Low-code programming – the next frontier in app development

Why low-code's contribution to the current remote workforce will endure beyond the pandemic.
22 May 2020

Low-code programming comes to the rescue for remote workforce. Source: Shutterstock

  • The pandemic outbreak has seen an uptick of low-code programming 
  • Gartner predicts over 65 percent of all app development functions will be built by low-code by 2024

Since the pandemic outbreak has forced a mass migration to work from home and remotely from central IT systems, businesses scrambled to get their IT infrastructure set up and running. In turn, thousands of organizations have turned to low-code programming as a quick remedy to alleviate the overflowing support required from IT teams.

Low-code programming has gained a wide range of attention due to its speed-to-delivery advantage. 

In essence, low-code programming slashes development and deployment time by not relying on lines of codes to be written; instead, the building blocks of applications can be easily shifted, fixed, and reassembled, creating an enhanced version or an entirely new application. 

In an interview with TechHQ, OutSystems’ vice president, Asia-Pacific, Mark Weaser said, The technology allows users to facilitate faster innovation cycles and enable high levels of organizational agility.”

“Unlike legacy systems that may pose problems with integration and data access, low-code platforms are accessible by everyone — especially valuable given the current remote working situation.”

At a time where working at home is the new norm, and IT systems are supporting employees remotely, applications built from minimal resources that are able to yield maximum impact will be sought long after, and this is why low-code programming could take center stage. 

The main selling point of this kind of programming amid the pandemic is its ability to help businesses activate and execute their business continuity planning (BCP).

“These platforms not only enable businesses to develop customized solutions, it is also flexible enough to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment.” 

Weaser added that the impact of low-code programming for traditional businesses that now find themselves working from home is the ability to rapidly develop mission-critical applications. 

“For developers with no IT or coding background, low-code programming is easy to navigate with its ‘drag and drop’ feature.”

The same goes for more experienced developers as low-code simplifies the traditional method of hand-coding an entire application, “enabling developers to work smarter and faster, not getting tied up with repetitive coding,” he added. 

An example Weaser shared is how Schneider Electric was able to increase the agility and efficiency in its business processes, capabilities, and operations. 

The multinational company “was able to transform their IT landscape by setting up a ‘Low-Code Digital Factory’ that produced more than 60 new apps in its first 20 months,” Weaser elaborated. 

Into a low-code future

With the rise of popularity among businesses, low-code programming is set to dominate in the future. 

Gartner forecast more than 65 percent of all app development functions will be built by low code (including no code) programing by 2024. In addition, about 66 percent of large corporations will utilize a minimum of four low code tools and platforms. 

In addition, Forrester Research predicts investments in the low-code market segment will hit US$21.2 billion by 2022. 

As a ripple effect, this could see an evolution in IT roles. As analysts predicted the pervasive role of low-code and no-code programming will place IT personnel in a more supervisory position rather than a dynamic software programming and debugging. 

This, in turn, can empower an enterprise as low-code programming enables employees with web access and substantial knowledge of business intelligence to develop an application.

With more self-made developers, businesses will leverage a growing number of employees with low-code or no-code software development skills. Businesses who invest in upskilling their workforce with these IT skills will see growing talent across departments and business solutions emerging in abundance, expanding beyond IT departments. 

As Claris CEO, Brad Freitag, told TechRepublic, “There’s talent everywhere, and we have to source that talent in different ways. You can become an expert low-code developer in less than 18 months.”