In 2020, companies had just a few short months to transform the way they conducted business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. IT had to find new, more efficient ways to deliver powerful software applications that would keep businesses running.
At the same time, IT teams continued to deal with three key challenges that plague every company:
1. Lack of developers.
2. Lack of time.
3. Lack of alignment between business leaders and IT.
To keep up with the demand for business-transforming software and to address these three challenges, many companies turned to low-code.
Read on to learn more about these three common IT challenges and how low-code can help.
The demand for skilled developers far outpaces supply. In the United States alone, for example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected 1.4 million computer science-related jobs to become available in 2020—but only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill those roles.
We can’t hire our way out of this problem, which means we need to think of new ways to address the demand for more—and more sophisticated—applications.
How Low-Code Helps: Sophisticated low-code platforms automatically take care of factors like security, scalability, multi-experience development collaboration, and reliability. With the right platform, a developer with two years of experience can perform like they have decades of experience. You can release software 10 times faster than before, and trust that it’s secure, scalable, reliable, bug-free, and able to drive impactful business outcomes.
Business leaders need innovative solutions. But IT teams spend most of their time keeping the lights on—managing technical debt and taking care of tasks like constant upgrades, security certifications, regulatory compliance checks, and performance considerations. The impact of technical debt is significant: IDG estimates that IT teams spend 40 percent of their application development time addressing problems caused by technical debt. That’s two full days per employee each week. No wonder there’s no time left to evaluate new or existing use cases, find applications that deliver business value, or focus on improving user and customer experiences.
This isn’t IT’s fault. Some technical debt is inevitable. But to build a resilient business, you need solutions that reduce technical burden in the long-term instead of adding to it.
How Low-Code Helps: Stop being an IT Janitor. Applications built on leading low-code platforms eliminate entire categories of technical debt. Done right, low-code will handle tasks that eat up so much of developers’ time: DevOps, governance, compliance, backwards compatibility, device compatibility, cloud scalability, data optimization, and security, to name a few. Low-code significantly reduces your overhead and upkeep. By adopting a platform that takes much of this burden away, your team can focus their energy on improving applications and delivering higher business value, instead of just keeping the lights on.
Shadow IT refers to the selection and use of IT systems, applications, and other solutions by business departments outside of IT’s purview. As departments stand up more and more solutions without IT’s involvement, it leads to massive technical debt long-term.
The disruptions of 2020 make these problems more complicated. IDC predicts that through 2022, 90 percent of organizations will need to remediate technical debt they incurred around the design, quality, and security of applications they stood up quickly during the pandemic. Shadow IT is really a symptom of a larger problem: a general lack of alignment between IT and business. When business leaders think an IT-driven solution will take too long or worry they won’t get an effective solution in the end, they work around IT and buy their own solution. But this sets up much larger problems in the long run, including fragmented systems with siloed data, messy technical debt, security risks, and governance issues for the CIO.
How Low-Code Helps: With low-code, business and IT work together collaboratively to define the application. Constant communication, rapid prototyping, and direct feedback result in an application that’s much more aligned to meet the business need.
 IDG “The Future of Work” Report, 2018. appian.com/future-of-work-part-2/.
 IDC European Accelerated App Delivery Practice, 2021.