The discussion between low-code and no-code development is trending at a feverish pitch right now. Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, many organizations are seeing low-code/no-code as a promising path to digital success. As digital technologies are changing at a breathtaking pace, software development companies are also turning to low-code or no-code platforms to accelerate enterprise modernization, agility, and efficiency.
The low-code and no-code approaches hold promise to make the software more ubiquitous than it is today by reducing technical barriers and enabling non-developers to build enterprise software applications faster.
Introduction to Low-Code/No-Code
A low-code/no-code development platform is a visual software development environment that puts user-friendly features such as a drag-and-drop interface and WYSIWYG editors into the hands of engineers to rapidly develop software without the need for extensive coding knowledge.
Both low-code and no-code platforms are revolutionizing the software industry by accelerating the development of custom applications and maximizing the business benefits of digital transformation.
The foremost and big difference between both platforms is the target audience. The Low-code platform requires some knowledge of coding, so it is better suited for developers. No-Code, on the other hand, targets business users as the platform does not require any prior knowledge of coding and thus focuses on creating the best and smoothest user experience possible.
These platforms have become increasingly popular as a fast and easy alternative to traditional software development for enterprises who want to streamline company-wide operations like order processing, procurement, production, scheduling, and customer information management.
Low-code / no-code application development platforms generally have the following components:
- · Interface Designer
- · Workflow Designer
- · Connectors
- · Common Database
Prediction of Low-code/No-code on Digital Success
· The rising demand of improving business operations, optimizing innovation, and driving digital transformation along with lowering risk and cost has accelerated the use of low-code and no-code development. According to Gartner’s research, the COVID19 pandemic will continue to fuel the low code development technologies market and is expected to reach $13.8 billion in 2021 which is an increase of about 22.6% over 2020.
· Rising digital business has accelerated the demand for new software which has sparked the emergence of citizen developers outside of IT and influenced the rise in low-code/no-code development. According to IDC, by 2023, over 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed. And to fulfill these demands, IT teams leverage Low-code and no-code development as an efficient tool to quickly build powerful apps. Using visual design tools and drag and drop interface, low-code/no-code capabilities let development teams create apps of varying complexity to meet business demands for development, automate processes, and accelerate digital transformation.
Low-Code vs. No-Code
Low-code software is software that requires technical knowledge and can be fully customized with a “less” (minimal) amount of programming. Low-code is not a new concept, it is a modern moniker for rapid application development (RAD) tools such as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Access, etc., which are essential for creating quick, iterative software for businesses to self-service and build solutions with minimal IT support.
The buzzword “no-code” is a marketing term that implies no programming language is required. However, in order to customize an application, you will need to add code somewhere. No-code allows citizen developers (non-professional developers) to innovate without the burden of the shadow of IT management.
Low-code software still requires technical expertise to write code or script. Salesforce and Zoho are examples of low-code platforms.
No-code software, while not always truly no-code, also requires minimal technical expertise. Pipedrive and Airtable are examples of no-code platforms.
Right now, both types of software are often grouped together in the “low-code” category, as only certain apps do not require coding.
For example, an asset management application can be no-code or low-code; these are just use cases that require some extensibility for an out-of-the-box solution.
Difference between Low-Code and No-Code Development
|Target Audience||Developers||Citizen Engineers (non-developers)|
|Coding Requirement||Less coding||No coding|
|Purpose||Rapid and agile application development tools for developers||Self-service applications for business users|
|Objective||Agility and Speed||Ease of use|
|Platform lock-in||Free to move between various platforms||Sometimes locked into the same platform|
|End-to-end development||All platforms provide end-to-end development||Some provide limited capabilities|
|App Complexity||Can create a complex and customized app||Can create simple apps|
Factors driving adoption of Low-Code and No-Code
Both low-code and no-code platforms are made with agility as the main concept. And although they may be quite similar, each of them can be used for different purposes and outcomes. They are highly sought after by companies walking the path of digital transformation and the following are some of the reasons that may have influenced their decision making process to adopting low-code or no-code development processes.
Digital Business Acceleration Drives Application Delivery
Due to massive digital business acceleration and workflow automation, more than 50% of enterprises will adopt LCAP (Low-code Application Platform) as one of their strategic application platforms by 2023. According to Creatio’s first State of Low-Code/No-Code Report, 95% of respondents went ahead with their digital transformation initiatives and are widely adopting low-code/no-code capabilities for digital transformation.
SaaS and Hyper-Automation Will Drive Low-Code Adoption
As SaaS and hyper-automation continue to grow in popularity, the low-code market is seeing commensurate growth in LCAPs and process automation tooling.
Today, SaaS vendors begin to incorporate low-coding/no-coding capabilities into their technology to empower employees to build with confidence and drive automation across businesses. Moreover, the needs of business-driven hyper-automation are turning large organizations to adopt multiple low-code tools to support application innovation and integration.
Lack of Skilled Software Developers
Low-code/no-code application development has gone mainstream due to a lack of skilled software developers and the need to improve efficiency and reduced development time for projects so business problems can be solved quickly. Enterprises are also after low-code/no-code platforms to help with developer productivity and improve collaboration between IT professionals and business leaders, as they find themselves under conflict and pressure when building apps with skilled developers.
COVID-19 Amplifies Digital Transformation
The year 2020 has further amplified the pace of digital transformation across the globe. Many companies have begun to look for solutions that provide the agility and capability to respond quickly to dynamic needs. Low-code/no-code provides a fast and immediate response to brick-and-mortar companies by quickly onboarding them to new digital technologies.
