Here’s a little math for you to do. It’s 2030 and there are 8.5 billion people living on the planet, 45 million of whom are professional software developers. What percentage of the world’s population do these pro coders account for? Calculators are allowed.
Those two numbers above are only estimates – from the United Nations and Slashdata, respectively – but they make for a nice division exercise. And the solution is (roughly) 0.005, or one person out of two hundred. In other words, statistically speaking, none of your friends and family can code – and neither can you, for that matter. That shouldn’t stop you from creating your own applications, though. In fact, as an SMB (small to medium-sized business), knowing that you don’t need to be able to code to do so ought only to encourage you. Low-code development platforms (LCDP) make it possible.
It was inevitable for digitalization to spread across industries; the pandemic only accelerated that process. Through automation, you improve the efficiency of your business as well as boost customer and employee satisfaction. Switching from manual to automated, you can do everything faster, more easily and more accurately. Indeed, it’s hard to see how companies that don’t make this transition can survive in the long term. Given the challenges they face, small to medium-sized businesses can benefit from a digital edge over their larger competitors. For medium-sized companies in particular, adopting an LCDP is an affordable way to meet their needs and get ahead faster.
Due to the pandemic, the vast majority of organizations are now online, and being online means having to rely on technology. Having the ability to take advantage of technological developments – commonly referred to as ‘digital maturity’ – is a must if your business expects to be competitive. Research by Accenture has found that over 70% of SMBs worldwide are speeding up digitalization, which is no surprise because those are the types of companies that are feeling the pressure. For them, Software as a Service or some commercial off-the-shelf software isn’t the ideal solution because it is typically developed by large enterprises and is not tailored to SMBs and their individual users. Such a service doesn’t meet the needs of such companies or provide the flexibility that would enable them to digitalize their unique business processes. Should they build their own custom software? They might consider that option, but with traditional development it takes too long and is too expensive. Not to mention that they are competing with the big guys on yet another level: for top-notch IT talent. But with the help of low code, they can overcome all these challenges.
Low code, high standards
LCDPs have lots of advantages, but the most important one is probably their ability to meet the unique requirements of your business. Low code is a cost-effective and labor-saving alternative that enables business users with limited or no coding knowledge to build the apps they need.
Companies that use a low-code platform report greater agility, higher productivity, faster speed-to-market, and considerably more flexibility than they could achieve by relying on Software as a Service or commercial off-the-shelf solutions. However, just as with SaaS and other standard solutions, many low code platforms are designed more for enterprises or consumers. According to Accenture, every fourth or fifth SMB that has adopted an LCDP stops using it, mostly because they find that it doesn’t quite address their needs. To ensure a good fit, SMBs should look for all of the following in a low-code platform:
- Support for both citizen developers and professional coders
- Flexible consulting packages (e.g. consulting / support only provided when required)
- Affordable pricing with scalable licensing models
- Vendors that are smaller businesses themselves and as such more responsive to their clients’ needs
Trends suggest that former CEO of GitHub Chris Wanstrath was onto something when he said back in 2017 that “The future of coding is no coding at all.” KPMG research carried out in 2021 found that 26% of executives described low-code development platforms as their most important investment in automation – up from 10% since before the pandemic. You do the math.