The global low-code development platform market is predicted to generate a revenue of $187 billion by 2030 — a dramatic increase from just $10.3 billion in 2019. Following industry disruptions like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation, investments in low-code and no-code (LCNC) business solutions have been on the rise.
These two events will push organizations to be remote-ready, thereby accelerating the adoption of LCNC tools to prioritize automation, foster agile IT workflow management, and work toward a digital transformation guided by low-code platforms.
However, there are still a lot of questions about what LCNC tools can really do and whether the benefits are worth the costs associated with adopting these solutions. In the first installment of the series, Carlos Cima, Vice President of Technology at SoftBank Group International, and Ananth Avva, President and COO at Pipefy, share 2022 tech predictions, why low-code solutions are the key to digital transformation, and how citizen developers can improve IT teams’ productivity.
Here are some of the webinar’s takeaways, plus a look at why IT teams need low-code automation.
The state of IT departments
Gartner estimates that through 2025, reliance on external consultants will grow as a result of the widening gap between organizational ambitions and internal resources and capabilities. To meet the demand, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.5 trillion in 2022.
Between a growing talent gap and the need for organizational agility, companies today need to do the hard work now to build basic governance frameworks for organizational agility. With the notion of “back to normal” no longer being the end goal, now is the chance to start working toward a digital transformation that’s needed for reinventing the future of work and defining “post-pandemic” success.
So if 2020 was about being reactive, then 2022 and beyond is about being proactive.
What tech leaders are saying
In order for companies to make it through the latest disruptions, digital transformation will need to be at the forefront — or you run the risk of falling behind. Tech leaders surveyed in IEEE’s The Impact of Tech in 2022 and Beyond predict the greatest challenges will have to do with talent, technology, and managing the switch to new work models.
Top four challenges for 2022 and beyond
|Very challenging||Somewhat challenging||Only a little challenging||Not challenging|
|Maintain strong cybersecurity for a hybrid workforce||40%||43%||15%||2%|
|Recruit and fill open tech positions||34%||39%||19%||8%|
|Determine tech needed for post-pandemic future||29%||39%||26%||6%|
|Manage software and track data needed for safe return to the office||29%||44%||22%||5%|
How low-code software will lead digital transformation
Low-code and no-code solutions have been on the rise to fill the gap left by shrinking talent pools and rising needs of the business. But, there are still a lot of questions about what it really can do and the benefits/costs associated with adopting this technology solution.
Here are four ways low-code software will aid companies with IT’s digital transformation and alter the future of work:
Fill knowledge worker gaps
As teams navigate the future of work and balance the pressure of resuming in-person vs. remaining remote, IT leaders are still expected to support a dual workforce with limited resources. The answer? Find talent where it’s available.
So with the world of remote work flourishing, globally distributed organizations will require a layer of workflow and automation to ensure process and team execution. With LCNC technology, teams will be better equipped to build, manage, and automate business processes easier, quicker, and safer.
Mobilize citizen developers
IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, according to a Gartner survey. Citizen development powered by LCNC platforms can solve this.
LCNC tools require minimal coding to implement and maintain, plus zero coding to use. This is why it’s a faster solution for teams who want to skip writing code from scratch every time there is a problem. LCNC tools allow teams to do more with less and democratize problem solving.
By allowing citizen developers or non-technical workers to create and deploy applications and technology solutions to solve business challenges, IT department teams are able to focus on the bigger picture.
“You can cut out the middleman as you empower non-developers to create their own applications,” says Carlos Cima, Vice President of Technology at SoftBank Group International. “If it makes it easy for users to create their own applications according to their needs, this is a plus to developers [and IT].”
Improve IT efficiency
Powered by LCNC tools, citizen developers can help IT by:
- Reducing IT backlogs
- Increasing the speed of innovation
- Reducing the amount of unsanctioned tools and shadow IT
- Developing a rich application inventory that is accessible to everyone in your organization and drives community collaboration and sharing
“Accountants used to do manual journal entries 10 years ago, and now the role of the accountant itself has changed radically,” says Ananth Avva, President and COO at Pipefy.
“There are systems that orchestrate [what they did], but now they’re more [involved] in expert decision making and are doing more complex things, so similarly I would say there are things that developers probably do today that are not particularly value-adding or are very time consuming that can either be automated or pushed to either local applications or citizen developers.”
Solve security and governance issues
LCNC tools work best when deployed with the supervision of IT — not without it. With this partnership, the risk of shadow IT, governance, and security hazards are kept to a minimum.
Deploying applications with non-IT workers like citizen developers or business technologists, low-code platforms build the back-end tech/logic on behalf of IT. This streamlined method of work will allow citizen developers to help IT in a manner that’s safe, repeatable, and compliant.
Why low-code ≠ bad news for IT
There’s a misconception about LCNC technology: that it will make IT and developers obsolete or introduce security risks. Naturally, this leaves technology teams distrustful of the technology. However, that’s not the case.
“Nothing is truly no code; it’s all low code,” says Cima. “LCNC tools will not replace developers anytime soon, but they can complement the work that they do.”
Low-code frees up valuable IT resources by relieving them of time-consuming workflow or process tasks best handled by the people that have their hands on the work — whether they’re citizen developers or business technologists. In turn, teams then have more time to focus on being strategic partners and solving “real” IT problems that affect bottom lines.
What LCNC means for the future of IT
As IT and dev roles continue to evolve and grow in complexity, citizen developers, citizen automation, and LCNC technology will not only grow in need, it’ll be required for successful digital transformations. For this reason, it’s essential for IT to see this technology and partnership with citizen developers as beneficial, not a threat.
“[LCNC] is something that we’ll see a lot more in the future,” says Cima. “The sooner you organize your processes the better, so my advice for those who are reticent about whether to adopt it or not, I think it’s something that developers will appreciate.”
If you prefer a quick recap of the discussion between IBM and Pipefy, check out the low-code webinar series recap to learn how more about navigating the digital landscape with low-code solutions.
ICYMI: Low-code webinar series recaps and digital transformation insights
Unable to attend previous webinars? Don’t miss out on industry-leading conversations and insights. Check out our previous low-code webinar series recaps to keep informed:
How IBM and Pipefy Navigate the Digital Landscape With Low-Code Solutions, featuring guest speaker Guilherme Novaes, Ecosystem Director at IBM Brasil;
How Accenture Made Low-Code the Backbone of Digital Transformation and Innovation, featuring guest speakers Fabiano Guastella, Digital Innovation Associate Director at Accenture, and Clarison Benteo, Digital Transformation Manager at Accenture.
*Some comments and quotes have been edited for clarity.