At the end of 2022, Gartner made a prediction: the low code technology market is going to grow 20% in 2023 and continue to accelerate in adoption through 2026. According to Gartner’s Senior Market Research Specialist, “Organizations are increasingly turning to low code development technologies to fulfill growing demands for speedy application delivery and highly customized automation workflows.”

Where is low code being applied? Why is this boom happening? How will this transition impact the competitive landscape? Understanding the influence of low code can help B2B and B2C be proactive about shifts to their business model, so let’s look at what the boom in low code development may mean for your business.

Types of Low Code Tech

The term “low code” applies to any technology that offers visual, drag-and-drop interfaces and pre-built components to accelerate development with less manual coding. Unlike no-code— which requires zero technical expertise—low code platforms usually require some level of technical experience. Low code’s pre-built components and templates simplify the development process, but the act of writing and modifying code is still an option for those who want to create more complex customizations.

There are many types of low code development technologies used for different purposes. Here are the main ones:

  • Low code application platforms (LCAP) – Used for rapid application development and automation
  • Business Process Automation (BPM) – Used to automate repetitive and manual business processes
  • Multiexperience Development Platforms (MDXP) – Used to build applications that deliver a consistent user experience across multiple devices and touchpoints, such as mobile apps, wearables, IoT, augmented reality, touchscreens, chatbots, and voice interfaces.
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Uses robots or “bots” to automate repetitive and maul tasks within a business process
  • Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) – A cloud-based platform that integrates various types of systems and applications together for scalable data management
  • Citizen Automation Development Platform (CADP) – Used by professional developers to develop custom applications
  • Rapid Mobile App Development (RMAD) – Used primarily for the low code development of mobile apps for iOS and Android

According to Gartner, LCAP is the largest market segment, but CADP is predicted to grow the fastest. iPaaS solutions are also up-and-comers, as more businesses are using cloud-based applications and need a way to integrate data across multiple types of business platforms.  

Why is the low code boom happening?

This uptick in low code development is driven by several factors. A widening skills gap, economic pressures, and a higher demand for operational optimization are getting more businesses focused on hyper-automation—aka rapidly identifying, vetting, and automating as many business and IT processes as possible.

Low code technology offers more agile and accelerated development, allowing businesses to innovate faster and be more resilient against erratic market shifts. Organizations can build custom user experiences with minimal IT intervention, and those workflows and processes are then easily duplicated and applied to other divisions in the company. This makes it a unified solution to digital alignment.

Low Code Applications in Action

Companies large and small are adopting low code for various purposes. The technology is no longer an anomaly in the market, it’s a resource that’s accessible to all types of businesses in both the B2B and B2C space. Some of the most recognizable companies using low code development are:

  • Siemens: The industrial conglomerate Siemens is using low code to build applications that connect equipment, data, and people to help clients optimize operations.
  • Unilever: This consumer goods giant automates business processes and creates customer-facing mobile apps via the low code platform OutSystems.
  • Vanguard: Investment management company Vanguard automates business processes and maintains the customer experience using a low code platform called Appian.
  • Ford: Ford uses a low code platform called Betty Blocks to develop apps that connect suppliers, partners, and customers. They also use it to improve supply chain management and the customer experience.
  • American Red Cross: This humanitarian organization builds applications to manage volunteers and donations via low code. They also use it to automate processes and provide real-time data to stakeholders.
  • Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola tracks inventory, manages projects, and analyzes data from its automated processes via a low code application called Quick Base.
  • Liberty Mutual: The insurance company Liberty Mutual builds apps and automates processes to reduce operational costs via low code. They also use it to improve customer experiences.

What Low Code Means for Your Business

As Gartner’s predictions continue to manifest, organizations must think to the future. Low code will increase competition by lowering the cost to automate.

Faster, more efficient services will raise customer expectations.

Companies with an outdated technological infrastructure will find it harder to attract and retain developers.

When it comes to integration, businesses that don’t adopt low code may struggle to successfully connect the legacy systems they still rely on, adding another layer of complexity to operations.

As low code technology becomes a key driver of business efficiency and productivity, organizations that aren’t paying attention may find it increasingly difficult to compete. More specific impacts will come to light as time goes on. Some industries may be affected more than others, and changes in the market coupled with unique business circumstance will also shape the outcomes. Nonetheless, low code technology is certainly something to watch.

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