Understanding Low Code 

With low-code becoming used in almost every industry, what can we expect in 2022?

Low-code development platforms are helping different-sized companies in a variety of industries succeed in digital transformation. Low-code is less costly than traditional development enabling enterprises with limited resources to keep up with software development demands.

Low-code’s visual development approach allows professional developers and business users to use components to build solutions. With the growing need for new applications, modernization, and fewer skilled developers, low-code is garnering interest from companies across the globe.

Forrester expects that the low-code market to represent 21 Billion by 2022. With low-code adoption growing, platforms have become essential to application development. So what is the future of low-code?

Gartner predicts that the global low-code development technologies market will grow 23% to 13.8 billion in 2021. Low-code’s continual growth will impact software development and businesses in 2022 and beyond.

What is the Future of Low Code?

Low-code and no-code tools continue to take center stage for companies as the need for digital transformation increases.

Companies have realized that if they do not adopt advanced technologies, their competitors will. Once niche products, low-code platforms are now mainstream and an important tool for professional developers and business users.

The growing digital landscape increases the need for workflow automation. IT leaders see low-code as a way to accelerate app development and time-to-value. Low-code platforms abstract code, saving developers time and allow citizen developers to make valued contributions. 

The spread of low-code platforms reduces the need for specialist code by already scarce enterprise developers. Gartner’s report predicts that developers will use multiple low-code tools depending on the task. Here are a few more ways how low-code will impact businesses.

Low Code Predictions 

  • Collaboration between Developers and Citizen Developers: Low-code will continue to change how teams work. Forrester Research’s Jeffery Hammond expects to see more hybrid teams collaborating on low-code projects on native cloud-based platforms. Developers and citizen developers will continue to work on innovative applications to accelerate digital transformation.
  • Accelerated Prototyping and Innovation: Citizen developers with specialist business domain knowledge will continue to build solutions in every sphere and industry. Companies that encourage employees to explore low-code will be in the ascendency. Organizations are increasingly adopting low-code and prototyping tools to facilitate innovation. Low-code quickly transforms ideas into prototypes, minimum viable products, and even entire applications.
  • Rapid Development of Enterprise Applications: As noted above, low-code platforms are now mainstream. Entire development teams will continue to use them to create even more complex applications. Enterprise-grade tools such as Alpha Anywhere will enable developers to build solutions faster in hours rather than in days.
  • Increased In-House Development: At a recent Microsoft Ignite Conference, CEO Satya Nadella acknowledged that most companies develop software in-house and are less reliant on off-the-shelf products. Gartner predicts that by 2024, as much as 65% of software development will be on low-code platforms. 

The Future of Low Code

  • More Business-Driven Hyper-automation: Low-code platforms allow businesses more control over creating individualized solutions. Instead of outsourcing application creation to developers, companies can build apps that support business operations. Gartner sees business-driven hyper-automation as one of the top three drivers of low-code adoption through to 2022.
  • The Professional Developer’s Role will Become More Valued: Low-code platforms allow employees to contribute to app development and speed up work for developers. A report from Builtin says that low-code will automate most of a developer’s work, making their job easier and increasing their value. The advancement of low-code tools will give developers more freedom to create sophisticated solutions.
  • Empower People to Work Remotely: More companies will adopt low-code platforms to enable their remote employees to solve workflow and process problems.

What Does Low Code Mean for Developers?

Low-code platforms enable developers to improve their productivity. On most platforms, there is room to add bits of code to customize applications.

Rapid Application Development, also called low-code development, allows companies to build software solutions faster. Paulo Rosado, CEO of Outsystems, says that low-code is ten times faster than traditional development when developing applications.

Although low-code has encouraged the emergence of citizen developers, programmers are still hugely important. airSlate customer solutions director Colin Teubner says that low-code platforms won’t replace the work that developers do.

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Low-Code platforms automate some of a developer's most tiresome tasks such as:

  • Data storage
  • Reading and writing data
  • Dealing with permissions, logins, or hostings

When developers use low-code platforms it may help them to think of new ideas or broader technical solutions. Low-code makes the developer’s role more valuable as they can produce a higher volume of solutions, quicker, and with fewer errors.

