One necessity in fighting the current pandemic has been the ability to react rapidly to changing circumstances, which, in the case of software, has meant the trend towards low-code or no-code development could not have been better timed.
No-code means what it says: not a line of code is required to build an application. Instead, a graphical user interface allows reusable components to be dragged and dropped in, or a form can be filled out to create a feature. Last March, New York City used Unqork’s no-code tools to create Covid-related apps such as tracking, donation and food distribution systems in just 3 days for each one. Low-code is very similar, but the term acknowledges that some coding may be needed for integration with other applications or particular customisations.
The trend is suited to remote-working “citizen developers” — non-IT professionals — creating useful apps at speed for their departments and companies. It has also been leapt upon by cloud companies offering low-code tools as a service.
Amazon Honeycode is a no-code development tool, as is Google’s AppSheet. SAP’s Ruum helps develop workflow apps and Salesforce has a similar offering.
On Tuesday, Gartner reported a 23 per cent rise in low-code/no-code revenues last year and predicted the global low-code development technologies market would reach $13.8bn in 2021, up another 23 per cent.
By 2025, it expects 70 per cent of new applications developed by enterprises will be low-code/no-code, up from less than 25 per cent last year, as businesses recognise they have cheaper and faster options.
“The economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have provided an extraordinary validation of the low-code value proposition,” it said. “Accelerated adoption is seen both in the short term and is expected in the long term.”
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