In recent years, the tech industry has witnessed a significant transformation with the rise of Low Code/No Code (LCNC) development solutions.  These tools have reshaped software creation offering newfound accessibility and efficiency for businesses across sectors, and moreover, allowing everyone to be able to develop software.  In this article, we have a look at the origins of LCNC development, examine its current status, and forecast its future path.

Understanding LCNC Development – What Does it Mean?

To fully grasp the concept of Low Code and No Code development, it is essential to break each solution into its own and looks at the features they enable and how they’re used.

Low-code platforms require minimal coding skills and enable developers to accelerate the application development process by providing visual environments and pre-built modules such as business process maps, automatic code generation, and drag-and-drop functionalities.  Low-code solutions can be used to handle the creation of apps that are part of an organisation’s core systems or run critical processes.

On the other hand, no-code platforms empower individuals without any coding skills whatsoever to create applications.  This is done by offering user-friendly interfaces, drag-and-drop functionality, point-and-click/pull-down menu interfaces, and integration capabilities of LCNC platforms.  Furthermore, they may even have an AI conversational or search interface, allowing websites and applications to be build quickly, easily and efficiently. No-code platforms are usually used to create apps and point solutions to handle simpler functions.

The Roots of LCNC Development

The origins of LCNC can be traced back to the software development methodologies of the late 1990s when early innovations in software development methodologies laid the foundation for what was to come.  For example, Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools such as Lotus Notes, Microsoft Access and Excel allowed people with a non-technical background to have basic development-like capabilities.  This was the start of the rise of Citizen Developers.

However, it was not until the early 2010s that the term “low code development” gained prominence, with the emergence of platforms like Bubble in 2012, which offered visual programming capabilities.

Benefits of Low-Code No-Code Development

It’s clear that LCNC platforms bring companies of all sizes a great many benefits as they allow for:-

  1. Streamlined Development: LCNC development eliminates the need to write complex code from scratch, resulting in a more efficient development process. Teams can bring their ideas to life quickly, allowing them to respond promptly to market opportunities.
  2. Increased Efficiency: LCNC empowers citizen developers and non-technical users to contribute to the development process, freeing up professional developers to focus on more intricate tasks. This collaborative approach maximises productivity and ensures the effective utilisation of resources.
  3. Seamless Collaboration: LCNC platforms provide a centralised environment for design, development, and deployment, facilitating efficient collaboration among different teams. By streamlining communication and enabling seamless sharing and iteration, LCNC enhances teamwork, decision-making, and overall project success.
  4. Cost Savings: Compared to traditional development methods, LCNC minimises the need for extensive resources and expertise. This leads to significant cost savings for businesses, enabling them to allocate funds to other critical areas such as marketing and expansion.
  5. Agility and Innovation: LCNC enables businesses to adapt and innovate rapidly by facilitating the quick creation and deployment of new applications. This agility empowers businesses to respond to changing market conditions promptly and stay ahead in the dynamic business landscape.
  6. Accelerated Time to Market: With LCNC development, businesses can visually assemble applications within weeks or months, significantly reducing the time to market. This faster time to market enables businesses to capitalise on emerging trends, reach customers earlier, and generate revenue sooner.
  7. Empowering Citizen Development: LCNC empowers non-coders by providing them with the tools and training to build simple applications. This concept of citizen development fosters innovation and allows businesses to leverage the diverse skills and perspectives of their employees, driving growth and success.

Challenges of Low-Code No-Code Development

However, they of course also have their share of challenges, which include:-

  1. The Shadow IT Phenomenon:  This refers to the occurrence of employees using unauthorised or unapproved software development tools without the knowledge or oversight of the IT department. Managing and controlling LCNC adoption to prevent potential security breaches, maintain data integrity and ensuring scalability can pose a challenge for businesses as it grows.
  2. Integration Complexity: Integrating LCNC-built applications with existing systems and infrastructure can be complex. Compatibility issues, data migration, and ensuring seamless communication between legacy systems and LCNC applications require careful planning and expertise.
  3. Talent Availability and Skills Gap: Finding skilled professionals with expertise in LCNC development can be challenging due to the relatively new nature of this technology. Businesses need to invest in training and upskilling their workforce or partner with recruitment experts to find experienced LCNC developers.
  4. Scalability and Long-Term Viability: As businesses grow and their needs evolve, ensuring the scalability and long-term viability of LCNC-built applications can become a challenge. Businesses must assess whether the chosen LCNC platform can accommodate future growth and adapt to changing requirements.
  5. Governance and Compliance: LCNC development may introduce governance and compliance challenges, especially in regulated industries with strict data protection and privacy regulations. Developing a governance framework and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations is crucial for businesses utilising LCNC development.
  6. Quality Control and Testing: While LCNC platforms offer rapid development cycles, maintaining quality control and ensuring thorough testing can be challenging. Businesses need to establish robust testing processes to identify and address any issues or bugs before deploying LCNC-built applications.
  7. Vendor Lock-In: Depending heavily on a specific LCNC platform can lead to vendor lock-in. Ensuring the ability to switch or integrate with other platforms in the future requires a thoughtful approach and consideration of long-term business objectives.

The Growing Popularity of LCNC Platforms and Their Future

Taking this all into consideration however, there is still a huge demand for software creation to be accessible to all and this is reflective in projected forecasts. According to sources, the global low-code platform market revenue was valued at almost USD 22.5 billion in 2022 and forecast to reach approximately USD 32 billion in 2024.  And is projected to grow with a CAGR of 26.1% over this period.

People are enjoying and relishing the added capabilities that LCNC platforms give them.  A Microsoft Study from 2022 revealed an 83% positive impact on work satisfaction and workload by LCNC users and an 80% positive impact on morale among users – these are notable outcomes.

But what does this mean for software developers?  Traditional developer roles are adapting as coding becomes one of several tools in a developer’s toolkit rather than the main one.  And moreover, the boundary between developer and non-developer will be increasingly blurred as everyone can develop technological solutions through the use of LCNC tools.

Thus in regards to our world of recruitment this somewhat shifts the focus from recruiting for heavily specialised developers to individuals with a broader understanding of business processes and technology.  And it opens up opportunities for non-technical personnel to contribute to application development.

Of course, the limitations are that LCNC solutions may not be suitable for highly complex applications and could bring about issues in security, customisation and scalability as we mention above.

As the LCNC market continues to evolve, several trends will influence its trajectory. The focus will centre around agility, scalability, and meeting the intricate requirements of modern businesses. The role of Devtools companies and IT departments will become increasingly vital in supporting and optimising the use of LCNC platforms. Addressing challenges such as limitations in customisation and scalability for complex applications will be crucial to unlocking the full potential of LCNC development.

To Summarise

Low Code/No Code (LCNC) development solutions have undoubtedly revolutionised the tech industry across sectors.  These platforms bring numerous benefits, including faster time to market, cost savings, and enhanced agility. While there are challenges to consider, such as integration complexity and talent availability, the growing popularity of LCNC platforms reflects the demand for accessible software creation. As the market evolves, businesses must address these challenges while capitalising on the advantages of LCNC development. With our expertise in recruitment, Propeller Tech can help businesses navigate these changes, finding the right talent to support LCNC development and unlock its full potential for your company’s success.  Please get in touch with us if you would like to speak to one of our team.

Natalie Harper

Author Natalie Harper

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