Are Low-code And No-code Platforms the Next Big Thing In the IT Sector? No-code, as opposed to low-code, relies completely on visual tools and does not require developers to do any handholding.

By Piyush Goel

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The world is modernizing and digitizing at an unprecedented rate; however, it is staring at a huge gap between the supply and demand of talented professionals. The shortage of qualified developer talent is a setback to the massive pace of application development that's set to take place in a span of a few years. By 2023, more than 500 million apps will be developed, according to IDC.

According to Gartner, the market demand for app development services will grow at least five times faster than the IT capacity to deliver them. As a result, IT projects could be shelved for prolonged durations.

What if developing apps didn't require hours of coding?

A much more agile solution to this challenge is Rapid Application Development (RAD), which prioritizes rapid prototype releases via no-code or low-code development. Enabling non-developer talent and citizen developers to take a stab at building apps with little or no knowledge of coding, low-code and no-code platforms have emerged as viable and convenient alternatives to the traditional development process. According to reports, the future is low-code or no-code with an expected growth rate of 44.4 per cent by 2022 to $27.23 billion (up from $4.32 billion in 2017).

For non-expert programmers who have some coding experience, low-code software allows the development of mobile and web apps with simple user interfaces and drag-and-drop capabilities. Since there is little back and forth with a developer team already overworked, design, implementation—and ultimately launch—becomes faster and leaner.

The low-code no-code platform enables businesses to develop apps using a visual development approach instead of the alternative development route that requires thousands of lines of code. By 2024, Gartner predicts that low-code development will account for more than 65 per cent of application development activities. Generally, a low-code application platform comes as a cloud-based platform-as-a-service solution and helps to reduce complexity and increase flexibility.

No-code, as opposed to low-code, relies completely on visual tools and does not require developers to do any handholding. It takes less time from start to finish, and there is less cost involved since in-house talent can do it too, provided that they have complete knowledge of the app.

There are various apps for low code and no code development available in the market, including popular ones such as PowerApps and Power Automate, Appian, OutSystems, Nintex and Quickbase.

Benefits of low and no-code platforms

There are several benefits of companies now switching to no-code, low-code apps instead of traditional app development. Being a time-efficient and plug-and-play approach, it could save weeks, and even months at the end of the organization, which means products can be presented in front of customers sooner and emerging technologies or trends in the market can be capitalized on ahead of the competition. It also helps save on manpower and working hours since testing time is reduced.

At the same time, it can ease the development process, and enable citizen developers to contribute to process automation. Additionally, it will reduce IT dependency to a certain extent, although developer talent will also be needed for low-code platforms. It provides a framework where individuals of various coding skill levels can create apps, and low-code development can complement or enhance legacy systems that are outdated and cumbersome.

Overall, low-code and no-code platforms can accelerate the pace of digital transformation and process automation.

Of course, there are limitations to everything. While extensively-coded apps or software may take time and resources, they are custom-built and fit an organization like a smug glove. However, for low-code and no-code platforms, there are often restrictions to the templates available and the scope for customizations and integrations can be limited. For complex, consumer-facing apps or software with a heavy user base, it may be harder to build a sturdy and durable app architecture, especially with no-code platforms. At the same time, these platforms may run security risks because of little oversight by developer teams.

There are also conversations about no-code and low-code app development platforms posing a threat to software developers. There is no threat to developer jobs from low-code development platforms. In fact, quite the opposite. With more expanding horizons in the field of development, low-code development is taking charge of just a portion of the pie to help developers and custom software providers to focus on core competencies.

Piyush Goel

Founder, Beyond Key

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