As we say goodbye to 2019, we look ahead to 2020 and the excitement it brings. 2019 was another year of amazing growth in the low-code industry and Forrester Research expects the low-code market to keep growing, in fact, they predict a 40% annual growth rate and a market worth $21 billion by 2022. Despite the up-warding trend, low-code is still missing from many top 10 business and tech trends of 2020. Searching through numerous lists, I finally found low-code mentioned at number 20 of the top 20 programming languages. This means two things, low-code still isn’t widely used or known, and low-code has massive potential for growth.
Why isn’t low-code more widely used?
There is still skepticism surrounding low-code and whether it can truly deliver on its promise of faster application creation with little to no coding. Some professional programmers see low-code as a threat and too limiting. Many low-code platforms cater to citizen developers, non-IT professionals which can create applications using low-code, and in doing so these platforms limit what professional developers can do. With different priorities and functionality of the different platforms, the low-code market is segmenting into two main groups: platforms designed for citizen developers and platforms designed for professional developers creating enterprise applications. Low-code platforms must continue to prove they can help businesses as well as aid programmers, not replace them.
Distinguishing between the different varieties of low-code and the use cases of each will be very important throughout 2020. Model based low-code platforms can assist IT by allowing citizen developers to create non enterprise applications freeing up IT to focus on the business critical applications. Language based low-code, such as Visual LANSA, focuses on enabling professional programmers to be more efficient and productive, and allow more customization than low-code designed with citizen developers in mind. Businesses need to understand the differences in each platform and which platform will help them obtain their business goals. Educating businesses and IT professionals about the advantages of each of these platforms will be essential in 2020.
Time to perform?
The rise of low-code platforms is still relatively new. Many businesses are either just adapting to a new low-code platform or have had a low-code platform for less than a few years. I think 2020 will be a year of continued growth in the low-code market and I don’t think the market will demand big results quite yet. I do believe those hesitant will be closely watching to see what gains low-code will make. We will definitely hear more low-code success stories and the businesses already using low-code will continue to gain a competitive edge on their competition. Companies starting modernization or digital transformation projects should, at the very least, seriously evaluate low-code solutions as the features have greatly increased over the past several years. The value of using a low-code platform can no longer be overlooked in the ultra competitive global marketplace. Low-code platforms will add market changing features over the next few years, so the time to start adopting low-code is right now.
A big concern for some looking into a low-code solution is being locked into one vendor for all your applications. Questions such as what if the vendor drops support or folds? What happens when technology advances and the low-code platform becomes out of date? These are also legitimate concerns for those still hesitant on buying into a low-code platform. Many low-code platforms rely on specific web technologies and could become obsolete or require major changes to keep up to date. Visual LANSA’s approach to low-code is unique because the underlying code sits on top of the web technology interface. As technology changes Visual LANSA can update without ever affecting the underlying code of the application. Visual LANSA is designed with the future in mind, eliminating the fear of buying into a platform which could become out of date. While LANSA has a solid solution to this concern, other low-code vendors will need to address how they are going to deal with the ever changing web technology environment.
Low-code is without a doubt growing and becoming a disruptor for businesses willing to be early adopters. The amount of success stories for low-code continues to grow. While we still do not see an abundance of low-code talk in the programming and tech space, that will change in the next few years. Businesses and IT professionals will not be able to ignore the massive benefits low-code as to offer. Like many others, I am eager to see how low-code platforms handle ever changing advances in technology without causing major disruption for their users. Visual LANSA is already future proof and these changes will not impact it’s users but it will be interesting to see how other platforms prepare for such changes. Many businesses want to see more proof that low-code is delivering for those organizations which are using it. LANSA has already been delivering impressive results for many years as you can see here. 2020 should be a great year of low-code growth with a focus on low-code education. I feel the best is yet to come as low-code platforms continue to innovate and LANSA is in great position to be a low-code leader in innovation.