities. For example, people from some rural areas where there is traditionally a lack of accessibility to technology education can still consider and secure a role in the industry.
Although every industry can benefit from using low-code/no-code platforms, the software development industry will benefit the most. And in an era when every organization, to some degree, is a software company—and software is the foundation of many significantly positive changes to humanity, the planet, and ourselves—society as a whole will benefit from the changes these platforms bring to the industry.
Overall, low-code/no-code platforms are rapidly increasing in prevalence across industries. Their benefits to software development, and thus to organizations as a whole, are significant and can increase productivity and efficiency, two key priorities for companies as they strategize how to survive economic uncertainty. Combined with their benefits to the employee experience and society, low-code/no-code technology will continue to be one of the most important developments in recent years.
However, business leaders need to consider whether their unique challenges and characteristics fit low-code/no-code platforms’ capabilities and determine how they can maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of the technology.