Will low-code/no-code sink or swim?

I think there's a second wave of innovation that's ready to burst out there. Looking at some of these vertically focused domain specific offerings that you can have, whether it's in the low-code space or the RPA space. You can't really talk about low code without talking about RPA at the same time. What's interesting in the world of business process automation is everybody is trying to emulate their competitors. The RPA vendors tout their no-code/low-code capabilities, while the low-code/no-code people talk about their process mapping capabilities. So there's really a huge convergence going on in those spaces.  From an investor's perspective I see this tug of war between the generic platforms (in the RPA space (e.g. UiPath and Automation Anywhere) and the domain specific types of offerings that are out there today. Unqork in New York, founded by a former CIO at MetLife, is basically a no-code app dev platform that is targeting the financial services industry. When you have these industry vertical kinds of offerings, you can develop common workflows. There's a bunch of prescriptive stuff that's not available to you with the generic platforms. All the major business platforms, like Salesforce, Netsuite, Workday, Oracle and SAP, have design studios with no code interfaces where you can visually design a workflow employing platform modules.

Anonymous Author
I think there's a second wave of innovation that's ready to burst out there. Looking at some of these vertically focused domain specific offerings that you can have, whether it's in the low-code space or the RPA space. You can't really talk about low code without talking about RPA at the same time. What's interesting in the world of business process automation is everybody is trying to emulate their competitors. The RPA vendors tout their no-code/low-code capabilities, while the low-code/no-code people talk about their process mapping capabilities. So there's really a huge convergence going on in those spaces.  From an investor's perspective I see this tug of war between the generic platforms (in the RPA space (e.g. UiPath and Automation Anywhere) and the domain specific types of offerings that are out there today. Unqork in New York, founded by a former CIO at MetLife, is basically a no-code app dev platform that is targeting the financial services industry. When you have these industry vertical kinds of offerings, you can develop common workflows. There's a bunch of prescriptive stuff that's not available to you with the generic platforms. All the major business platforms, like Salesforce, Netsuite, Workday, Oracle and SAP, have design studios with no code interfaces where you can visually design a workflow employing platform modules.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I spend a lot of time thinking about that. I think right now is not the tooling that's the problem because you have tooling for almost everything, whether it's very heavy processes or they're light processes by individual users. I think it's more of a problem that people don't know where to apply it. You're given a blank canvas about what you can do with it. Like from what end to what end you can automate and encapsulate it into a product or a package where it can just plug in and go: it could be the form automation, it could be the documentation automation. Business users, it's like they're so busy doing their day to day, they can’t figure out how and when to bring those processes into a product and make it more streamlined. I think that's the biggest hurdle for all of these companies in my perspective. Who can catch fire and which one can get more adoption will be the ones that find the right use case and at the right point to bring automation in.
1 upvotes
Anonymous Author
What's going on in most enterprises now is this sort of massive growth of RPA and finance, but in other areas, this low code thing is allowing business analysts to put things together themselves. That's a bit of a change to the old way of doing things.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I was talking about this last night as part of a presentation on Emerging Tech In my view, LC/NC is still very much on the left hand path of the hype curve. It has not yet but the trough of disillusionment but it will. And it will hit it rapdily once hackers realise that a) there is a lot of information being harvested in LC/NC and b) aspects of security may have been overlooked and c) the media get wind of it. It's like the old joke that there were no viruses built for Mac's because there weren't enough Mac's to worry about. Once they hit critical mass though...
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I great conversation so far! I would not be so binary in posing or answering the question. I think the past, the present, and the future of LC/NC, RPA, and by extension general BPM/BPA, is complex and nuanced. First, IMHO, none of these are new, but rather a significant iteration powered by the rise of the hyper connected world with online services and cloud platforms; a strong trend towards containerizion, microservices, and standardized APIs; and significant advances in, and to a degree democratization of, AI/ML (OCR, NLP, computer vision, etc.) So, LC/NC and RPA are likely to stay, and would probably continue to intersect, overlap, transform, and evolve. As the world around us gets more and more complex (e.g. IoT, software defined "everything"), new layers of abstraction are needed to interact with it, LC/NC looks like one of those layers. I think the future is bright, but a few general concerns come to mind, among them SECURITY (in most cases this hasn't been thought through) and "black boxing", when abstraction hides complexities that are understood by fewer and fewer people.
2 upvotes
Anonymous Author
I would judge any of the solutions under the low-code/no-code space in about 3 years when they require an update.  A change in process flows, or any other significant revamp.   If there isn't a plan for maintenance and support, it's going to be a problem just like all the Auto-Code generators did.
2 upvotes