Why low code and no-code is trending
The demand for low-code and no-code tools, or platforms that take a visual approach to software development, has surged over the last 18 months. As digital transformation has accelerated in a cross-section of industries and enterprises, it’s not surprising that low-code technologies, which employ graphical user interfaces to allow faster software application development without a lot of by-hand coding, have taken hold. A recent Gartner forecast on the growth of low code development technologies made the connection between digital transformation and the increase in demand for low code.
“Digital business acceleration is putting pressure on IT leaders to dramatically increase application delivery speed and Time to Value,” Gartner said in a news release. “The increased demand for custom software solutions in support of digital transformation has sparked the emergence of citizen developers outside of IT, which, in turn, has influenced the rise in low-code.”
In addition, the shift to remote work has made it necessary for enterprises to make no-code solutions available to their distributed teams. Since the start of the global pandemic, the demand for digital acceleration has outpaced previous predictions. As a result, IT teams are under more pressure to develop and deliver software at faster speeds and with greater velocity.
This increase in demand for digital transformation has also shifted some responsibilities for development to business users, according to a recent survey on IT workloads conducted by Salesforce. According to the survey results, 83% of IT leaders believe that process/app development responsibility will increasingly shift to business users. Meanwhile, a notable 93% of IT leaders surveyed say they’re comfortable with the use of low-code tools by business users with proper training and governance.
The results of the Salesforce survey coincide with Gartner’s findings that 41% of employees outside of IT are responsible for customizing or building data or technology solutions. Gartner also projects that “half of all new low-code clients will come from business buyers that are outside the IT organization by year-end 2025 …”
No-code and low-code development tools can be beneficial in various stages of the software delivery lifecycle. For instance, the use of no-code tools in testing, in particular, carries benefits that support the speed and velocity of the overall DevOps process. No-code testing solutions can enable both technical and business users in the testing process.
Cases for no-code solutions
Forrester coined the term “low-code” in 2014, referring to software platforms that “employ visual, declarative techniques instead of traditional lines of programming.” Low-code and no-code platforms alike use intuitive features such as templates, drag-and-drop, and pre-built components, drastically reducing the speed of application development.
Low-code and no-code tools and platforms are increasingly becoming a necessity for enterprises, as customer expectations and continued strong demand for digital experiences are forcing enterprises to speed up the software delivery cycle.
Fast releases remain a top priority, and development teams and resources are strained. But no-code tools can help speed up the development and delivery process.
The no-code and low-code movement is a significant part of a current technology development shift, according to Accenture. “A shift is underway … Natural language processing, low-code platforms, robotic process automation, and more are democratizing technology, putting powerful capabilities into the hands of people all across the business,” Accenture observed. “This phenomenon adds a grassroots layer to enterprises’ innovation strategies—while IT will still handle major implementations and work with the most advanced technologies, the people closest to day-to-day business problems will be empowered to create technology-driven solutions themselves.”
A key benefit of the no-code movement is enabling business users to be involved in the development process, ultimately taking some pressure off developers, who can then focus on higher-value activities. IT leaders can implement no-code or low-code solutions in the SDLC to support this technology shift.
How no-code testing solutions speed up the SDLC
No-code testing solutions can provide better technology advantages for both technical and non-technical users. In addition, low-code and low-code automated testing speeds up delivery and expedites release cycles.
There are also additional benefits of introducing no-code solutions to the SDLC, including the following:
- Supports shift left: No-code automated testing enables faster, earlier testing – creating faster feedback loops earlier in the SDLC. Shift left also produces demonstrated cost-savings for correcting defects: statistics show that defects corrected early in the development cycle cost significantly less than defects that are later or post-delivery.
- Ease of use and flexibility: no-code tools are intuitive enough that business users can conduct testing with limited or no coding experience.
- Allows for more effective use of resources: With no-code tools, the testing process becomes more streamlined overall. The no-code approach means that simple testing can be automated, while technical testers can focus on more complex testing when needed.
- Enables non-programmers/non-technical users such as business analysts to conduct testing, leaving technical users/developers with more time to spend on areas such as more innovation.
- Increases efficiency and creates better workflows by using technical resources more efficiently.
- Supports backlogged dev teams with faster and more efficient testing processes.
- Alleviates bottlenecks, communications, or collaboration challenges faced by remote or distributed teams. Using low-code tools results in better feedback loops.
- Environments can more easily adjust to accommodate the growing demand for increased speed and velocity. No-code platforms and tools make it easier for these solutions to scale.
Conclusion: no-code testing solutions are a critical DevOps tool
Using no-code tools is one of the ways that automation can be implemented throughout the entire DevOps pipeline.
“When automation is introduced into various stages of the software delivery and DevOps pipeline, the benefits are compounded and amplified, while software can be delivered faster and more frequently. For organizations that are constantly delivering and releasing software, automation is a must to meet their productivity objectives.”
The demand for faster software delivery will only grow as digital transformation becomes more widespread. Introducing no-code and low-code tools to the process can help organizations deliver greater value and reach their application development and innovation goals.