A global survey of more than 1,000 IT and business leaders conducted by Creatio, a provider of a low-code platform for building business process management (BPM) applications, finds business users are doing only 6% of low-code development without any involvement on the part of IT.
Despite the rise of so-called citizen developers, the survey makes it clear that the professional developer community is driving the bulk of the adoption of low-code tools. The survey also notes that one out of three so-called citizen developers is, for example, a systems administrator or business analyst that already has a fair amount of IT expertise.
Despite all the hype surrounding low-code platforms, the survey finds the most significant barrier to adoption not surprising is lack of experience (60%). Nevertheless, the two key benefits of low-code tools are anticipated to accelerated time-to-market (38%), followed by reduced application development costs (34%).
While interest in low-code tools is high, it may be some time yet before end users are building applications that scale beyond a handful of users in a department. While there are clearly more end users that have IT acumen, the number of an end-user to construct and deploy a secure application on their own is limited.
Longer-term, Creatio envisions that end-users will be able to dynamically compose business processes using low-code engines that are embedded with a BPM platform, says Andie Dovgan, chief sales officer for global markets for Creatio. However, that platform will still initially require the skills of a professional developer to be deployed.
Creatio Revamps BPM Platform
Creatio, as part of an effort to make its BPM platform more accessible to end-users, has revamped its user interface using the Angular framework, enhanced the graphical low-tools to address file management and reporting tasks, and added a set of no-code tools to make it simpler to integrate the platform with third-party data sources. “We’ve embraced design thinking principle,” says Dovgan.
There’s no doubt the dynamic between end-users and professional developers will change in the months and years ahead as end-users become more empowered. Machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) will soon guide many of them through the process of building a secure application that other users may find attractive enough to want to employ. In the meantime, it’s the professional developer community that is benefited most from low-code tools.
Most professional developers, all things being equal, still generally prefer to work with procedural code. Nevertheless, there are a lot of applications that can simply be built faster using low-code tools. Most of those applications, truth be told, are not all that interesting to build. They generally revolve around existing paper-based workflows and tasks that can be easily automated using a tablet. The only thing that is really different these days is with all the hoopla involving digital business transformation, the number of applications that developers are being requested to build has increased significantly.
Naturally, the path to least resistance in terms of reducing that application development backlog is clearly low-code platforms that automatically generate code. Hopefully, professional developers won’t need to write any procedural code tools to fix that code, but as every professional developer knows, it’s always best to keep all your options open.
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