Low-code has the potential to be the future, but it’s only possible if we can nurture citizen developers with the tools they need to grow their skills
Recently, the shift to low-code platforms for business needs has been nothing short of a technological revolution. But there are some companies that aren’t willing to make the jump without a guarantee of a certain level of future-proofing low-code can offer them.
The hesitation is understandable. Everyone wants a product that can serve them for a long time. If it’s going to be outdated or defunct in a few years, it’s not an investment, just a liability.
Low-code platforms help create business applications and automation tools without needing the intricate hands of programmers, instead using everyday business users, trained to be citizen developers. Before you say this sounds like a recipe for disaster, citizen developers are proving their work in the industry. ResearchAndMarkets.com actually predict the low-code development market will grow to $27.23 billion by 2022, a huge jump from the current $4.32 billion.
But what comes after? Can low-code take modern technologies as easily as it tackles simple business applications?
Innovating With Bleeding Edge Technologies
One particular subcategory of low-code apps which evokes a lot of interest is innovation apps. These are apps that use up-and-coming technologies to solve everyday business problems.
For instance, take AI, one of the fastest-growing and most-exciting technologies out there, and everyone seems to want to be a part of the action.
But can a citizen developer be a part of the action as well? Can he or she use AI to solve everyday business problems?
AI Apps, Made By Citizen Developers
As we speak, players like Amazon and IBM are offering low-code platforms and tools to citizen developers to try out, and see what problems can be solved using AI. In January 2018, IBM started offering Mendix, their own low-code development platform, as a part of their cloud services. Mendix includes integration to their Watson AI, translation services, text-to-speech recognition, and more.
But what does AI integration into low-code platforms mean for you? Your everyday citizen developer could start working on an intelligent chatbot for your customers. Instead of having a dedicated team always waiting for a phone call or sitting in front of a chat window, there could be an automated chatbot taking care of everything.
Okay, but what about a technology like IoT, where you don’t have a homogenous platform to work on?
Tackling IoT With Low-Code
IoT apps, also known as smart apps, can be challenging to build. There are different technologies, different hardware, end points, back-end systems, and more to consider.
Even amongst veteran programmers, IoT development can be difficult to find someone talented for the task. But platforms like Mendix, AWS, and Microsoft Azure can help out. Your citizen developers can use IoT to create process apps. For instance, you can build an app that can track orders and their real-time locations in real time, or provide a way for delivery agents to send a notification for damaged goods, all without needing to know how to code.
Blockchain Can Be Harnessed Through Low-Code as Well
Another technology that has been making waves is blockchain, the backbone of the recent flood of cryptocurrencies. With the decentralisation blockchain has to offer, it can be of tremendous potential in verifying and accepting authentic transactions, which boosts security as well.
Take a car auction, where customers from all over the country can take part in the online auction through the low-code app your citizen developer has built. The authenticity of the auction participants can be verified through the blockchain technology. And it can all be done by the very same citizen developer in your office.
Low-code has the potential to be the future, but it’s only possible if we can nurture citizen developers with the tools they need to grow their skills. With modern technologies and huge companies all pitching into low-code for the future, there’s a clear path for low-code and emerging technologies, but that’s only if you’re willing to make the investment.
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