Low-Code Development tools, are no passing fad, and are growing in importance at major businesses. So concludes a recent report from Forrester, Low-Code Development Platforms For AD&D Pros, Q4 2017. David Ramel of ADT Magazine quotes the report’s conclusion: “Mounting evidence shows that low-code development platforms are here to stay."
Forrester isn’t alone in its belief in the future of low-code development tools, which give people with little technical expertise — often called “citizen developers” — the ability to write powerful apps. Gartner agrees that low-code development is on the rise as well, particularly when it comes to mobile app development. Gartner estimates that by 2018, more than half of all of all B2E mobile apps will be written by enterprise business analysts and citizen developers using rapid mobile applications development (RMAD) [aka "low-code development"] tools rather than by IT staff. The Gartner report went on to say, “The use of codeless tools for the rapid development of straightforward projects by IT and enterprise business analysts will become an alternative to outsourcing limiting the use of development partners to more-advanced projects…Those that resist will be bypassed and promote shadow IT.”
A recent article in Computerworld notes that RMAD tools help businesses not just by saving money so that they need not hire expensive developers. RMAD tools, it said, are “not only speeding up delivery, but they’re also enabling workers to build better products.” In the article, analyst Eric Klein of VDC Research says that IT leaders have told him that low-code development products have unleashed the creativity of citizen developers, who have become a boon to their organizations.
Klein isn’t alone in pointing out how much citizen developers and low-code development tools have helped companies. Gartner analyst Katherine Lord told Computerworld, “CIOs need to embrace this because it’s potentially a competitive advantage. CIOs need to stop seeing it as a threat and shift control. It’s OK to empower the business.”
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Plenty of CIOs agree. Ken Russo, former director of enterprise architecture at Independence Blue Cross says he found from experience that embracing citizen developers with low-code development tools not only speeds up app development, but also helps IT gain the trust of people in enterprises. “You build relationships and the organization builds confidence in you,” he told Computerworld. “After four years of doing this, we’ve got a really good reputation, so when there’s a need in the mobile space, they know to come to us.”
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