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The future of enterprise low-code platforms

Find out why enterprise low-code platforms are the future of app development—and where they’re headed next.

What is an enterprise low-code platform?

With a rising demand for new apps and modernization—and fewer development resources—organizations across the globe are flocking to low-code enterprise solutions to spearhead their digital transformation initiatives. Enterprise low-code platforms enable anyone to build digital experiences, automate processes, and integrate and extend their apps with minimal use of code. This may be accomplished by adding and arranging prebuilt user experience (UX) components, templates, frameworks, and workflows—which can be customized to your needs—through a visual, drag-and-drop interface.

Low-code enterprise software simplifies, streamlines, and automates much of the development process, from build to deployment, so that programmers and non-programmers alike can create and share production-ready apps. Its widespread adoption continues to flourish, with global revenue streams “projected to total 26.9 billion in 2023, an increase of 19.6 percent,” according to Gartner®— and it’s poised for even more expansive growth in the coming years. 1

The importance of low-code tools

Thanks to low code software, it’s easier than ever to build apps that address a broad range of business challenges. Let’s dive into the many reasons why major organizations incorporate low-code tools and solutions into their workflow:

  • Greater accessibility. In the past, only developers who knew how to code could build and maintain responsive, immersive apps for an organization, resulting in costly budgets and bottlenecks. Low-code tools have now made it possible for anyone to create first-class digital experiences, regardless of their background or skillset, allowing bigger and smaller businesses alike to rapidly deliver and modernize.
  • Better collaboration. App development takes a team. Thanks to low-code tools and software, business users, project managers, designers, and other non-developers are now empowered to realize their own vision and meet business outcomes by building or updating apps on their own. This streamlined approach, in turn, frees up bandwidth for developers to work on larger, more impactful projects.
  • Reduced costs. Low-code enterprise software lets you do more with less by giving everyone the ability to rapidly build and share low-code apps, saving money on development. When coupled with the right integrations and the right platform, low-code tools can potentially reduce the cost of app development by up to 74 percent.
  • Faster agility. Unlike traditional forms of development, low-code development gives users the ability to build and update apps through a simple drag-and-drop interface. It can also streamline and automate manual tasks, resulting in more accurate testing, seamless deployment, and a more agile development cycle overall.
  • Greater productivity. By empowering teams to create quality apps on their own, low-code technology cultivates greater creativity in an organization—and greater productivity. Even developers use low-code tools to build line-of-business apps faster with less code, freeing up time to focus on innovation.

Why low code is the future

Enterprise low-code software is the technology of the future—and it’s already gaining traction today. This has been no more evident than in the case of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many organizations to respond and adapt to large-scale shutdowns through modern technology. The pandemic also spurred the advent of new apps and experiences that were previously nonexistent, such as COVID-19 test screeners, health questionnaires, and monitoring tools. Thanks to low-code technology, businesses gained the speed and flexibility necessary to react to unprecedented events as they were happening.

Major industries across transportation, financial services, retail, and elsewhere are now using low-code software to create and maintain a wide range of apps and digital solutions. Consulting firms use low-code tools to create automated solutions for clients applying for emergency loans, while car manufacturers create apps to assist with vehicle quality control. And employees everywhere are continuing to use low-code tools to create in-house tracking and reporting tools, sale and inventory repositories, and anything else that might address ongoing business challenges in their organization.

As organizations continue to invest in even greater modernization, here are some predictions as to where low-code platforms might take us next:

