The growing low-code no-code movement is quickly capturing the attention of industry as a potential boon or disruptor. It can be a game-changer in how companies do their digital transformation and the tech industry is watching its progress keenly.
What is low-code/no-code
Broadly speaking, low-code no-code platforms allow non-tech personnel to build business apps using an easier process with application components. Since this is still a growing field, the distinctions between low and no-code platforms can be a bit fuzzy, but one way to demarcate the two is by the likely users for each platform.
Low-code platforms are used by professional software developers to streamline their work on enterprise applications. It is software that can be customized with minimal programming so needs to be used by people who are knowledgeable about programming. The main advantage it offers is that it enables faster and cheaper delivery – what would have taken months to create, can be done in a matter of hours or days. Salesforce is an example of a low-code platform.
No-code platforms are used by non-tech users or ‘citizen developers’ to rapidly build a functional business app by using a flowchart method, without writing a single line of code. Airtable is a no-code platform.
Microsoft has introduced its Power Apps AI Builder on its Azure cloud platform that makes machine learning easy to deploy using pre-built templates and a drag-and-drop process. This enables users who have no training in machine learning or coding to select datasets and a value to predict while the ML algorithm does the calculations. The Power Apps AI Builder has distinct capabilities like binary classification, text classification, object detection, business card reader, and form processing, which can be used to enhance productivity through automated workflows.
Low-code/no-code platforms enable businesses to accelerate their digital transformation and create app capabilities and data access that can work smoothly across devices. Business owners are empowered to create apps or help simplify the process for their IT teams. This helps organizations become more agile, expedite development, increase productivity, and reduce costs. No code AI platforms can further help to automate and expedite some of the steps of AI projects by using drag and drop tools.
Many no-code solutions do not give the user the ability to finetune the parameters, which impedes customization. There is also an increased risk of data bias given that anyone can build and export these models, data bias can grow exponentially unless detected early. There’s also a risk for increased errors when you have untrained users creating apps without much supervision. This could result in the organization’s IT staff being overwhelmed with correction work and damage mitigation tasks.
What to expect
Gartner forecasts that 65 percent of all app development will be led by low code no-code platforms and tools by 2024. Forrester Wave reports the low-code market will exceed $21 billion in spending by 2022. What we are likely to see is that enterprise software providers will work on creating a set of new software
infrastructure platforms that will ensure faster delivery. As companies hope to quicken their digital transformation, they will explore low-code no-code options in tandem with enterprise IT solutions to ensure they remain relevant in fast-paced and dynamic business environments.