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By Prasad Sabbineni, co-CEO, MetricStream

Growing demand for an intuitive user experience and quality data intake means enterprises will continue to have a vested interest in digital evolution well into the new year. Businesses armed with legacy systems and no bridge to the rapidly emerging technologies are constantly grappling with whether to buy their technology or build their own – an expensive and time-consuming process. Yet companies that buy pre-built solutions still need to tailor these products to suit their specific needs. With both options, fast assembly and agile implementation are key.

World events of recent years have shown us how much it pays to have nimble digital solutions readily available to avoid breaks in operations and customer service. Investments in technology can help alleviate the impact of uncertainties and enable companies to react faster and without interruption. The adoption of low-code and no-code development platforms, which simplify customization within a software product, allows non-developers the ability to adapt applications to their specific needs.

Like the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS) more than a decade ago, low-code and no-code programs represent a transformational evolution in software development. By enabling user-defined manipulation of software experiences, low-code/no-code empowers customers to reconfigure software to fit and adapt to their requirements while maintaining the foundational structure of the software solution. It can therefore be seamlessly integrated into an organization’s systems for a variety of purposes and evolve as needs change. Imagine in-house app development without requiring an in-house developer’s deep expertise and expense.

The recent boom in low-code and no-code development platforms – virtually unheard of just a few years ago – has ushered in a new way of doing business that’s more efficient, collaborative, and personalized. How does this technology become a crucial component of digital transformation for enterprises? With low-code and no-code development, organizations can quickly and easily transform software experiences to their needs faster, at a lower cost, and with tailored outcomes.

Productivity gains in less time, for less money

The market demand for low-code/no-code has reached a groundswell. Forrester predicts these easy-to-configure app development platforms will represent $21.2 billion in investments or expected savings in 2022, up from $3.8 billion in 2017. Gartner pegs the market at $30 billion by 2025, predicting more than 70% of new apps developed by enterprise software vendors will use low-code or no-code integrations by the same year.

The goal of low-code development is ultimately to reduce business user reliance on IT support. Whether or not your organization has in-house developer talent, low-code/no-code platforms require little to no coding to achieve measurable results. “Citizen developers” take on the brunt of the work, which frees up IT staff to work on digital products of value, refine testing, and expand their knowledge of the organization’s tech stack.

Currently, the most popular use cases for low-code development are customer-facing SaaS solutions. Examples include automated workflows, personalization of user experiences, and AI-powered chatbots. These specific use cases highlight another advantage of low-code integration: You can develop tools for a specific need within one business category (like finance), without disrupting your backend legacy system or spending across the organization to make changes.

Quick and simple onboarding means easy implementation

One of the biggest draws of the low-code platform is the ability customers have to purchase software and adapt it during implementation (and beyond) to their specific business needs. This flexibility allows customers to deploy faster and at significantly less cost. By allowing customers to own more of their own software experiences and turn individuals with few technical skills into citizen developers, this democratization of app development can empower category teams to forge ahead with their objectives in line with their budgets – marketing teams, for instance, can create unique self-service reporting tools for their campaigns, saving IT the tedious intake and buildout. If their test run fails, they can tweak the tools instantly, without a developer needing to step in and rewrite thousands of lines of code.

A modular, “drag-and-drop” developer interface may be the calling card of low-code/no-code, but the possibilities for functionality are endless. Within niche markets, valuable processes can be optimized, often via automation. In addition, entire micro-suites of services offer easy integration into existing software with fuss-free updates later. This is why low-code has been widely embraced by industries like fintech and, more recently, risk management. Instead of the long lead times associated with complex software integrations, low-code allows organizations to implement pre-packaged solutions several times faster with the enhanced results that automation, AI, and machine learning bring to the table.

Implementation challenges exist in any software environment. Consider the governance required when app development is handed to category managers to design tools to their needs. However, it’s worth noting that low-code and no-code platforms do not eliminate the need for developer knowledge; IT support is still needed for setup, troubleshooting, and the occasional handwritten line of code.

IT expertise will remain essential for the complex coding for product development, system transitions, and data migrations. But the automation capabilities of low-code/no-code are expanding at a steady pace. If your organization is sitting on stalled business processes that threaten to impact your bottom line, or if you’ve learned one of your vendors offers a low-code/no-code version of their core product, this radical technology might be the key piece you’ve been looking for to reach your personalized digital solutions faster and get out ahead of the competition.

No one knows your business like you. With low-code and no-code capabilities, you’ll personalize applications, so they run faster and more effectively, and reimagine user experience from start to finish – improving customer interactions and ultimately accelerating growth.