Here is what low-code could mean for developers:

  • Seamless Innovation: Low-code platforms reduce the backlog of work for developers as business users can create innovative solutions.
  • Simplifies Testing and Prototyping: Developers can build prototypes and tests using low-code platforms to evaluate the effectiveness of ideas to improve processes.
  • Automates a Developer’s Routine Tasks: Low-code platforms help to automate monotonous tasks. For example, auto-machine learning solutions can manage data processing, basic feature engineering, and model deployment.

Low-code and no-code platforms have plenty of room for a developer's expertise. Citizen developers can use no-code and low-code tools to accomplish different things. However, a skilled developer is needed to extend software solutions to systems without open APIs.

Developers who use low-code platforms find that it supports their work and opens up new possibilities. For example, because low-code allows them to produce a higher volume of solutions, they can focus on more complex projects such as:

  • Building large enterprise systems to automate complex workflows and business processes.
  • Adding custom functionalities to business applications
  • Supporting and collaborating with business users on low-code projects.

The Power of No-Code/Low-Code App Development

Increasing Access to App Development:

Low-code has made app development accessible for non-technical employees, industries that are slow to modernize, and small-to-medium-sized businesses. Low-code has created equality of opportunity for people who lack technical knowledge or companies with limited resources.

Encouraging IT Departments and Employees to Innovate: Most IT departments that don't use low-code may struggle to stay on top of their work. Software development requests come from almost every department, increasing the development team's workload. With low-code tools, developers can build enterprise-grade solutions quicker.

Democratizing Development: Low-code/no-code platforms allow employees to build mobile apps and desktop solutions quicker within secure environments. Development teams then add custom code and test applications before deployment.

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Low-Code/No-Code App Development:

Who Are They For? Low-code and no-code platforms address the needs of different users. No-code tools are for employees without any coding background. For example, they allow project managers or designers to build applications without needing to write code. Low-code tools are primarily for citizen developers who have some technical knowledge.

How Low-Code/ No-Code Platforms Work: Both have visual development environments that enable users to drag-and-drop or point-and-click components to create desktop, web, or mobile apps. No-code platforms provide everything users need to start building, while low-code tools leave room for custom code.

Why Low Code is the Future

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According to Gartner, app development is a team sport and is not only the domain of IT departments. Growth in digital data, low-code application platforms, and AI have empowered non-technical teams’ contributions.

By 2024 business users will build 80% of a company’s software solutions. All business departments have seen the impact of advanced technology to accelerate business processes and serve customers effectively. Consumers have grown tired of a one-size-fits-all approach and demand personalized solutions.

The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to expand the need for use cases for tailor-made solutions. Gartner projects that by 2023, products and services that did not exist before the pandemic will generate $30 billion in revenue.

Forrester Research predicts that low-code platforms will account for 75% of app development by the end of 2021, an increase of 44% in 2020. They found that businesses that used low-code tools, digital automation systems, and collaborative project management adjusted quicker during the pandemic. Forrester Research predicts that more businesses will use low-code to build mission-critical apps and to update legacy systems.

Forrester Research forecast a 15% growth rate in the low-code market in 2021. They say that more businesses will use low-code platforms to improve user experience, automate processes, and upgrade systems. Gartner says that businesses will need to be open to free-flowing ideas from citizen developers, customers, or other sources.

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How Low-Code Will Change In 2022, and Beyond?

Low-code platforms are dramatically different from those of a decade or even a year or two ago. The pandemic has forced companies to respond immediately to being submerged into a digital landscape.

How Low-Code Platforms Are Changing?

Brad Freitag, CEO of Claris International, says that this reactive shift is changing. He predicts that from 2021 and beyond, businesses will re-evaluate their low-code solutions. So how will low-code platforms change in the future?

Some IT leaders say that low-code platforms increase shadow IT practices, which could lead to a security breach that developers must clean up. Freitag argues that modern low-code platforms provide quick customized development, are API-driven, and comply with security policies.

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Be sure that the low code software platform you select fits the experience level of the people developing the apps.

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Do Low-Code Platforms Benefit IT teams?

Low-code enables IT teams to create high-quality applications quicker and at increased volumes. While IT used to struggle with communicating with non-technical leadership, low-code enables leaders to get involved with the development process. Low-code platforms handle most of a developer's busy work, freeing them up to focus on innovation.

