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Now is the Time to Enter the Low-Code Economy

Gaurav Shekar, Assistant Professor and Director of the Master of Science in Business Analytics and Flex and Online Programs, the University of Texas at Dallas
November 12, 2021

Low-Code. This is a new term for many, and it raises questions. The first is “What is it?” Suffice to say, low-code is a new way to build software applications that is faster and better than traditional coding. A more urgent question is “why do we need it?” What kinds of shifts has the world seen that have caused something like low-code to gain prominence? We need to take a few steps back to understand how business and the tech industry have evolved.

Technology evolution happens because the needs of the consumers of that technology evolve. Over time, changing user demands are the catalyst for the creation of new products and services, or the addition of new features to the existing ones. In the case of enterprise software, the consumer is the business, and large-scale businesses need robust IT systems and applications. Why? Two simple answers: to manage data, and to accelerate response times!

The explosion of data and the increasing demand from end-customers for digital interactions and transactions is forcing IT departments to carve out solutions at a much faster pace than in the past. What was previously deemed a 6-month long project, now needs to be delivered in 4-6 weeks.

Speed is of the essence because the rate of change in business has never been higher. And it is only going to increase from here.

Now since we know that speed is important, it is also important to know that we cannot bear the overhead of training people to bring them up to speed to be productive. In short, we need tools that can enable practitioners to translate their ideas into high-quality business solutions at unprecedented speed.

This is why a low-code platform is now a necessity! Low-code application development is enabling organizations to turn around solutions faster than ever – with quality, scalability, and security that is as good or better than any legacy application from the past.

So why now for low-code? Why the increased urgency?

Even before COVID-19 became a pandemic, there was a rise in the consumption of digital content and digital solutions. Networking apps, financial solutions, productivity tools, service delivery tools, AI-based solutions, RPA solutions, etc. The list is endless. The breadth of the need that consumers showcased increased beyond proportions. IT Infrastructure also saw a major shift with the adoption of cloud-based technologies.

In concert with such shifts in the ecosystem, a low-code solution enables practitioners to respond more rapidly to new opportunities and threats through new software apps. Software development has reached a level of maturity where every piece of a solution doesn’t need to be built from the scratch. Re-usability is one of the cornerstones of low-code. People with very little technical experience can be trained quickly to create solutions, hence reducing the dependency on people with specialized skill sets.

Another great advantage of low-code platforms is that it is opening new IT career opportunities for current and future professional developers. That’s why we partnered with Appian to help tomorrow’s developers master low-code today. Low-code helps new developers build confidence at a more rapid pace. The enrollments in STEM programs are increasing, which means more and more IT practitioners are going to join the workforce. That’s because the jobs are there: the on-going digitization of businesses requires more technical talent. Low-code removes the burden of learning to code extensively before you create valuable applications. Wireframing a solution is also getting a shot in the arm. No longer do you just need to stitch a wireframe and let your clients visualize how it will work, but you can create a live application and experience it working, which helps drive trust and makes decision making easier.

The acceptance of low-code development across the biggest business markets in the world makes this a great time to jump into the industry as a user or developer. This is also a great time for educational institutions to embed low-code curriculum into their programs to ensure that there is a steady supply of resources. As we find new and better ways to manage technology, solving business problems is going to get more focus, as opposed to focusing on the “how” of a desired solution. To put it in simpler words, visualize a better state of business. As far as realizing your vision is concerned, leave it to low-code!