By Prasan Prabhakaran, SVP & Global Head – Enterprise Solutions at Hexaware Technologies
Low-code, Rapid Application Development model, Next-gen Application Development, No-code Platforms…do these terms sound familiar? They do, right? Because they’re all the rage as on today and hardly a day passes without hearing about one of them.
Over the past two years, globally, we have seen organizations transitioning rapidly from physical to digital environments, in their bid to stay relevant for clients. This movement has created a huge demand for software applications to be developed or upgraded at a rapid pace. On the other end, organizations face challenges like – shortage of skilled developers, poor software code quality, and a prolonged period to complete IT projects using existing application development.
This is reaffirmed by Gartner which predicts that low-code application development will account for more than 70% of application development activity by 2025, up from less than 25% in 2020. Low-code addresses the core problem statement for these organizations which is the ability to create software applications. Using pre-built developer productivity tools with drag and drop visual workflows shortens the development time and efforts by ~10X. Sounds cool, doesn’t it?
Our aim is not to claim that everything can be done using low-code platforms. Absolutely not. Low-code is undoubtedly an ideal option if you are looking to automate manual/paper-based processes, replace legacy apps that can’t support new processes, or build complex mission critical applications with workflows. Think KYC, loans / tax processing, insurance claims management, ticket booking, clinical trials, customer service, integrate marketplace applications, etc. Its GUI interface enables users to visually pick components to build basic, functional applications using the comprehensive libraries of components provided.
Customizing apps with limited scope and specific needs, improving operational efficiency or automation of processes, is easy with these platforms. They also whittle down costs and timelines and remove the dependency on professional developers and IT infrastructures while enabling the incorporation of sophisticated processing logic without coding. Anyone can create and use an app as a prototype, or proof-of-concept before getting it extended through manual coding or scaling it up through full-fledged development. Skilled developers can avoid repetitive tasks and save time to add real value and make a difference with each line of code they write. This has handed increased productivity tools to the developer community and allowed many a SaaS point solution to be created and sold as a service. It is far more economical and easier to deploy such SaaS solutions and integrate them into your service portfolio. Low-code doesn’t fit in such scenarios.
To sum up, low-code is seeing increased traction in most organizations’ development technology portfolio. As opposed to what some might think, manual coding has not perished but morphed into low-code platform tool-based code that is generated with automated developer productivity tools. It therefore places a greater emphasis on organizations and their key decision-makers to complement their star developers who understand and know how to code, to use these low code platforms in their arsenal to focus on complicated, operations-driven development, to deliver quicker and faster functionally rich, useful applications.