CXOs Evaluating No-code/Low-code Tools to Solve IT Backlogs

Benjamin Babb
citizen developer report

In a rapidly accelerating digital economy, organizations need to be agile to survive. 

On the one hand, waiting for months for IT to build internal applications can hold teams back from realizing value. On the other hand, time that IT spends away from mission-critical tasks can slow the organization down. 

No-code solutions allow individuals with limited or no coding knowledge to develop applications quickly at low cost. Citizen developers use a simple drag-and-drop interface to design applications that automate processes, cutting down on hours of tedious and repetitive work.

To understand the potential for low-code and no-code applications to transform workplaces, we surveyed 100 CXOs and directors and 100 managers in the US.

Here are our findings:

1: Huge scope for automation in business processes

The sheer potential to automate business processes using low-code and no-code solutions is staggering. 

More than half of upper and middle management reported that more than 60% of processes can be made faster and more efficient with the use of no-code and low-code solutions. 

CXOs in particular saw high value for low code and no code, with more than 40% stating that the vast majority of the organization’s processes can be made faster and more efficient using these tools.

Though managers were a bit more conservative in their estimates, 40% agreed that more than half of their team’s processes can be semi-automated using low code and no code solutions. 

Imagined at scale, these solutions offer staggering time and cost savings for companies. 

percent of processes that can be automated
% processes that can be automated

2: Faster results the biggest draw of no-code solutions

For both managers and CXOs and directors, the faster results that could be achieved with low-code and no-code solutions were the greatest appeal, followed by the scope for customization and avoidance of IT overheads. 

Upper management executives also value the greater IT oversight associated with low-code solutions. No-code and low-code platforms don’t replace IT, but work alongside. IT has oversight of all applications developed using no-code platforms, ensuring lower security risks and better management of IT sprawl.

benefits of citizen development for the organization

3: Majority of requests to IT are backlogged

Low-code and no-code solutions free up IT to focus on mission-critical tasks. 

Most upper management and middle management executives believe that 40% or more of requests to IT are backlogged due to conflicting priorities. Managers overall reported greater satisfaction with the performance of their IT department. However, 65% of the managers we surveyed stated that about half of their requests to IT were backlogged due to various constraints.

Astonishingly, almost a third of the CXOs and directors surveyed stated that about 80% of technical needs remained unfulfilled in their organization. 

Using low-code and no-code solutions, citizen developers can take control of their teams’ business processes, customizing functions according to their needs at a fraction of the time and cost.

Mid-size companies are most likely to find themselves held back by overloaded IT teams, with most of the managers of mid-sized firms stating that 60% or more of their department’s requests to IT remain unfulfilled.

Even in small-size firms, which are typically expected to be more agile, 75% of managers reported that more than half of their IT needs remain unfulfilled due to time, budget, and other constraints. This leaves only 25% who were satisfied with their IT team’s performance. 

Large firms with better-funded IT teams fair better, with only about a half of managers concerned about significant IT backlogs or 60% or more. However, there is significant scope for efficiency even in these companies, as only 11% stated that less than 20% of their requests were caught in an IT bottleneck.

Percentage of requests that are backlogged with IT, or technical needs that are unfulfilled

For teams that need to adapt quickly, long IT wait times can prove frustrating. 71% of managers stated that lack of time was the main hindrance to IT delivering on projects. 

Expanding the in-house IT department is an expensive proposition for most enterprises, given the shortage of talented developers. 

Using no-code platforms, teams can automate simpler and more straightforward processes themselves, making interactions with clients and vendors seamless.

4: Lack of time and funding limit no-code adoption, not intention

The primary hindrance recognized by managers and CXOs to adopting no-code solutions was a lack of time, not a lack of willingness or interest. 
However, as an increasing number of business processes are handled online, the use of low-code/no-code solutions may soon become inevitable. Industry leaders recognize that it may no longer be possible for in-house developers to hand-code the number of applications necessary to run business operations successfully.

5: Most higher-level executives are aware of the need for citizen development

Low-code and no-code solutions have been around for a while, but the abrupt shift to remote work in 2020 has elevated their visibility and put them in great demand. 

99% of CXOs and directors and 79% of managers surveyed reported that they were familiar with the term citizen development, indicating that low-code and no-code solutions are no longer a niche market. 

Enterprises are seriously considering them to speed up business processes and return greater control to teams.

In addition, 96% of the CXOs and directors and 92% of the managers we surveyed believe that there is a need for citizen developers in their organization. 

Enterprises recognize the need to move past the paradigm of building ad-hoc tools on Microsoft Excel or spending six-figures on a custom IT platform. 

Offering employees a more structured environment in which to build time-saving tools speeds up processes and gives individual teams the control and freedom to adapt to changes spontaneously based on real-time feedback.

6: Most organizations have either already partnered with a low-code platform or are in the process of doing so

The vast majority of organizations have either already adopted low-code/no-code solutions or are in the process of doing so. Only 1% of upper management executives stated that they were not interested in partnering with a low-code/no-code solution.

7: No-code/Low-code skills vital for organizations

Adopting a no-code or low-code solution now would give enterprises an early advantage – a trained workforce who can creatively deploy no-code solutions to improve users’ experience inside and outside of the organization. 

To fully leverage the tacit knowledge of their workforce, 81% of CXOs and directors stated that they have training programs for citizen development. 

Almost half of the managers (46%) we surveyed stated that they actively recruit candidates with low code and no code skills. As the freedom and responsibility of IT development shifts from centralized IT departments to decentralized teams, managers are actively looking for employees who can help them build the future. 

Soon, low-code and no-code will be some of the most sought-after skills in the industry, since they allow companies to leverage an immense amount of value from existing teams.

Takeaways:

  • Enterprises are preparing to move past their dependency on legacy systems built and managed by IT to a new operating model where anyone in the organization can build applications to solve significant problems.
  • With citizen development, developing applications will no longer be siloed within the IT department, it will be considered a core competency for all.
  • The strong support of management for no-code and low-code solutions indicates that we may soon see a hybrid model where business process development becomes more diffused, and individual teams will take control of their own business processes using low-code and no-code tools.
  • Tools such as Pipefy allow users to automate and centralize business processes on an easy-to-use, no-code application. The system can be deployed to automate workflows across departments from finance to HR to sales.
  • Endlessly customizable, their ready-made templates can be tailored to suit the unique environment of any business. Immensely scalable, building an integrated, enterprise-level application no longer needs to take months but can be developed in a matter of hours.

See why more companies choose Pipefy as their low-code workflow management platform

Written by
Benjamin Babb
Enya devotee, ghost story aficionado, and skillet collector. Research, writing, and branding are what I do with my brain. Will talk about language or chihuahuas all day long. Senior Writer at Pipefy.

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