This first Article in the Future Tense of Work series is focused on the Low-Code Development approach. The Low-Code approach lies at the intersection of People (employees) and Process dimensions from the original model for the series that was published in the introductory article.
What is Low-Code Development?
Why is Low-Code development gaining momentum?
Several key factors are driving the adoption of a Low-Code development approach. Digital disruption continues to accelerate, more so in the recent pandemic conditions where “born digital” companies are growing at an ever rapid pace, making the situation difficult for traditional companies.
To survive in such disruptive market conditions, companies need to transform digitally quicker than ever. They need to be able to apply digital technologies and develop or enhance software at a much faster rate. According to Gartner, the market demand for app development is growing at a rate 5x faster than the current IT capacity.
The other reason to favour low code is the adoption of cloud computing and as-a-service economic models that are championed by some of the largest software companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. This is causing many of the traditional software product development companies to reinvent themselves and offer newer low-code development platforms through the cloud to help accelerate application development, in companies who are otherwise struggling to survive, at a much lower implementation cost.
The Benefits of Low-Code Development-
- Development Speed– With Low-code it is faster to develop an application when compared with the traditional full-code development, and to change the application once it has been written.
- Ease of Use– Low-Code reduces the level of technical skills needed for application development and allows business users or citizen developers who are closer to the actual problems faced by a business to be involved directly in building solutions to those problems.
- Lower Cost – Given Low-Code lessens the need to hire external technical expertise for application development, the actual implementation cost for such efforts in significantly reduced as a result.
- Component Reuse – Low-Code approach is fundamentally built upon the premise to simplify application development by reusing existing/pre-built components and to build applications by joining up and configuring components in a visually-aided development style. As such component reuse is key for the success of Low-Code development and to meet the above-mentioned benefits.
- Collaboration between Business and IT– Low-Code approach maximises participation between Business and IT by fully enabling Business users to identify and solve business problems with technology that matters to them most, and with the right level of support and engagement from the IT teams so they can ensure data integrity, application security and compliance of the applications developed by the business users.
- Business Agility– Low-Code approach lets older companies, lacking inadequate technical resources and capabilities to compete with the newer born digital natives, to transform their business operations in a meaningful way and enhance experiences for their customers with more personalised, multi-channel products and service offerings.
- Reduce Tech Backlog– Given the pace of technological change, most established large and medium-sized companies are carrying a significant amount of technical debt to deliver application development and enhancement projects. Low-Code helps companies meet this crucial challenge and increases their competitiveness.
As such, adoption of Low-Code brings with it the external dependency on the platform that enables it and potential operational risks in case a customer discontinues to use a particular platform for any applications built using that platform. However, not all Low-Code platforms will tie up the underlying application code in that sense and provide practical mitigation strategies to customer for any such risks that may occur in the long run. The below figure summarises the different benefits and some of these limitations of Low-Code development approach when compared with Full-Code development.
How to establish Low-Code development approach?
“Digital transformation is more of a leadership challenge than a technology challenge overcoming the inertia of a large organization”