The Rise of No-Code Development:
No-code application development is now a feature in many software platforms, allowing everyday users, also known as “citizen developers,” to customize and configure enterprise solutions to meet their specific needs, without relying on IT.
But what impact does this have on the future of traditional software developers?
Bridging the Skills Gap
As the world faces a rapid pace of change in politics, finance, regulation, and technology, businesses are turning to IT for help in adapting to these changes. However, finding the right IT talent and retaining them can be a challenge as IT management skills are a significant area of skill gaps for businesses. Moreover, tech salaries are significantly higher than the national average in the U.S. These factors drive organizations to seek more IT agility and many are turning to no-code development as a solution. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 70% of new applications developed in enterprises will be built using no-code or low-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020.
No-Code vs. Low-Code vs. Pro-Code
Enterprise software applications have traditionally been extended through custom coding in the form of add-on modules. However, the coding languages used for these modules are often obtuse and difficult to maintain, even for skilled software developers. As a result, low-code development has emerged as a solution, offering more flexibility and control than custom coding while still allowing for customization and configuration without IT expertise or coding skills.
Gartner identifies common low-code applications as data collection, process orchestration, email-based systems replacement, and UI updates. These are popular in enterprises. Low-code development occupies a middle ground on the app development spectrum, with pro code at one end and no-code at the other.
No-code development delivers on its promise of no coding required. Instead, users are equipped with visual tools to design and configure simple apps through drag-and-drop interfaces. These no-code tools often focus on specific solutions such as mobile app building, chatbot creation, workflow automation, and website design.
Faster and More Agile
Analyst firm IDC predicts that the low-code movement will result in the creation of 500 million new apps by 2023, more than in the previous 40 years combined. The primary drivers behind the adoption of low-code development are the need for organizational agility and the ability to deal with new and changing regulations. Low-code tools allow businesses to empower front-line employees who are familiar with departmental and use case pain points, with the autonomy to respond proactively to any change in the business landscape.
Businesses embrace low-code development tools due to staff empowerment to solve IT issues without IT involvement. Businesses welcome such tools. A study by 451 Research found that nearly 60% of custom apps are now built outside of the IT department and 30% of those are built by employees with limited or no technical development skills. Furthermore, a study commissioned by Red Hat Software found that IT professionals are using low-code tools to deliver solutions up to 90% faster.
No-code development, which has been present for a long time as a tool for coders, is now available for the entire organization to use. This has given rise to “citizen developers” who are able to create new business applications. As a result, no-code is becoming a permanent fixture in many core business applications. This allows business owners and managers to be more flexible and adapt to changing conditions, while freeing up IT departments to tackle more complex projects. Building applications that solve their day-to-day issues is also within the power of end-users.