No-code application platforms are clearly a new, dynamic industry, and we can expect a lot of change over the next ten years.
Trend #1: The emergence of a new type of “builder”
To date, no-code has been fairly synonymous with the idea of “citizen development” — non-engineers producing applications without the need for code. That said, it still requires a strong working knowledge of how software works to build a truly great no-code application. As a result, we expect the arrival of a “magic middle” of application builders over the next ten years.
What exactly do we mean by this? We envision a new type of engineer emerging over the next decade. This engineer isn’t necessarily versed in the nuances and specifics of any given programming language’s syntax, but is well-versed in general engineering concepts like objects, variables, and application logic.
The interesting thing about this is that there are way more people who are qualified to learn these skills than there are classically trained engineers.
Trend #2: Complexity expansion
A key difference between no-code vendors is the overall functionality of their components. Some components are built for more basic functionality — for example, capturing an attribute in a form; while others are for more complex functionality, like performing an underwriting algorithm for a life insurance policy.
Any great no-code vendor will explain their process for incorporating robust application logic into their component architecture. Over time, components will become more functional and will be able to handle more robust business requirements. As a result, no-code platforms will get closer and closer to true “custom coding” flexibility.
Trend #3: A return to true innovation
An interesting effect of no-code on application development will be a return to innovation for large enterprises. Today almost 60% of IT budgets are spent simply maintaining the status quo, and anecdotally we believe that number is actually much much higher. Moving these more “mainstream” development tasks to a no-code platform will free up sophisticated engineers to focus on tasks and applications that truly move the business forward.
Trend #4: A reduction in legacy maintenance costs
A no-code project will typically require much less legacy maintenance than a traditional code-based project. As companies begin to build more applications using no-code platforms, a side effect will be a massive reduction in legacy maintenance costs over time. In the long run, this will result in an “unlocking” of IT resources to not only reduce costs, but also focus on projects that move the business forward.