  • More business-driven automation. Business-driven hyper-automation is already one of the leading drivers of low-code adoption—and it’s only going to grow. By building custom apps designed to support their specific operational needs, business users will continue to drive the rise of low-code apps in 2023 and beyond.
  • Better support for remote or hybrid work. As offices, classrooms, and institutions remain less populated or shuttered, more and more people are entering the full-time remote workforce. Organizations that adopt low-code platforms will be giving hybrid and remote workers the tools and infrastructure they need to work independently and collaborate from home.
  • AI and machine learning capabilities. Low-code tools will give coders and non-coders, data scientists and business users alike the ability to incorporate AI capabilities into their apps through prebuilt, pretrained AI models—no machine learning expertise required.
  • More in-house app development. By lowering the barrier to entry, low-code tools make it easy to build custom apps in house. This means organizations will be less reliant on third-party developers or off-the-shelf products and services for their app development needs.
  • Better outcomes for developers. Low-code tools expedite app development for developers by automating menial tasks and standardizing app lifecycle management, governance, and admin processes. This will free up time for developers to work on more creative projects, in turn boosting the value of their labor.
  • A growing low-code ecosystem. As low-code technology grows, so will its attendant community and ecosystem. Organizations will feel compelled to share the components, frameworks, and tools they’ve created, as well as provide best practices for building thriving, scalable apps.
  • Mainstream adoption. Low-code app development continues to fuel significant growth and digital transformation across all industries. By 2024, 80 percent of technology products and services will be built by those who are not technology professionals, according to a press release by Gartner.

Choosing an enterprise low-code solution

With so many enterprise-ready low-code solutions on the market, choosing the right one for your organization can be daunting—but it doesn’t have to be. When evaluating your options, you’ll want to look out for the following features:

  • An easy-to-use interface. Most low-code solutions feature a graphical user interface (GUI) with drag-and-drop functionality for easy access and use. Look for a solution that features a variety of visual modeling tools, dashboards, and workflows for optimal convenience.
  • Trusted integrations. To eliminate silos and bottlenecks, data must be integrated throughout the platform. This is generally accomplished by connecting a wide variety of integrations at scale, including existing on-premises apps and third-party APIs. You’ll want to make sure the solution you go with supports as many verified integrations as possible.
  • Innovative technology. As a technology that’s constantly changing, low code plays nicely with AI and machine learning, as well as emerging technologies like mixed reality and hyper-automation. To ensure that your organization adapts seamlessly into the future, you’ll need to pick a platform that encourages and fosters innovation.
  • A secure, scalable platform. At the enterprise level, you’ll need a platform with the right infrastructure to better secure your organization at scale, which is why you should pick a provider with a proven reputation for reliability and support. You’ll want access to compliance tools, governance controls, and other security integrations for added peace of mind.
  • Developer features. Though many low-code tools are built with business users in mind, developers also use low-code software to rapidly build apps under time-sensitive conditions, or if they lack the required skillset to build the specific app they need. See if your provider includes a low-code pro-dev plan, such as Power Apps and Azure, that lets you scale and extend your apps.
  • Cross-platform compatibility. A low-code platform is only as good as the apps that they build. Pick one that supports apps that are 24/7 available, responsive, and cross-platform compatible on desktop or mobile, regardless of your location.

For a comprehensive solution that meets your organization’s enterprise-level needs, you’ll want to stick with the experts. Microsoft Power Apps is a complete low-code app development platform built on top of the Azure cloud and Microsoft Dataverse, a fully managed, secure, and scalable data platform. Power Apps empowers anyone to build and share low-code, professional-grade apps the easy way.

Frequently asked questions

What is low code for enterprises?

Low code for enterprises refers to enterprise-grade tools and software that enable developers and non-developers alike to create apps and digital experiences with little to no programming knowledge. This is accomplished through a drag-and-drop visual interface featuring pre-written UX components, which can be modified based on your needs.

What is an enterprise low-code application platform?

An enterprise low-code application platform is made up of tools and software that automate, integrate, secure, and govern the development, data, testing, and deployment of low-code apps at scale. Low-code platforms streamline the app development cycle by providing pre-written UX components. They democratize the development cycle, resulting in more productive collaboration, reduced operational costs, and greater agility overall.

What are the uses of low-code app development in the enterprise?

Organizations across a wide variety of industries are using low-code software to build mission-critical apps in a relatively short amount of time. Consulting firms use low-code tools to quickly spin up solutions for clients applying for emergency loans, while retailers are creating apps to track flexi-work hours. And during the COVID-19 pandemic, business users everywhere adopted low-code tools to create test screeners, health questionnaires, monitoring solutions, and other internal tools.

1Gartner Press Release, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Low-Code Development Technologies Market to Grow 20% in 2023, December 13, 2022 GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.