by Pete Khanna

Low-code: today’s latest buzzword or technology worth the buzz?

Oct 18, 2017
DeveloperDevelopment ToolsIT Leadership

Why are low-code solutions getting so much attention lately? And is it warranted?

raining data on keyboard programming developer code
Credit: Thinkstock

“Low-code” technology is certainly receiving its fair share of press recently. So much so that even leading analyst firms are weighing in with their opinions on the trend; in fact, Forrester predicts more than a 68 percent revenue growth in low-code, making the overall market size $15.5 billion by 2020.

So why are low-code solutions getting so much attention lately? And is it warranted?

These days it’s difficult to cut through the constant buzz to determine which technological trends are worth paying attention to. Often when you take a step back to understand why a trend or movement is occurring, its value (and the level of corresponding attention it has been receiving) becomes much clearer. When it comes to low-code, the answer is twofold:

1. Today’s organizational agility imperative

The ability to be agile and respond quickly and efficiently to internal and external changes is often the most crucial component of success for modern businesses. When trying to attain this type of newfound adaptability, companies are finding that their internal technology (or often their lack of it) is an impediment to their goal. This is resulting in a huge growth in the demand for modernized, improved or new business applications. The problem is that today’s already overloaded IT teams simply cannot develop, update and deliver applications at the pace demanded by the business; in fact, Gartner analysts predict that by the end of this year, the demand for mobile apps will grow at least 5 times faster than IT can deliver them.

2. Mounting frustration with enterprise software

If a company can’t build the enterprise software they want, why not just buy it? Because the current enterprise software options have proven to only leave companies stuck with the same problems they started out with in first place. In fact, the rise of low-code development platforms seems to be indicative of a larger shift occurring in the enterprise software market — companies are moving away from the rigid, heavy and costly software (regardless of whether it was bought or built) they have now to more agile, modern, and fast solutions.

As the CEO of a low-code application platform provider, TrackVia, I find that these two realities are echoed by all the businesses I speak with: Everyone is trying to become more agile, but they are struggling to find technology that can enable them to so. In fact, we often hear that businesses are stuck with outmoded internal software systems that are incapable of supporting their ever-changing operations. Others are still using inefficient manual tools, like spreadsheets, to manage work. The same frustrations are voiced so often that we gave the trend a name, the “I Give Up” gap.

Since a low-code platform, like ours, helps combat these issues, we believe that its booming demand could be the result of the current technological void, where companies feel like they’re being held hostage by limitations of their existing enterprise software. So, we decided to ask operations and IT executives if this was, indeed, the case; here’s what we found out:

Enterprise software limits company agility

According to our recent survey, 3 out of 4 executives say the limitations of their legacy software have negatively affected company growth. Additionally, over 80 percent of executives have had to change a part of their business operations to match the way their software works. When businesses are unable to agilely operate and grow due to the challenges posed by legacy systems or the current enterprise software options available, it drives them to replace them or to seek out a different breed of solution to better serve their needs.

These frustrating realities help to explain why companies are quickly adopting low-code platforms, which allow users to more rapidly and efficiently create fully customized web, and natively mobile, applications that precisely match the needs of modern businesses (even as they evolve and change). It may also point to why nearly half of today’s executives are interested in pursuing low-code software platforms.

Early adopters confirm low-code is worth the buzz

So, is low-code worth its weight, and how does it stack up compared to current enterprise software?

To answer these questions, we decided to dig a bit deeper by asking the nearly 1 in 3 executives already using low-code technology what they thought. Their answer: early adopters confirm that low-code software turns top challenges with legacy enterprise software into benefits. We even created an infographic that illustrates the insights that these executive-level low-code users provided us. Some key of our key survey findings included:

Customization and integration or compatibility with other software and apps are two key areas where executives say they struggle with their existing enterprise software. But low-code users report that low-code platforms easily address these enterprise needs. The result? Low-code users cite they’ve seen improvements to their agility and efficiency as well as increased productivity in IT.

In addition, the slow speed of application creation, implementation, and ongoing updates and maintenance, along with the lack mobile offline/native capabilities, were cited as executive’s other main difficulties with current legacy enterprise software. These are also among some of the top pain points where low-code users told us they’re finding much needed relief.

Low-code technology primed to prosper

Already addressing many of the pain points of traditional enterprise software, low-code platforms are helping companies to take back control of their internal systems. These next-gen solutions promise to provide today’s organizations with agile, mobile and modern applications that can be easily and quickly customized to precisely support their enterprise operations.

As more and more companies look to transform legacy software challenges into significant benefits to the bottom line, low-code technology is primed to flourish and thrive.