Are No-Code Apps the Future of Development?
When the Covid-19 crisis struck, companies needed to pivot quickly to new ways of doing business. Organizations that rapidly implemented new digital-enabled models excelled in the face of unpredictable change. Those that lagged risked losing customers and revenue streams.
But the pandemic merely accelerated an established trend of customers demanding faster responses and businesses operating at higher speeds. Agile development methodologies quickened software build cycles. Cloud computing enabled near-instant software rollouts. Customers and employees alike now expect your enterprise to continually introduce and improve digitized services and processes.
These imperatives have organizations evaluating and investing in no-code development. No-code solutions allow citizen developers or those with little or no technical knowledge to quickly and easily build applications. No-code tools can support business activities as essential as filling out web forms and as sophisticated as ensuring compliance with mission-critical workflow processes. They’re even robust enough to empower development teams to speed the creation of enterprise-class applications.
Bridge to No-Code
But is no-code simply an auxiliary to traditional development? Or has no-code reached a tipping point where it will achieve widespread adoption and become the foundation of good development practice? Here are five reasons no-code is the future of application development:
1. Development’s destiny is in the data.
The no-code market is expanding rapidly, with sales of no-code solutions expected to reach $21.2 billion by 2022, according to Forrester. That will represent a five-year compound annual growth rate of more than 40%.
It’s part of a wider trend in which two-thirds of application development will be achieved through no-code or low-code tools by 2024, Gartner predicts. Sales of related technologies are slated to grow 23% in 2021. By 2024, two-thirds of application development will involve such automation tools, the analyst firm predicts.
Development professionals are even specializing in no-code or low-code approaches. In fact, 11% of global developers – some 2.57 million workers – are now no-code or low-code specialists, according to IDC.
2. In today’s world, using software to build software makes sense.
We use software to support virtually every aspect of our lives, every minute of the day. The cars we drive are powered by software. The public services we consume run on software. Your coffee-shop checkout? Software-enabled. The smartphone in your pocket? Software-dependent.
So why is your business still hand-coding the software it runs on? Why, whenever your lines of business need to optimize a process, must they fall back on slow, largely manual development cycles? Today, no-code tools can make your application creation faster, easier, and software-enabled.
Professional development teams also recognize the value of using software to create software. Developer-focused no-code and low-code platforms increasingly apply artificial intelligence (AI) bots to validate code and automate software testing. As a result, developers spend less time on rote tasks and more energy on innovation while less experienced developers are empowered to build software.
3. Employees expect to be empowered.
More than 50% of the U.S. population is under the age of 40, and they’ve grown up with devices and apps. That means much of your workforce is probably young, too. These digital natives know how to use digital tools and they expect to take advantage of them to make their jobs easier. In fact, by 2024, 80% of technology products and services will be built by people who aren’t in technology fields, Gartner predicts.
No-code tools can enable citizen developers to create new business applications quickly and easily, from simple web forms to robust workflow solutions. Intuitive drag-and-drop features can empower team members to craft the business-enabling software they need, whenever they need it. Employees on the front lines can easily iterate functionality to continually improve and meet changing business needs without burdening IT departments that are already stretched thin
4. Developers want to focus on high-value innovation.
IT departments and development teams will be happy to cede simple software creation to citizen developers. It frees up technical experts to develop more strategic, enterprise-wide capabilities and services. Doing so also boosts user satisfaction since they can meet their own needs faster, avoiding IT project backlogs.
No-code tools can also reduce “shadow IT” – lines of business that circumvent your corporate policies to purchase their own software without the IT team’s knowledge. Unapproved software can introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities into an organization and cause it to miss out on economies of scale. An approved no-code solution used across the enterprise can nip those problems in the bud.
Just as important, professional developers can take advantage of no-code tools. Reusable no-code components help them avoid having to manually code entire programs from scratch or build cybersecurity into routine applications, forms, and workflows.
After all, preconfigured no-code components are designed around best practices, and they’ve already been tested for reliability and scalability. Sound security practices and integrations with a range of IT environments are built in.
5. Customers demand digitized processes and services.
The pandemic accelerated the digital trend toward online shopping, telehealth, remote financial services, contactless checkout and more. Customers and employees alike are not only comfortable with digital experiences; they now demand them. Therefore, digital customer service interactions were predicted to leap 40% in 2021, according to Forrester. While 85% of companies said digital processes were “nice to have” back in 2019, by 2020, 100% recognized that digital is crucial to business success, the analyst firm reports.
No-code tools can enable your company to rapidly digitize and automate routine tasks that help improve customer service. They can also extend your digitized, automated processes to both internal and external customers. The result is superior customer experiences and higher customer satisfaction.
Traditional application development can be time-consuming and expensive. It can also be slow to adapt to rapidly changing market demands. No-code tools reduce business risks through easily consumable and proven components that allow citizen developers to quickly create and implement solutions that make them more productive and effective. It’s no wonder no-code is the future of application development.