Thanks to the power of artificial intelligence, new low-code platforms catering to non-coders have been significantly enhanced. As such, these app development tools will play a bigger role in improving the customer experience.
Rise of the low-code app builders
The global shortage of software developers coupled with increased pressure on companies to modernise their customer-facing applications quickly has elevated the importance of low-code/no-code application tools over the past couple of years. New offerings are being rolled out with AI integrations, making the software even more intuitive and providing non-coders, aka citizen developers, with even more clout in helping to create business-to-consumer (B2C) apps with advanced capabilities.
Low-code platforms allowed non-coders such as business users to write fully functioning apps using pre-built templates and drag-and-drop widgets, but without actually writing source code. New AI innovations, particularly machine learning (ML) technology has significantly enhanced the experience for low-code users and savvy developers alike.
Enhancements can predict what an app developer is trying to accomplish and flag shortcuts and recommendations. For example, API connectors may be provided for third-party components such as voice-enabled and chatbot services. These shortcuts can significantly reduce the amount of coding typically required to integrate apps with backend systems.
Is low-code technology the future in software development?
There will always be a place for native software programming within enterprise companies. Low-code solutions are meant to be an attractive option in an IT department’s toolbox for improving response time to numerous app development requests. Low-code vendors have focused heavily on supporting the B2C use case through templates and technologies providing customers with advanced interactive experiences. These low-code app platforms are valuable for these types of use cases and increasingly others as well, but they do not offer the flexibility of mature application platforms which allow professional developers to create customised applications on a very granular level.
Leading low-code vendors whose model-driven visual approach significantly speeds the app development process by enabling collaboration between business and IT stakeholders are poised to disrupt the application platforms market space in the coming months. Mature integration, API management, and the emergence of automated code development capabilities through AI have enabled the next wave of low-code solutions, originating from best-of-breed leaders Mendix (recently acquired by Siemens), Appian, OutSystems, Microsoft, and Salesforce, as well as newer entrants.
Traditional enterprise application development methods must shift in the wake of new, complex development architectures, owing to increased pressure on DevOps development teams to accelerate software delivery. Alternatively improved efficiency and speed are increasingly being demonstrated through high-productivity, low-code tools.