Author: Pavel Zamudio-Ramirez, Chief Customer Officer, Appian
The world as we know it won’t look recognizable a decade from now. Why? It has yet to be created. So much of what matters to us, at this moment in time, was only just invented and didn’t exist even a few years ago. Humanity’s ability to innovate has been increasing at a rapid rate and will only continue to accelerate.
Applications for products and services are expected to continue to evolve. Everything people buy and consume will have a digital element and the line between physical and virtual will continue to blur. An example of this is what we are currently experiencing with electric cars. Today, an electric car is more than just a vehicle; it is an operating system that takes you to where you need to go, and this evolution will go much further. As a society, we now have the chance to build what will truly matter to us most as we move forward. What comes next?
How are we going to continue to elevate and advance as a society at a level that outpaces our current evolution of development? The answer: low-code.
Low-code gives us the ability to build, modify, and execute enterprise applications at a faster rate. It delivers massive agility to organizations. This is further expanded by the notion of adaptability and how low-code allows organizations to keep modifying their applications in a continuous manner, and with ever-increasing speed. In essence, low-code can help organizations adapt quickly to change.
Innovation cycles are also shorter, which allows for faster build, test, and redesign. Equally as important, it can take as little as two weeks for a new employee to be “project ready” in a new low-code role, while traditional coding roles can take at least six months. This allows for faster employee productivity with low-code.
Companies are already realizing the benefit of the technology. According to Gartner, by 2025, 70% of new applications developed by enterprises will use low-code or no-code technologies, up from less than 25% in 2020. This percentage will only continue to grow.
In the future, literacy will no longer be associated with just reading and writing; it will also include application development. This means citizen developers will be much more commonplace, which will in turn accelerate the ability to create the world we, as a society, truly want for ourselves. Much like a developer working within a high-code environment, a citizen developer armed with low-code skills can have an idea or come up with a way of doing something differently. But through low-code, they won’t need anyone else to help implement their ideas. They can personally take on the task, which ultimately increases the likelihood of the action actually happening.
It's also important to note that, in recent years, the tech industry has been accused of lacking diversity. We all know more progress needs to be made. Democratizing access to low-code, to the point where it feels as common as reading and writing, will help create a real opportunity to establish a workforce in tech that will be as diverse as the populations it serves. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, women make up only 25% of computer-science-related jobs. In the U.S. tech sector, Black workers hold 7% of tech jobs, Hispanic workers hold 8% of jobs, and Asian American workers hold 20% of jobs. This needs to change, and it starts by creating an affordable and accessible path to a career in low-code for all individuals, regardless of background, experience, or education. Appian is tackling this issue by offering scholarships to become certified in low-code at no cost to the participant and helping with career placement. Our hope is that more companies will follow suit.
Changes and adaptations regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) can also be more productive with access to low-code. A major issue facing organizations that want to implement tools to improve ESG performance is that stakeholders will have conversations about problems and even come up with ideas for potential solutions, yet these ideas often go nowhere. According to Morgan Stanley, there is already a shortage of 1.4 million professional software developers in the United States alone.2 So, despite the potential benefits of ESG initiatives, IT departments are simply stretched too thin to take on the additional implementation work.
Low-code allows for faster engagement—from starting the conversation all the way through to implementing the solution. Low-code changes the dynamic by democratizing access for everyone, including the aforementioned citizen developers. They can personally take on the task and create the change they want to see in the world. The idea is that low-code will simplify the effort of application build and software creation and will free a wealth of human energy to be put to work thinking, innovating, defining, and aligning on solutions that can truly create big changes for the betterment of humanity.
If it’s true that we have not invented much of the world we need, then it stands to reason that we are only scratching the surface of grasping what the future truly holds. Low-code can give us a democratized and accelerated access to technology and to the world we want.
1 “Gartner Risks and Opportunity Index: Low-Code Platforms,” Fabrizio Biscotti, Paul Vincent, Jason Wong, Laurie Wurster (June 2021)
2 Morgan Stanley, “What's New in the 'New Stack'? – Deep Diving Into the LowCode/No-Code Application Platform Market,” 2021
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Date: October 12, 2022