Both enterprises and service providers are using low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms in an increasing number of software application development tasks, according to a new research report published today by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.
The report finds LCNC platforms increase the ease, time to market and flexibility of software development efforts while opening the process up to a wider range of roles. The platforms, which enable non-technical employees to create applications with drag-and-drop techniques, have led to an exponential increase in citizen developers.
“Democratizing application development makes enterprises more agile, because it lets business users contribute to solutions that meet their needs,” said Shafqat Azim, ISG partner and Americas lead, Digital Transformation. “By relying less on specialized IT teams, they can get software into production faster.”
About two-thirds of application development by enterprises and service providers is expected soon to have an LCNC component, the report says. Rapid adoption is leading LCNC vendors to innovate, with most platform providers using AI and generative AI to add features that help companies bring software to market even faster.
How much LCNC platforms can speed up development depends on the complexity of the application, ISG says. Companies can deploy basic software with straightforward requirements and limited functionality in a few hours or minutes, while larger applications such as e-commerce platforms, which require complex workflows and integrations, may take weeks or months.
The top three industries adopting the tools are financial services, business services and manufacturing, the report says. Public sector organizations, which are only beginning to embrace LCNC, are now engaging with vendors that are developing platforms for this market.
AI has accelerated LCNC adoption by making it easier to use prebuilt frameworks and code blocks, the report says. Vendors are offering prebuilt components, templates and prompts that can easily be customized, and some LCNC testing platforms use AI to build knowledge maps across the IT landscape for tasks such as application management. Increasing integration with generative AI tools, especially ChatGPT, supports assisted development that is driven by natural-language processing.
“AI-based platforms make it so much easier to build applications that the number of users is growing exponentially,” said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. “We expect this trend to grow across multiple use cases.”
The rise of LCNC platforms that allow many more users to develop software has heightened concerns about data integration and management, ISG says. When multiple users start to tap into organizational data to build applications, the IT team needs to carefully control access to that data. LCNC platform vendors are integrating data access controls with virtualized data layers that let users link multiple legacy systems.
The report also explores other global trends in LCNC development, including the role of LCNC in process optimization and the impact of global capability centers being established by enterprises.
The 2023 ISG Provider Lens™ global Next-Gen ADM Solutions report is available to subscribers here.