Low-code Market Realities: Understanding Common Myths to Avoid Costly Mistakes

Despite their growth, low-code platforms are still surrounded by much confusion. Many enterprises incorrectly believe that real developers don’t need low code, anyone can do it, and it’s only for simple problems. To debunk three common myths in the low-code market, read on.  

With its increasing importance, low-code platforms are also subject to several myths and misunderstandings. As with every evolving technology, enterprises have many questions about optimally using these platforms.

Based on our conversations with multiple enterprises confirming the lack of understanding about the low-code market, we tackle the common misperceptions below:

Myth #1: Low-code platforms are meant for use by citizen developers

The term low code generally evokes the impression of an HR manager who, tired of following up with the IT team multiple times, decides to create a leave approval workflow application. While this impression is not incorrect, professional developers and enterprise IT teams are key stakeholders in the low-code ecosystem as well.

Professional developers increasingly use low-code platforms to improve their efficiency. Some of these platforms can provide code quality alerts and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered recommendations, not to mention custom solutions that require minimal tuning.

The built-in DevOps capabilities in these platforms also encourage a culture shift from the commonly used waterfall model among users. For example, supply chain management software provider Nimbi significantly reduced developers in their team from 40 to 24 when they switched to OutSystems from traditional platforms.

We strongly believe central IT teams have a meaningful role in the ecosystem to provide effective oversight and governance, in addition to strategizing the use of the best low-code platforms at the enterprise level. In the absence of centralized governance, low-code platforms may proliferate across the organization leading to aggravation of the shadow IT issues and higher spend.

Myth #2: Low-code development does not require technical skills

As much as we may want to believe, low-code platforms are not a panacea to the ongoing talent crisis. Misleading promises by certain technology vendors have created a common impression that any user can develop any application using low-code platforms. However, low-code development does not imply zero technical skill requirement.

Most low-code platforms enable the extension of their capabilities through traditional programming languages like Java and C#. Off-the-shelf solutions have their limitations, and most applications need custom logic at some point. Typical job descriptions for low-code developer profiles outline technical qualifications like JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3, alongside Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) pipeline tools like Jenkins.

Thus, it is unrealistic to expect an army of business users to step in and take over all application development-related needs from the IT organization. Low-code development remains a role with a highly demanding skillset across various technologies.

Myth #3: Low code cannot be used for enterprise-grade development

Many enterprise leaders and service providers believe that low-code platforms are only suitable for small-scale department-level needs. However, our conversations indicate that low-code platforms are being rapidly adopted for critical applications used by millions of users. Here are some examples of how low code is solving complex IT problems around the world:

  • A large US commercial insurer has built its entire end-to-end multi-country comprehensive, business-critical application that manages claims, billing, and collection on Appian
  • One of the largest consumer goods companies in the world built a huge global application for financial management on Microsoft Power Platform

As we witness the adoption of low-code platforms garnering pace, a lot of myths and misunderstandings need to be cleared up about low code versus traditional development. Technology providers and service partners play a key role in helping their clients navigate the abundant options to orchestrate a carefully crafted low-code strategy and select the best low-code platforms.

At Everest Group, we are closely tracking the low-code market. For more insights, see our compendium report on various platform providers, the state of the low-code market report shedding light on the enterprise adoption journey, and a PEAK Matrix assessment comparing 14 leading players in the low-code market.

To share your thoughts and discuss our low-code market research, please reach out to [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected].

You can also attend our webinar, Building Successful Digital Product Engineering Businesses, to explore how enterprises are investing in next-generation technologies and talent and the most relevant skillsets for digital product engineering initiatives.

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