And the acceleration of digital business is putting pressure on IT leaders to dramatically increase speed of application delivery and time to value. This leaves companies’ IT departments facing significant challenges: development projects are piling up, programmers are in short supply, and there are high turnover rates for technology staff.
For example, in Argentina each year there are 15,000 unfilled jobs between companies in the software industry and firms from other sectors that are looking for talent with a technological profile, according to data provided by the Argentine Software Chamber (CESSI).
Faced with this situation, it is not surprising that low code platforms are gaining popularity: thanks to their “drag and drop” tools, as well as their visual interfaces and their pre-built components, these solutions allow business people with no previous experience to address some simple application programming tasks.
These platforms are programs that help in the creation of software and, in some way, allow the incorporation of the “citizen developer” to participate in some sections of the elaboration of digital solutions. For example, they allow a marketing expert (or a business analyst, or a project manager) to create, modify or customize a simple web or mobile application that solves some business requirement. Although these developments will then have to be supervised by qualified personnel, low code platforms help to unblock the activity of IT departments, which today are overwhelmed by the demands for new services and functionalities, which must also be launched quickly and with high standards of quality.
When combined with conventional coding, low code can help save time and work. It also means that such a high lordship is not required in the entire IT team.
As is often the case with any technology that gains prominence, marketing prevents a realistic idea of the impact that new solutions can have.
Among entrepreneurs there are cases of people who developed games with low code templates, or who built basic web pages with low code platforms.
For its part, in the corporate environment so far what has been observed is that low code platforms are useful as support for carrying out basic development tasks, and not for critical business matters. In addition, experience shows that with low code the results are not always of high quality. For this reason, , it is always necessary that the resulting work is supervised by a professional programmer, so that later the architecture is aligned, and the integrations can be ensured, the necessary role-based access controls are carried out and it is guaranteed security and data integrity. All this without affecting the operations of the central systems.
In line with this are the results of a survey carried out by Baufest regarding the threat that low code can have on the work of programmers: only 8% of those surveyed indicated that they feel that this could happen, compared to 26%. who believes that these types of platforms are already helping programmers to create digital products faster. Finally, 66% responded that programming and working with low code platforms are two different tasks that do not compete.
According to the consulting firm Gartner, on average, 41% of employees outside of IT, or business technologists, customize or create data or technology solutions. Furthermore, it predicts that by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020.
The success of low code technologies depends on their effectiveness in addressing tasks such as “digitizing workflows, improving customer and employee experiences, and increasing the efficiency of business processes and operational teams.”
An estimate from another consultancy indicates that the size of the global market for low-code development platforms was US$ 5.5 billion in 2021; and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of around 23% between 2022 and 2030. “The growing need to quickly implement digital solutions to automate business operations has opened new avenues for the adoption of these platforms, which provide building blocks that business users or IT developers can use to integrate into workflows and applications without hand coding.
These tools enable companies to develop digital solutions faster, achieve faster time-to-market, respond to changing consumer and business demands, and improve the customer experience.
However, in no way can it be said that low code platforms are going to replace programming teams, far from it. They can simply help solve some basic digital needs of a business and speed up some application building processes to overcome bottlenecks.
But then, is it good or bad for an IT provider to use low code? At Baufest we believe that low code will gain a place by simplifying development and allowing features to be released to clients more quickly.
Consider that in many companies’ development teams are overwhelmed and must prioritize their work, focusing on critical business systems and the tools needed to work with them. And since the developer shortage won’t be resolved any time soon, low-code tools can help IT unblock some projects and allow professional programmers to focus on more critical tasks and make more efficient use of of their time, for example, they do not have to configure and write repetitive code. It can be said that the rise of low-code tools will somehow transform software development teams.
While low code is often associated with citizen developers, many professional programmers also use it to simplify development and speed up build times. And this was evident in the survey mentioned above.
Ultimately, low-code development platforms allow professional and citizen developers to build applications quickly and efficiently in a visual software development environment. The speed and convenience of low code has injected significant accessibility into the coding process, but it can’t encompass the full range of user experiences today’s organizations require.
Going low code alone is definitely not enough, as there are many crucial components in the app development process that require time, attention, and expertise to succeed. Therefore, without taking the time to learn the fundamentals of coding or the context in which the code is used, developers using low-code tools will hit a limit on the quality and functionality of their code.
Development of new products
Regardless of the solution it may provide for some tasks, the use of low code to respond to the lack of development resources must be carefully managed, so that the work is done in a secure and governed way.
For example, at Baufest we use these solutions to speed up the development of web and mobile applications for our clients.
We combine low code with robotic process automation (RPA) and integration and in this way, we seek to make the development of new digital products faster and adapt to the needs of each company. In addition, based on the experience of various low code projects, we designed a “Journey to Low Code” governance process that maximizes the interaction between the T and the business areas for the generation of value applications in a coordinated manner. By adding low code platforms to professional development based on agile methodologies, it is possible to respond more quickly to the requirements of organizations, which today need to launch innovative services and innovate through software tools.