What Applications Can Companies Build with Low-Code?

SMBs to larger global companies from various industries: Construction, transportation, and government agencies have used low-code platforms to build solutions. A leading construction company used Alpha Anywhere to create a web and mobile application that saved them 50% in costs. An Australian-based IT consultant used Alpha Anywhere to build a solution for Australian emergency services, which improved response times. 

Low-Code Applications Five Years from Now

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will improve most software experiences. Unlike other software solutions, low-code is designed to adapt to an unknowable future. During the pandemic, companies using low-code adapted to an unprecedented scenario. No one can predict the business needs in the future, but low-code has demonstrated that it is an agile, flexible, and scalable solution.

What Factors Shape The Future Of Low-Code?

Experts believe that low-code will expand business initiatives. Advancements made to low-code platforms will widen use cases and encourage more businesses to move their work to the cloud. Here are some examples from a recent SearchSoftware article.

Extending the Use of Low-Code Platforms

  • Increased App Development on Low-Code platforms: Ashish Varerkar, head of cloud practice at Larsen & Toubro Infotech, says that as the use and management of low-code tools continue to improve, 55%-65% of app development will take place on low-code platforms.
  • Low-Code Development Skills Will Become a Default Skill Set: Gaurav Shekhar, program director of graduate business analytics at The University of Texas predicts that low-code development skills will become as natural to business users as spreadsheets and presentations.

Advancements to Low-Code

  • Automate Intelligent Governance At Scale: Many low-code platforms lack the capacity to automate intelligent governance at scale. However, efforts to improve this are underway.
  • Improvements to Platforms’ AI Capacity: VP of Gartner, Jason Wong, and Forrester Research’s senior analyst, John Bratincevic, expect low-code platforms to improve their AI capabilities. Examples could be automating application design choices or testing processes that will improve a solution’s overall quality.

The Growing List of Industries Using Low-Code/ No-Code

Among low-code benefits is its flexibility. A wide variety of industries use low-code and no-code platforms to automate processes and workflows. Companies from retail to oil and gas use solutions to support digital transformation.

Alpha Anywhere and Alpha Transform enable remote workers to get projects done without needing a Wi-Fi signal. When employees work in or travel through areas with no internet, this functionality is invaluable.

Low-code platforms have immense potential in fintech as well as other hi-tech sectors. In fintech, there are constant regulatory changes and innovations. Fintech companies use low-code tools to build solutions with a faster turnaround. A leading payment solutions company created a series of payment-enabled mobile applications for clients using Alpha Anywhere.

new low code apps

4 Low-Code Predictions

Low-code is growing and changing the way businesses run and will operate in the future. Here are four predictions of how low-code is pushing the bar forward:

  • More Reskilled Professionals Finding App Development Roles: Don Schuerman, CTO of Pegasystems, predicts that by 2022, a shortage of technical skills will not stand in the way of retrained professionals finding jobs in application development.
  • Low-Code Ecosystems: Companies will supplement their low-code platforms with additional tools, frameworks, and best practices creating a firm foundation for further growth.
  • Uniting IT and Business Thinking: Citizen developers will continue to combine business and development thinking while breaking down traditional silos and quickly scaling solutions.
  • Increased Low-Code Adoption: In 2020 and 2021, low-code became more mainstream, and organizations recognized the benefits. In 2022, this trend will continue to fuel explosive growth.

In 2022 and beyond, low-code will continue to make organizations operate more efficiently, and most businesses will view low-code platforms as an essential tool in their toolbox.

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The Bottom Line...

Gartner and Forrester Research predict that the low-code market will continue to grow through 2022 and beyond. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have the potential to automate design choices and security testing. Citizen developers will continue to bring a business perspective to app development while professional developers will build innovative, complex solutions. Many reskilled professionals will fill development roles that didn't exist before, while the list of industries using low-code platforms will become more diverse.

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The Best Software for Low Code App Development

You'll find Alpha Anywhere is the best low code development software for current and future mobile apps for business.  We've made it easy to get started with Alpha Anywhere Community Edition, a full-featured and FREE low-code development environment. We have a team of experienced app designers and developers offering mentoring and tutorials on how to build low-code apps.