If you've been looking around for an enterprise solution to creating apps that serve your business needs without having to bog down developers, then it's likely you've come across no-code/low-code application platforms in your research.
As the line between business users and IT continues to blur, the use of rapid application development tools and drag-and-drop visual frameworks that help business users build an app with little to no code is gaining popularity.
In a recent SD Times article, David Rubinstein writes these tools and the concept "citizen developer" is nothing new. In fact, they've been been around for at least the past 10 to 15 years starting with Visual Basic and Microsoft Access.
Nowadays, it's picking up speed. Forrester Research predicts the low-code application market will reach US$15.4 billion in revenue by 2020.
But before a company goes the low-code route, there are a number of questions that need to be answered, Rubinstein writes. "Why now? What is the strategic advantage? How do you even define who a “developer” is?"
To answer the first question, Dave Landa, COO of kintone, a no-code solution developed as a teamwork product by Japanese company Cybozu, says he sees a societal shift as a main driver behind these types of tools.
“More and more younger managers, more of the millennials, are getting into the workforce; they’re expecting these consumer-type services,” he said. “They want something that works quickly and easily. If their company doesn’t give them something that works for them, they’ll go out and find something that meets their needs. That’s the shadow IT portion. This leads into the citizen developer: ‘There’s nothing out here that works for me; I’ll figure out how to build it.’ The more we can support these folks with a low-code or no-code platform, the more these apps will be built.”