Pulse Flash Read: The low-code lowdown

Is IT agile enough to move with the times? Citizen Developers wielding low-code could help. The average developer’s in-tray is perpetually stuck in the exponential, meaning that all those things business wants IT to do take a lot of time to execute. IT could always hire more developers, but they aren’t cheap, especially when budgets are already squeezed. There’s an alternative out there that not only relieves coders of some of their burden but also leverages the maker skills laying dormant in the business side of the enterprise: low-code. Business employees are often the first to identify what new tools would be useful to increase their output or reduce time wasted, and may also have a keen eye for design. The problem is expressing their ideas when they can’t speak the language of code. What if business employees could build apps without having to translate their ideas to the coders over in IT? With low-code (or no-code, more on that later), building apps, internal/external websites and landing pages can be as simple as one-click and drag-and-drop. Just as apps and personal computers enabled users to bypass the Command Line Interface that only coders can navigate and instead use Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs), low-code is bringing GUIs full circle to development processes. GUIs enable business employees to become ‘citizen developers’ (a coinage that seems a little off mark given they’re employees within the same organization, but anyway) making RAD, or Rapid App Development, an in-house process. This doesn’t mean that developers will just disappear. A developer team will (probably?) always be needed for centralized, higher-level IT infrastructure oversight for all that RAD stuff the citizen developers are creating. In fact, half of the low-code marketing is directed at developers: there’s low-code for all those mundane, time-consuming tasks that drive developers nuts, freeing them up their focus for the exciting stuff instead. Developers can let business come up with the basics of new apps, the blueprints, and then step in to add the flourishes that make a truly excellent app. They might even rediscover what sleep feels like. Trend forecasters like Gartner are predicting a rapid rise in low-code deployment, with most low-code vendors quoting Gartner’s claim that by 2024, 65% off all app development will be driven by low-code. This isn’t surprising when you think about the hitherto hidden productive power low-code can unlock from outside the IT scope. It means potentially utilizing the creative experimentation of every non-IT employee, providing lightspeed ideation-to-deployment pipelines. Someone needs a landing page? Boom, Customer Experience taken care of by an employee who knows what UI is needed. Data taking too long to move between apps? DONE, delivered by the person writing the reports, working exactly as they need it to. This is especially useful for startups and SMEs that can’t afford the top-tier developer and data scientists they’d otherwise need for deployment. Any employee can identify a process that needs automating and just… make it. Who are some of the players in the low-code/no-code sphere? Zapier, loved by freelancers and small teams, provides intra-app automation for streamlining productivity. Mendix has landed in the upper-right ‘leaders’ part of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for three years running, alongside, for example, OutSystems. Betty Blocks, touted as a ‘visionary’ in that same Magic Quadrant, leads more with a ‘no-code’ angle (but, given that both low-code and no-code have scope to inject code as required, it’s not clear that these are truly separate categories). Lansa, however, certainly isn’t no-code, offering a single low-code language to relieve headaches for IT and developers looking to leverage more current personnel power and app unity through integrations and deployment. All these vendors can also be described as an aPaaS - application Platform-as-a-Service, offering much in the way of security, integrations and quality control. And because why not throw in an extra acronym?

What are the low-code/no-code offerings you’ve worked with? Or is low-code just a fad and you’re sick of hearing about it?

Top Answer : and Oren Ariel would love your thoughts!

Green Hard Drive
Software
and Oren Ariel would love your thoughts!
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Blue USB Stick
Software
AirTable just raised a $185m funding round, so watch for much more activity in this #lowcode space
1 upvotes