No-Code App Development Trends: 5 Reasons No-Code Is Here to Stay

Forward-thinking organizations are embracing no-code application development to empower employees, reduce costs, and rapidly produce new tools and services that optimize their businesses.

A no-code app builder allows subject matter experts to create sophisticated applications quickly and easily. Citizen developers, or those lacking coding expertise, can build applications simply by dragging and dropping reusable software elements onto a digital “canvas” to build a user interface, add business rules, configure workflow, and integrate with other systems. Behind the scenes, the tool assembles a functional, stable and secure application.

No-code tools also make life easier for professional developers. Developers can use no-code tools to rapidly create standardized and secure applications faster than traditional development approaches.

But is no-code a passing phase, or the future of development? A growing collection of trends, datapoints and expert analysis shows that no-code is here to stay. Here are five reasons no-code is the present—and future—of application development:

1. No-code lowers the cost of developing new applications.

Traditional development is expensive. Professional developers come with a hefty price tag. And traditional processes require time-consuming design, coding, testing and review cycles that eat into IT and line-of-business (LoB) budgets.

“Classic software delivery based on manual work, complex programming languages and … months of development will only get you so far,” notes Capgemini. “It is now easier than ever to construct applications without huge code efforts.” No-code and low-code tools “make building next-generation application services a high-productivity matter for both IT and business specialists.”

Other expert analysis agrees. “No-code and low-code can provide a close fit to business requirements, can be implemented quickly, and typically cost much less than systems developed in-house,” Harvard Business Review reports.

Ultimately, no-code “means a lower total cost of ownership, because it offers reusable building blocks,” Nuno Pedro, global head of commerce solutions for SAP, tells ZDNet.

2. No-code reduces the burden on IT and development teams.

The shortage of professional developers is a business stumbling block. In fact, 86% of IT decision-makers say the biggest impediment to digital transformation is a lack of developers, reports the Project Management Institute. The gap between application demand and developer supply is delaying transformation projects by an average of 8.1 months, according to IDC.

No-code can reduce your reliance on traditional development and ease the pressure on your IT and development teams. For starters, citizen developers can use no-code tools to create their own applications. What’s more, developers can use no-code to speed their own projects.

That’s why 2.57 million developers, or 11% of the development population, are now no-code or low-code specialists, IDC reports. It’s also why IDC says no-code and low-code will be a priority for 96% of IT decision makers.

3. No-code empowers business users to improve the way they work.

A growing number of business users are digital natives. They want digital tools that empower them to optimize their own workflows and become more engaged in their work.

No-code enables the line-of-business employees who understand your workflow processes best to build the functionality they need quickly and easily. “These tools are so powerful, yet easy to use, that they get the popular vote of both business and IT people,” Capgemini says.

It should be no surprise that “the increased demand for custom software solutions in support of digital transformation has sparked the emergence of citizen developers outside of IT,” according to Gartner. In fact, 41% of non-IT employees now customize or build data or technology solutions, the analyst firm says.

As for applications, nearly 60% are now built outside the IT department, TechRepublic reports. That’s why 82% of companies say citizen developers are increasingly important to their business, according to the publication.

The upshot? “The future of apps must include citizen development,” Gartner believes, noting that 61% of companies are implementing or have plans for citizen development initiatives. By 2024, Gartner predicts, 80% of technology will be created by people who aren’t in technology fields.

4. No-code provides the business with new functionality, faster.

A considerable 92% of IT leaders are comfortable with line-of-business employees using no-code and low-code tools, ZDNet reports. That’s because they equip non-technical users to accelerate internal processes, increase customer engagement and reduce the workload on IT resources.

Organizations are using no-code and low-code app builders with a variety of goals in mind. The tools are helping them automate workflows (17%), create new applications (15%), speed up application development (15%), automate data collection and reporting (14%), and reduce the burden on professional developers (10%), according to a TechRepublic survey.

The top payoffs? Organizations are achieving higher productivity (15%), faster application development (14%), automation of manual processes (12%), and easier workflows (10%), the study shows.

C-level executives likewise recognize the advantages, according to Accenture. In fact, 73% of business leaders anticipate no-code and low-code will drive new customer-facing applications, 55% expect them to create new process flows, and 50% foresee them resulting in new process controls and business rules.

5. No-code helps businesses gain competitive advantages.

More organizations are adopting a no-code approach. To stay ahead, businesses need the cost-saving, market-driving advantages that no-code tools offer.

Use of no-code and low-code technologies will nearly triple in the next few years, growing to 70% of new applications by 2025, according to Gartner. By that time, 65% of development will be achieved through no-code or low-code tools, a separate Gartner report predicts.

Other analysts forecast similar growth, with Forrester expecting sales of no-code solutions to reach $21.2 billion by 2022. By 2028, that number will hit $233 billion, compounding at a rate of 44% over seven years, according to Verified Market Research.

Ultimately, the emergence of no-code and low-code solutions is nothing short of a “revolution,” Accenture says, one that will drive an “explosion of user-generated innovation.” It has become abundantly clear: no-code is here to stay.