Artificial Intelligence Enhances Low-Code Development
AI itself plays an interesting role in application development. Through AI’s predictive analysis, low code platforms streamline developers’ workflow as it understands a programmer’s project and provides guidance and automation through the development journey.
AI-enabled low code development can help developers analyze the code base and identify refactoring opportunities, which can result in efficient applications with less technical debt.
The combined power of low-code platforms and artificial intelligence helps citizen developers build powerful applications that enhance business logic with cognitive automation.
Low-code platforms abstract the back-end complexity of AI, capable of solving specific problems such as image or text analysis. Implementing AI with low-code development enables more seamless developer workflows and democratizes high-tech capabilities for more applications.
Advantages of Low-code/No-code Development Approach
Low-code/no-code development makes IT teams more productive by accelerating the overall development process – a critical element in today’s digital age, where organizations need to work rapidly to meet customer demands.
With low-code/no-code development, non-technical personnel on the IT team can easily create and build applications. This lets technical developers focus more on other complex projects that require extensive coding.
Remove Technical barriers
By reducing technical barriers, Low-code/no-code development allows more teams to innovate and build sophisticated apps without the need for coding knowledge. Due to fewer technical barriers, citizen developers are able to develop a well-functioning and visually appealing app in minutes without technical software development expertise.
Lower Barrier to Entry, Deployment Time and costs
Due to changing customer needs, limited budget and few skilled developers, it has become important to remove barriers to entry. This is simply because less code development gives non-IT professionals the ability to work effectively, resulting in building business apps quickly, saving customers time.
This efficient self-service model saves skilled developer resources, deployment time and cost while easily integrating new tools and software into a customer’s existing solution.
Reduce Maintenance Burden
Low-code/no-code not only increases developer productivity but also reduces the burden of software maintenance. Skilled developers work smarter and faster with low-code as the platform reduces the burden of data silos by separating multiple tedious tasks from day-to-day development. Compared to traditional methods, low-code development platforms have fewer integration issues to deal with. Thus, allowing developers to focus on more innovative tasks that have a greater impact and yield more value for the organization.
Enhance Customer Experience
Both low-code and no-code development automate many operations that are used to enhance the user experience by more quickly delivering new capabilities with minimal IT support. The easy-to-use visual models, drag and drop functionality, prebuilt functions and integrations help in building much better apps, thus improving the overall customer experience.
Enhanced Overall Productivity
Low-code and no-code development allow developers to build once and deploy anywhere or everywhere irrespective of device. This multichannel continuity increases overall productivity and leads to better experiences and better results—all in less time.
Low code development means organizations no longer need to rely on technical developers to build applications. Thus, eliminates the need for complex coding and provides agile, flexible, and scalable solutions for increased productivity.
Makes Seamless Integration of Legacy Systems
Integrating Legacy into an IT system is expensive to maintain and clunky to use. Low-code platforms ease the integration of legacy systems by eliminating technical complexities. There are many benefits that legacy integration brings, such as making interoperability more achievable, faster growth, enabling businesses to capitalize on new technologies, the ability to adapt quickly to new requirements, and more flexible solutions.
Strong Built-in Governance
Low-code/no-code platforms respect IT governance and boundaries which are administered and monitored by professional IT teams in organizations. IT governance provides oversight for non-technical teams within the organization allowing them to innovate without the burden of shadow IT management.
Apart from this, the platforms also help developers to develop apps as per the organizational requirements without creating management and government liabilities.
Real-World Examples of Low-code / No-code
Prior to the introduction of No-code, GE was using a manual proposal generation process for internal work; in turn, having a much larger turnaround time a consequently a higher cost. On the usage of no-code tools, they could create a much simpler application which not only eased the process but also allowed them to add scenario modeling into the app.
Pfizer relies on software that is easy to use and operates smoothly. But internally, their usage was too cluttered owing to shadow IT. Using a no-code BPM software, they were able to create their own internal app store to consolidate verified apps, and also share custom apps that were built by their own staff.
Both skilled developers and citizen developers alike stand to profit from the speedy and reliable low-code/no-code development process.
The flexibility of low-code and no-code technology allows for a plethora of application development starting from the creation of dashboards to complex, industry-specific solutions.
Primarily, LCNC platforms were used to develop apps for computerized and paper-based processes.
But today as organizations move towards digital transformation, these platforms are used to bring speed and efficiency to the systems, as well as support new innovative technologies like AI, ML, and IoT in the organizational setup.
With the implementation of a low-code or no-code platform, the company can innovate and respond to the rapidly-changing business environment at a faster pace.
● Low code is changing programmer jobs rather than washing them away.
● Highly skilled developers can do much more with low code, concentrating on the most important and challenging parts
● Medium-skilled programmers should either level up, switch their expert focus to using multiple low-code application platforms, or acquire specific expertise in the business niche of their liking to secure their career;
● Businesses need developers as consultants to work out a cost-effective approach to low code.
That being said, it is known that low-code/no-code platforms are definitely not going to eradicate traditional development as a whole. They are only meant to provide a solution to a vast array of users with the tools required. In instances of requirements that are not achievable with these technologies, the programming skills of traditional developers will be the only way ahead and are, therefore, irreplaceable.
Planning to transform your organization in a way that improves business operations, optimizes innovation, and drives digital transformation? Get in touch with our expert consultants at Kilowott and let us lend you a helping hand you didn’t think you’d need.