Digital transformation has evolved beyond a trend to become a foundation for building a competitive advantage in any industry. According to IDC, 85% of organizations believe they have only 2 years to make significant digital transformation progress, or risk being outmaneuvered by others in the market.
As business and IT leaders seek ways to become increasingly nimble and efficient in a fast-paced environment, they’re focusing their digital transformation strategies on innovative digital technologies. Many are introducing process automation tools that allow them to improve the efficiency of operations and create new revenue streams.
In general, process automation uses technology to digitize manual tasks and create workflows that orchestrate the transition from one process step to the next with very little human or manual intervention. As process automation becomes more popular, many organizations are leveraging low-code and no-code platforms as solutions to automate their workflows.
Low-code and no-code explained
One of the most impactful innovations in IT is the democratization of the application development process. In order to benefit from process automation without the need for costly and complex programming exercises, enterprises without a deep history in software development are turning to low-code and no-code platforms.
In broad terms, both solutions support rapid application development through customer-grade tools and intuitive user interfaces. By removing the complexity of code, these technologies enable mainstream business users to build their own applications while focusing on core processes rather than technical programming.
However, while low-code and no-code sound similar, they are two different approaches to application development. Unfortunately, many enterprises erroneously use these labels interchangeably, often with negative consequences.
Low-code and no-code do share a few features. Both make custom application development more accessible and efficient, automation easier to implement, and solutions simpler to scale.
However, the one fundamental difference that companies need to understand is that these two technology approaches cater to separate markets. In other words, they call for different user skill sets and levels of technical expertise.
No-code solutions make it possible for professionals with no programming experience to build applications without having to write a single line of code. Given the simplicity of this approach, use cases for no-code can be more limited than those made possible by low-code development. For many organizations, this isn’t an issue, as they’re either using no-code platforms to build small, one-department solutions or they’re keen to introduce automation without a deep process fix.
By contrast, low-code application development platforms address the needs of both professional and non-technical developers, and require a little more expertise and skills. Similar to no-code solutions, low-code platforms relieve non-technical developers of the burden of writing code. Beyond this, they support experienced developers by removing the often-tedious infrastructure tasks required in application development so that these professionals can focus on functionality and user experience, creating solutions that solve complex business problems, efficiently.
Overall, low-code development is far less time-consuming and technical than conventional forms of application building—allowing organizations to deliver digital assets at the speed of business.