As demand for enterprise apps booms, agility can be found in low-code solutions

As demand for enterprise apps booms, agility can be found in low-code solutions Rob is responsible for the Dynamics Business Group at Microsoft UK, including commercial ownership, go-to-market planning, and product management. He previously held senior roles at Deloitte Digital and Accenture.

For the modern business, the ability to adapt to rapidly shifting changes within your industry, supply chain and workforce is crucial to long-term success. How quickly a business can pivot to make the most of trends and adapt to changing circumstances is made easier by embracing digital transformation and seeking out tools to make your business more flexible and scalable and therefore more effective, sustainable and profitable. 

As Gartner predicts that low-code will account for 65 per cent of all app development by 2024 and Forrester reports that the industry is expected to grow to $21.2 billion this year, the trend is clearly booming. As demand for enterprise apps increases, organisations need to be supported to create low-code and no-code apps to back their business goals. Businesses that embrace the opportunities that low-code platforms bring will accelerate their digital transformation more quickly, allowing them to remain competitive in a challenging market. 

The future is led by applications

In today’s increasingly digital and hybrid working landscape, the desire for apps is unprecedented. According to IDC, the next few years will see more than 500 million applications being built – which is more than all the apps that have been built in the last 40 years put together. Furthermore, Gartner research also finds that low-code application platforms are expected to remain the largest component of the low-code technology development market in 2022, increasing nearly 30% from 2020 to reach $5.8bn. ​

IT departments are feeling the pressure to keep up not only with the development of a hybrid workforce but with the pace of change and the pressure to deliver sufficient applications to fulfil business needs. In the past, systems were complex and unsustainable due to the limited supply of qualified developers and specialised programmers who understood coding languages and how to best apply them. Businesses had to invest significantly in training hours and manual programming, as well as acquiring the talent to implement the work. 

Low-code offers a solution to this, by reducing the learning curve significantly and opening up system development using tools that any citizen developer can use. Rather than using complex and prohibitive coding language, low-code platforms offer an accessible option that non-professional developers can use to build useful business applications – allowing a business to focus on the apps that require the most attention, like customer experience and automation apps.  

Non-developer experts hold the key

The rationale for low-code app development is that leaders within a business, who deeply understand the needs and processes of the company can contribute to building apps – despite lacking the development expertise typically required for an app developer. This will free businesses up to innovate far faster than their competitors, by leveraging the combined expertise of business experts and IT teams to build impactful solutions, that are tailored specifically to their current or future business challenges. 

Simply put, low-code empowers anyone within an organisation with an interest in developing an app to do so, without the need for technical or programming expertise.  Software, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, allows your workers to create enterprise-grade business apps using drag-and-drop functionality and visual guidance quickly and efficiently. It boosts productivity by freeing up your developers’ schedules so they can focus on building the more complex apps that do require coding. 

Keep security in the picture 

Alongside the benefits of low-code application development, there are also challenges. While low-code does not require detailed and laborious manual coding, IT teams must still position themselves as guardians to the enterprise app network and guide citizen and professional developers along the way, to ensure they have the support required to make the process as smooth and successful as possible. 

Of course, it can be harder to see what your employees are building with low-code development, which can create security issues. IT teams can struggle to gain full visibility of development projects if conducted on-premises low-code platforms, which means that any organisation seeking to utilise low-code to their advantage would be wise to do so alongside a move to the cloud, where rule-based permissions are easy to apply. This will ensure that all apps developed are done so within the security practices that the business follows – and citizen developers can be fully supported throughout their creative journeys. 

Ultimately, ensuring your business is equipped to pivot towards whatever challenges or opportunities arise is crucial to future-proofing its success. As the desire for applications surges to unprecedented levels, low-code offers an accessible option that suits the limited resources of IT teams and can be led by non-developer staff – all they need is a good idea and the software to support them.

(Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash)

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