Low-code or No-code

Does the rise of low-code and no-code mean the end of the IT industry?

The use of low and no-code software is growing. According to Gartner, Inc., the global market for low-code development technologies will increase by 23% to $13.8 billion in 2021. What is it then? And why are people so interested in this?


Software that can be set up and modified without the help of a qualified programmer is referred to as "low-code" or "no-code". This kind of software implementation still involves configuration but much less actual coding.

As a result, the majority of the work can be completed by people who are not programmers, saving money and resolving the issue of a lack of qualified developers. Additionally, it makes future changes much quicker and simpler, allowing the company to respond to market changes with greater agility.

When businesses implement software, they discover that they can either get by with the default configuration it comes with or that they need to customize it for their specific business. In the case of conventional software, this tailoring requires the assistance of qualified developers because it involves writing code. A "citizen developer" can perform much of that tailoring themselves with low-code/no-code software (though typically not all of it, as I'll discuss).

Low-Code Versus No-Code

A citizen developer can set up screens and forms using drag-and-drop menus thanks to no-code configuration's set of tools. If the other system makes use of open application programming interfaces, they may also be able to connect the software to other programs using a range of connectors (APIs). Although technically there is still code at this level, the person performing the configuration is blind to it.

A citizen developer, a new type of user who is more skilled than a super-user but less skilled than a developer, can perform no-code work. An IT degree is not required of a citizen developer. They could be a business analyst who has some experience with and a strong interest in technology.

When low-code is used, coding is still necessary. This frequently occurs when integrating or expanding your software to work with other systems that don't have open APIs. Then you need a programmer who understands how to "call" an API, or identify the application to the other system and specify how it wants to communicate. Although it is a straightforward task for a developer, non-IT professionals typically cannot complete it.

Are IT professionals still needed?

With no-code software, a citizen developer has a lot of options. They could set up the software, for instance, to perform a supplier approval process (perhaps ensuring that a supplier isn't on any blacklists) or check a customer's credit score before changing their payment terms. Modern online credit scoring companies use open APIs, so this kind of configuration would be doable by a citizen developer.

Connecting to systems that don't use open APIs presents a problem. Unfortunately, the majority of these in-house systems, particularly those that were developed in-house, are older than 5 to 7 years; this is true of almost every in-house system still in use in the enterprise world.

These custom-written systems, many of which are reliant on the underlying hardware, were developed to function independently rather than as a component of an ecosystem. With systems like these, configuration and integration must be carried out by qualified experts.

But the real reason we still need IT professionals isn't that they need to know a little bit of coding. Any software implementation presents an opportunity to evaluate business processes, standardize and streamline them, and give top priority to those that produce the greatest economic benefit.

Actually, the business consulting skills of the IT professional are also important in this situation because of their experience working with numerous businesses in the sector and their understanding of how best practices and regulations are evolving. In my opinion, a business-level IT expert will still be helpful—some might even say essential—in helping to plan an organization's road map for IT modernization.

Low-code/no-code is not a silver bullet

Future-proof IT is what all organizations today need. Adopting low-code/no-code software is unquestionably a crucial component of this because it promotes flexibility. However, it is not a miracle cure.

Additionally, an organization's IT system needs to be resilient and scalable in order to deliver desired business results regardless of what occurs in the external environment. And one of the many areas where the experience, wisdom, and insight of IT professionals will always be priceless is in the delivery of this.

Therefore, even though low-code/no-code makes it possible to do a lot more without IT specialists, we will never be able to do without them entirely due to the business world's constant change.

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