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Low-Code, No-Code Development: Filling the Gaps in Skills Shortages

Low-code and no-code development has become a critical component of enterprise technology landscapes. Gartner predicts that within the next 3 years, developers outside IT departments will account for at least 80% of the userbase for low-code development tools, up from 60% in 2021. Low- and no-code offers opportunities to offload coding and integration work to business users, relieving burdened IT departments.

Is low- and no-code potentially an answer to filling the gaps in shortages of professional IT talent as well? Industry leaders and experts say talent shortfalls will be one of the leading drivers for low- and no-code adoption, as they face increasing demand for more expansive technology environments, combined with critical skills shortfalls.


With growing developer shortages, “non-developers are now able to solve business problems at scale, which in turn, reduces IT backlog and overall operating costs,” said Mav Turner, CTO at Tricentis.

Expanding the pool of citizen developers will go a long way toward greater innovation and efficiency in building enterprise applications. “With an intuitive low-code platform, users from all backgrounds are able to design, automate, and optimize enterprise applications with a governed and self-service model for digital innovation,” said Malcom Ross, senior VP of product strategy for Appian.

“One of the main benefits of low-code and no-code is it enables citizen developers—professionals with little to no coding experience—to gain access to software solutions and contribute to the IT department,” said Kunal Shah, product manager for data and analytics engineering at SAS. “The primary goal of low-code/no-code is to cater to these professionals by providing a faster learning process and accommodating those who lack coding skills. One caution to consider is that coding allows more flexibility and capability to execute compared to the low-code/ no-code environment.”

Not only does low- and no-code offer a way to alleviate skills shortages, but it also helps companies to adapt to economic conditions that require budget tightening, said Jay Henderson, senior VP of product management at Alteryx. “Therefore, no-code and low-code tools that remove complexity and automate manual work are a no-brainer. They decrease the need for IT support and free them up to focus on more strategic initiatives.”

“Low- and no-code platforms don’t always completely replace the need for skilled developers, but they do reduce the number of tasks requiring a developer to complete,” advised Brian Phillips, principal with Randstad Technologies. “These platforms enable businesses to empower employees across departments to deliver solutions and business value more quickly and efficiently than traditional coding approaches.”

Still, other experts feel the primary purpose of low- and no-code should not be just to alleviate skills shortages, but to expand the breadth of enterprise capabilities. “Organizations need to react with increasing speed to market changes or even disruptions. In most cases, this involves at least some system change,” said Piet-Michiel Rappelet, director of product management at Qlik. “We simply cannot keep relying on our very capable IT departments to solve all our digital needs. Employees are becoming more tech-savvy. Why would you limit the ability to build an application or any digital solution only to the IT department?”

The rise of low-code/no-code solutions “means the barrier to entry for cloud-based analytics has never been lower,” said Henderson. “More employees can get insights from data residing in cloud data warehouses without having to rely on data engineers to facilitate the entire process.”

In what ways do low- and no-code approaches deliver success? “A financial services customer of ours, which offers credit card, online banking, and loan services, developed a centralized center of excellence to support low-code development in each business unit,” according to Lou Bachenheimer, Americas CTO for SS&C Blue Prism. “With this digital transformation approach, they have managed to give one million hours back to the business.”

Ross stated that he has “seen customers greatly accelerate both the speed and volume at which they can deliver new digital solutions. Companies embracing low-code also find it easier to attract talent as it creates an affordable and accessible path to a career in software development, without requiring a background in programming. Low-code helps companies mitigate skills gaps by better supporting their existing IT talent—especially if they’re overwhelmed due to said shortages.”

What will be the impact on IT professionals and departments? “It will be crucial that IT departments enable the business to drive the digitalization of their processes and services,” said Rappelet. The rise of low- and no-code is also changing the conventional wisdom “that only IT engineers can produce and manage digital solutions,” he added. “The role of IT departments will continue to change from a supporting unit—that configures computers and printers or installing and building the software you need—to a critical piece of the business focusing on the security and stability of the entire system and data landscape.”

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